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Student group celebrates Muslim religious holiday

| Tuesday, September 26, 2017

On Aug. 31 through Sept. 1 Muslims around the world celebrated Eid al-Adha, one of the holiest days on the Muslim calendar. Sophomore Doha Morchid, vice president of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) said to celebrate the religious holiday Campus Ministry and the MSA will host a dinner Tuesday in the Coleman-Morse lounge at 7 p.m.

Eid al-Adha commemorates when God commanded Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, Morchid said. However, she said, God eventually provided a sheep for Ibrahim to sacrifice instead. Morchid — who is from Morocco — said in some countries, families sacrifice a sheep, in remembrance of the event.

“We celebrate that sacrifice when God told [Ibrahim] to sacrifice his son and he went to do that but God brought down the sheep to him,” she said. “So [we] sacrifice a sheep as a way to get closer to God.”

Morchid said families also often celebrate with a feast. However, she said, it is important for Muslims to remember the religious significance of Eid, as some people would focus on the material aspects of the holiday.

“They would forget the purpose of it and focus on the food part of it, for instance,” she said. “It just becomes a feast instead of an act of sacrifice. I think it’s very important to remind ourselves why we do that, which sometimes people tend to forget.”

Morchid said as a child, one of her favorite Moroccan Eid traditions was receiving a new outfit for the holiday.

“My mom used to go, like a week before, to buy us clothes and I remember I would wait for the morning … ” she said. “We would wait for that moment to wear the new clothes. They’re mostly traditional clothes.”

Sophomore Hosnia Samadi, president of the MSA, said her family celebrated Eid by visiting a mosque and sharing a meal with relatives.

“You go to your eldest relative’s house,” she said. “My grandma is in Texas, so I’ll go to my eldest aunt’s house instead, because I’m from New York. It’s great. You go to the mosque in the morning … It’s like a Muslim Christmas.”

Morchid said the Campus Ministry celebration of Eid will include a recitation of verses from the Quran, a presentation about Eid and a guest speaker — Ann Firth, chief of staff to University President Fr. John Jenkins.

As many Notre Dame students are not familiar with Eid, Samadi said, the event aims to educate people about one of the holiest days of the year for Muslims.

“I think my biggest goal for this year is to have people know there are Muslims here and just let them know the love of the community,” she said. “We want to have non-Muslims in MSA too and just show everyone our culture and our religion and stuff like that.”

Kayla August, advisor to the MSA and evangelization assistant director for Campus Ministry, said she had the opportunity to participate in an local Eid celebration at a mosque this year.

“It was not only fun, but also this beautiful experience,” she said. “I was thinking, being a Catholic, I’ve celebrated many Christmases and Easters and finding the love and joy of the community all together in one spot is such a special thing. All of the people in our community would certainly welcome anyone to be a part of that.”

August said she hopes students will come to the event to learn about the holiday and find common ground with those of different faiths.

“I think if we welcome people to take part in our faith traditions and to be a part of what we know and love, it’s our part to also step into theirs and just see what’s so special to them as well,” she said. “Often in sharing and sitting down at a table with someone, to share a meal, you realize you have a lot more in common than you have apart.”




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About Natalie Weber

Natalie Weber graduated in 2020 from the University of Notre Dame, with a Bachelor of Arts in English and minors in journalism and computing. A native of Grand Junction, Colorado she most recently served as Managing Editor at The Observer. // Email: [email protected] // Twitter: @wordsbyweber

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