۲۴ آذر ۱۳۹۸ |۱۸ ربیع‌الثانی ۱۴۴۱ | Dec 15, 2019
News Code: 358776
13 August 2019 - 00:00
Thousands celebrate Eid al-Adha at MetLife Stadium

Dean Makkaoui, an event organizer, said anywhere from 20,000 to 30,000 worshipers showed up, “maybe more,” but that a definitive headcount was hard to determine. .

Hawzah News Agency (New Jersey, US) - Thousands of Muslim Americans flooded MetLife Stadium on Sunday to celebrate the Eid al-Adha holiday in what organizers called a "historic" show of unity.

“This gathering is a momentous occasion,” said Passaic city Councilman Salim Patel.

Dean Makkaoui, an event organizer, said anywhere from 20,000 to 30,000 worshipers showed up, “maybe more,” but that a definitive headcount was hard to determine. The event was free and didn’t require preregistration .

Two back-to-back prayer sessions were held to accommodate the number of worshipers.

“There’s still more people coming. There’s still more people outside,” Makkaoui said, standing inside the stadium gates between services. “Some people got stuck on the highway — a lot of traffic.”

The event was a collaboration among more than 20 local mosques, including the Islamic Center of Passaic County, one of the largest mosques in the state.

Local gatherings historically draw large turnouts, Makkaoui said, but Sunday’s was exceptionally large.

Shazia Shailch, who attended the celebration with around 15 family members, said she had never experienced an event so big.

“I enjoyed it,” said Shailch, a Pakistani native who lives in Passaic. “It’s nice to see so many different cultures. It’s a very nice experience.”

Eid, the second of two Muslim holidays observed globally, celebrates Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son, Isaac, at God’s bidding before a messenger stops him.

The story is a common one among Muslim, Christian and Jewish faiths.

“It’s a festival of sacrifice,” Makkaoui said. He teared up as he recounted the story. “Forgive me — sometimes I get emotional.”

Eid is about “families getting together and rekindling the bonds of friendship and family,” Patel said. “It’s so important to have that ability to just gather in a communal space.

"There’s a lot of happy, happy families," he added.

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