William F. O'Brien
Special to The Sun
OKLA. CITY —
The Muslim community of central Oklahoma recently came together to celebrate the holiday of Eid ul-Adha, which commemorates the end of the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca as well as the Biblical Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael if God required him to do so.
Imam Imad Enchassi of the Islamic Association of Central Oklahoma led prayers at the mosque affiliated with that organization, and told the men present that they had a responsibility to be involved in the lives of their children. Many children who do not receive love from their parents find it by joining gangs and associating with people who use and sell drugs.
Enchassi reminded them that the Prophet Mohammed was a loving father to his daughter Fatimah, and that it is recorded that he embraced his daughter every time he left his home. He urged those present to show a similar affection to their children and grandchildren.
After the morning prayers concluded, people gathered on the grounds of the mosque in a festive, yet serious manner under a gray sky and the few non-Muslims who were present were made to feel welcome and were thanked for sharing in the holiday.
Warm greetings and embraces were extended to friends and family members and phone cameras were held in the air as many group photos were taken. Refreshments that included tea, coffee and donuts were offered and children could be seen bringing those items to some of the elderly people present as a sign of respect.
The diversity of the Muslim community of Oklahoma was apparent and the attendees included African men and women in bright blue and gold robes and hats. Physicians and other professionals from the Middle East, India and Pakistan were in business suits and starched white shirts. Moroccans and others from North Africa wore white robes.
People from India and Pakistan who were wearing what appeared to be brightly-colored slippers were also in attendance. There were young men present who were wearing Ralph Lauren and Izod shirts who explained that they came to Oklahoma as children and now have successful careers in the state as businessmen and professionals.
A variety of languages were spoken, including Arabic, French, Urdu and several African tongues and the Arabic phrase “Eid Mubarak” which translates as “happy Eid holiday” was often heard.
Many of the children present wore the same type of attire as their parents and seemed proud to participate in the holiday. Several young children dressed as angels smiled as they made their way through the crowd.
Some of the young attendees told of how they initially came to Oklahoma as college students and after graduating they obtained employment with companies located here that allowed them to become lawful residents of the U.S.
And, many of the children present will grow into adulthood with fond memories of the Eid celebration that they attended in Oklahoma City.
William F. O’Brien is an Oklahoma City attorney.