Muslims all over the world celebrated the holiday Eid al Adha, called in English “Festival of the Sacrifice” or “Sacrifice Feast,” after fasting daily during the Islamic month of Ramadan.
Celebrated this year starting on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 11, and ending Thursday, Sept. 15, the Eid al Adha holiday is a happy occasion for Muslims to spend time with family and friends.
During the month of Ramadan, the faithful are not to eat or drink anything during the daylight hours from sunrise until sunset. Restrictions also include no smoking or kissing.
“Ramadan is when Muslims say, ‘OK, God. We want to show you how much you are important to us. We’re going to give up the things most important to us during the day,’” said Ferris automotive engineering technology senior Murtadha Alwail. “What is the Eid? It’s kind of like Christmas or Thanksgiving to us. We celebrate on Eid because it’s breaking the fast of Ramadan.”
“Early in the morning, like 6 or 7 a.m., we’ll go pray together, and the rest of the day we’ll go visit friends and families and say to them, ‘Happy Eid,’” said Alwail. “I’m here alone, I don’t have my family here and it’s the same thing with many other students.”
Having that network of friends at Ferris State is important during these times of celebration when Muslim students are away from their families, according to Alwail. They typically get together for company and share a big dinner at a friend’s home during the week.
At home in Saudi Arabia, families have the time off from work and school to travel so families can get together and have the time to relax and celebrate the Eid. In Saudi Arabia, they celebrate by eating large meals together and giving gifts, according to both Alwail and Ferris manufacturing engineering technology senior Motaz Haroun.
“Usually during the Eid celebration, people wear their new clothes,” Haroun said. “This is something different from all of the other occasions, because people see each other sometimes after a year, so it makes the day really special and nice.”
While there was an email sent out to faculty urging them to excuse Muslim students from class to celebrate the beginning of the Eid holiday on Monday, according to Alwail and Haroun some faculty made class time mandatory because they knew it was a holiday.
“On Monday, I had three classes and none of them allowed for one day off,” Awail said. “Some instructors, when they know it’s a holiday, they will give a quiz to make sure people aren’t absent. Or maybe the instructor doesn’t take attendance most days, but that day [they] will take attendance.”
However, Alwail mentioned one instructor, Caroline Stern, as an instructor who makes accommodations for students to practice their faith.
“Other instructors, when they give assignments, they will give extra time,” Haroun said. “Or if the Muslim student will go and explain the holiday to the professor, they will assign a make-up time.”