The holiday also doubled as an opportunity for zakat, or alms giving, one of the five pillars of Islam.
Islamic center members said they have enough money to cover half the down payment on a property on Lake Street and Western Avenue in Glendale.
Members said they need $1.8 million to make monthly payments and buy a Korean church whose owners are looking to sell, said Masum Billah, one of the nonprofit’s central committee members.
“We believe we need a home from where creative and good vibes can flow,” he said. “We can find a place where we can come together . . . where we can make contribute positively to the community.”
Billah cited the Islamic Center of Los Angeles, which works with police, sheriff and city officials for outreach and educational programs.
“It has been a dream for us for many years, but it takes a level of commitment from everyone to bring it to fruition,” he said. “Muslim youth needs to project the positives and have Muslims blend into the mainstream and do well.”
Members are exploring other real estate opportunities, but see the 16,000-square-foot west Glendale property as their first choice. The facility has space for classrooms, offices and prayer halls.
Attaining a mosque, which would be the only one in the Glendale-Burbank area, is only a matter of time, said Abo-Elkhier Serag, president of the Glendale Islamic Center.
“This holiday expanded our expectations,” he said. “Everyone is socializing and enjoying the day; we’re overwhelmed [with the turnout].”
Plates of hummus and pita were plenty as families lounged in the grassy areas of Pacific Park, where the services were. Organizers also used a deep-fryer to prepare purata, a fried dough and Pakistani breakfast bread.
Eid ul-Adha celebrates the story of Ibrahim or Abraham, in the Old Testament, who was asked by God to sacrifice his only son. Ceremonies include reciting Takbir, a holy Muslim prayer, as well as giving to the poor and, in some countries, sacrificing livestock to symbolize Ibrahim’s selflessness.
There is a sermon, or khutba, in the services, which focuses on tolerance and patience inherent in Ibrahim’s story.
“Ibrahim was patient, and his son was even more patient in carrying out God’s will,” Billah said. “We must be steadfast in prayer, tolerance and patience — that is the theme in everyone’s mind.”
Get in touch MAX ZIMBERT covers education. He may be reached at (818) 637-3215 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.