Muslims, Jews, and Christians Celebrate Prophet Abraham at Eid al-Adha

February 23, 2002

Source: Los Angeles Times

On February 23, 2002, the Los Angeles Times reported that "on one of Islam's most important holidays, a day dedicated to the remembrance of Abraham, Los Angeles Muslims and Jews met Friday and reminded themselves of their common patriarch... With 45 members in tow, Rabbi Harold Schulweis of Valley Beth Shalom journeyed... to meet with the Muslims of King Fahd Mosque... For many from Schulweis' Conservative congregation, it was their first visit to a mosque prayer service--yet, they said, it somehow seemed familiar... And there was Abraham, the common patriarch--who was the subject of Imam Tajuddin Shuaib's Friday sermon and is praised in calligraphy adorning the mosque's domed hall... That event was celebrated Friday by Muslims worldwide during the start of the three-day festival Eid ul-Adha, marking the end of the hajj--the pilgrimage to Mecca... Groundwork for the trip was laid last fall, when Schulweis invited Nazir Khaja of the Islamic Information Service to speak on Islam as part of the synagogue's lecture series on world religions. The lecture, delivered two months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, drew 2,200 people, the largest crowd of the series... In return, Khaja arranged the reciprocal visit to the King Fahd Mosque, which the Jewish Defense League allegedly sought to bomb last year. Because of such threats and the chill American Muslims have felt since the terrorism attacks, Khaja said, Muslims have 'begun to see we need to reach out and grasp the hands of friends. This is the need of the hour and the dictates of our faith'... To build on Friday's exchange, the rabbi suggested that his synagogue's havurah, or groups of families, invite Muslims into their homes to share food, holidays and friendships... 'If there is no dialogue, there is a terrible silence, and that often leads to dislike, contempt and sometimes violence,' Schulweis said."