Calgary’s Ahmadi Muslim community is celebrating the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha with events across Calgary, including the traditional slaughter of livestock at Canada’s largest Mosque.
Meat from the slaughter taking place on Tuesday at the Baitun Nur Mosque will be given to the city’s less fortunate, as well as friends and family of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community.
Thousands of Muslims from across southern Alberta are expected to attend the event which is open to all Calgarians and will begin at 10 p.m. on Tuesday.
A festival of feast and sacrifice, Eid is one of two annual Islamic celebrations and marks the annual pilgrimage for Muslims to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
“Eid is celebrated by more than a billion Muslims around the world and is a day full of prayers, family gatherings and special meals,” the community, also known as the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, said in a release.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim community differ in their religious beliefs from other Muslim denominations.
The community, also known aa the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, formed in 1889 and believe the Muslim messiah returned in the form of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in India in 1835.
The Jama’at has tens of millions of followers across 200 countries and has felt religious persecution from other Islamic denominations over the centuries for their differing beliefs. Ahmadi Muslims are prohibited from practising their religion in Pakistan and have been declared non-Muslims.
Premier Rachel Notley wished Ahmadi Muslims a happy Eid in a statement on Monday night.
“Over the coming days, women, men and families of Alberta’s Muslim community will attend morning prayers, enjoy celebratory meals and festive gatherings and practise charitable giving to those in need,” the premier said.
“To all those who are observing Eid-al-Adha, I wish you a time of joy and meaningful reflection. May the year ahead be one of many blessings.”
The Baitun Nur Mosque in the northwest community of Castleridge is Canada’s largest Mosque at 48,000 square feet.
The Jama’at regularly hold events encouraging peace and understanding between religions, including the Meet Your Muslim Neighbour event which ran on Aug. 11 and the Pathway to Peace event on Aug. 25 at Calgary’s Genesis Centre.
For more information visit www.thepathwaytopeace.com.
On Twitter: @RCRumbolt