Muslims Celebrate Eid, Donate Meat to Needy

December 13, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Toledo Blade

Toledo Muslims are donating more than 1,500 pounds of meat slaughtered for an Islamic holiday to the area's poor and needy.

"Fresh meat is something that is really missing in most food banks and shelter homes," Dr. M. Razi Rafeeq said.

The goats, sheep, lambs, and cows were slaughtered by butchers paid by Muslims in accordance with a ritual observance of the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, or Feast of Sacrifice. The holiday commemorates God's sparing of the Prophet Abraham from having to sacrifice his son, Ismail.

The holiday was celebrated on Monday at the end of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina in which more than 2 million Muslims participate.

More than 700 Muslims celebrated the Eid with prayers followed by a community meal at the Masjid Saad in Sylvania, while 500 observed the holiday at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo in Perrysburg Township.

Representatives of those two mosques joined with the Toledo Masjid of Al-Islam in the central city to found the Islamic Food Bank of Toledo. The food is given to anyone in need, not just Muslims, according to Yehia "John" Shousher, one of the food bank's founders.

"Donating meat to the poor and needy has been done before on the local level but only by individuals," Mr. Shousher said.

Dr. Rafeeq, president of the food bank, said donating the meat to the needy follows the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed, founder of Islam, and the Islamic holy book.