Friday Sep 1, 2017 marked the end of the Hajj (pilgrimage) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and commemorates the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), who was commanded by God to offer his son as a sacrifice as a test of his faith. But in both the Bible and Quran versions of the story, an angel came to Abraham to prevent him taking his son’s life, and instead ordering him to sacrifice an animal. All three Abrahamic Traditions continue to celebrate that spirit of sacrifice to this day.
This particularly festive day for Muslims also marks the end of the annual Hajj (pilgrimage) season, and is an occasion for engagement with family, friends, neighbors etc to share the joys and benefits of our respective faiths, and to honor the tradition of our prophets, and to honor the sacrifices we all make to help others in need. It is a time for engaging with family, friends and neighbors, and to share in the bounty of our lives.
For 2017 the ADAMS Center alone had 7 prayer locations, with nearly 30 prayer sessions that morning. Over 30 political and civic officials, and candidates for the 2017 election and their surrogates, attended prayers to meet the community and offer salutations for this blessed event.
Among the candidates and officials visiting the various ADAMS locations were Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, Lt Governor Ralph Northam, Lt Governor candidate Justin Fairfax, Attorney General Mark Herring, Senators Jennifer Wexton And Barbara Favola Delegates Jim LeMunyon, Kathleen Murphy and Jennifer Boysko, County Supervisors John Foust and Kristen Umstadt, Leesburg Mayor Kelly Burke, and many surrogates for the various campaigns in Nov 2017.
Some 26 – 28,000 ADAMS community members attended the various services in the 7 locations, and the planning and outreach efforts were seamless and super. Many AIA/ADAMS Interfaith Partners came to join the occasion, and to speak with their Muslim counterparts and share in the joy of this holiday. AIA 2020 played a prominent role in arranging the visits of these government officials, and was at several of the locations to welcome these officials and help introduce them to the community members attended. We were very pleased with the very warm welcome accorded to each of these visitors, and by the very warm and generous welcome support each of our visitors had expressed for the community, and for their willingness your stand with us all to overcome any challenges and difficulties the community may face in the coming years.