Tradition Bearers Muslims Mark Holy Day of Sacrifice in St. Louis Area

Article excerpt

On Wednesday, more than 1,400 Muslims gathered to chant the traditional prayers of Eid ul-Adha, the day of sacrifice.

They unrolled prayer rugs to face east on the smooth floor at Queeny Park's Greensfelder Recreation Center, where skaters glide in the winter, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra plays pops music in the summer.

Men in monochromatic traditional tunics and trousers bowed in prayer in the front rows. The women's section, in the rear of the hall arena, resembled a flower garden as the women prayed in bright-colored and white silk saris.

"God, you called, we are coming to you, we are coming to you," they chanted in the hourlong service.

"Every prayer we say is from the Koran," said Shahin-Shahin Ahmed, a leader of the women in the Muslim community.

Imam Muhammed Nur Abdullah, leader of the St. Louis Islamic Center, quoted Koran passages that recalled that the ancient patriarch Abraham was willing to sacrifice everything to God, even his beloved son Isaac. …