Pennsylvania, US: Hundreds attend Muslim festival in Bensalem


Chloe Elmer/Staff Photographer

Hundreds of Muslims gathered in Bensalem on Wednesday for services marking the festival of Eid-ul-Adha where the faithful remind themselves of the necessity of self-denial and submission to the will of Allah.

The annual festivities are the local celebrations of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, now underway in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

The festival is the second major holiday on the Muslim calendar. The first, Eid-ul-fitr, follows Ramadan. Eid-ul-Adha fosters the renewal of a sense of self-sacrifice, based on the example of Abraham, the figure from the Book of Genesis that Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike believe proved his faith by his willingness to sacrifice his own son, at the command of God.

Scripture teaches that God was testing Abraham’s faith, and, at the last minute, spared his son.

The Eid-ul-Adha event was held at the County Downe clubhouse on Byberry Road, where the Ahmaddyah Muslim Community worships regularly. The morning prayer and homily were held according to tradition, with the men, dressed in business suits or more casual attire in one room, the women, wrapped in brightly colored outfits — a few in burkas, depending on their country of origin — in another. A sound system carried the sinuous sound of prayer and song throughout the center.

In his homily, Imam Ullah Chaudhary Mujiburrehman urged his followers that the Holy Quran calls for them to commit themselves to a spirit of sacrifice based on love and a “righteous heart” that is oriented toward Allah.

He also called on parents to form their children in the faith, to a life of sacrifice, prayer and correct upbringing so that they would not stray from Allah’s ways.

In Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa, the sacrifice follows strict custom of giving up a living thing. That means that cows, lambs or goats — animals that have lived with a family for one year and are already loved — are sacrificed, in emulating the spirit of Abraham.

“We can’t do that here, of course, so we send money to those countries to buy the animals so that the Muslims there will do that for us,” said Daud Ahmad, a former commercial pilot who abandoned his possessions in Pakistan to come to the United States to escape persecution from another Muslim sect.

Ahmad said that in his native land, the Ahmaddyah are not allowed to practice their own traditions of Islam,… continue reading at

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