The Muslim community of Alberta, Canada currently stands at an estimated population of 150,000. Within the city of Edmonton, Muslims have quite a positive influence on the surrounding community.
Many of the locals within the Alberta community gathered in Edmonton on September 14 this year to celebrate Eid al-Adha and the impact which they have made in the province of Alberta as a whole.
In celebration of sacrifice and devotion, Eid al-Adha has been celebrated annually in mosques and homes across the world. The festival marks the end of the Mecca pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of the Muslim faith. Large feasts are held and enjoyed by all classes within society, with most of the sacrificed meat being donated to the underprivileged who otherwise could not afford to partake in the feast.
Muslims in Edmonton celebrated Eid al-Adha at the Alberta Legislature where a crowd of one hundred people spent the evening together. House speaker, Robert Wanner addressed the crowd speaking of how familiar Albertans have been with long journeys. Many of them have ancestral roots from different parts of the world with forefathers who traveled miles to settle in Canada. He said: that in at least one way or another, each person will continue their journey, making their own sacrifices to get to where they are today.
He hoped the feast would in some way remind each person that they are all on a journey of their own which led to being there that evening. Wanner said that it had been the sacrifices which they have made for one another over the years has led to Edmonton, Alberta in Canada being such an outstanding city, province, and country.
Irfan Sabir, Human Services Minister, couldn’t agree more and mentioned that for him, Eid al-Adha was not just about devotion to faith but also acts of kindness which have built the community to what it is today. He stated that sacrifice could also be a reminder that not everything in life is about our needs and desires. He went on to say: “We are united by the freedom to enjoy, to worship in our own way, and that’s what makes this province and this country great.”
Other speakers, including Dr. M. Muzaffar Siddiqui, took to the podium and recited a devotional poem entitled “Nasheed” as attendees looked on and applauded him. Imam Jamac Hareed recited from the Holy Quran while Iman Siddiqui translated the verses during his reading.
The attendees enjoyed the evening together as part of the Alberta Muslim community which was all in good spirits and drew to a close with a fantastic dinner celebration.