Islamic holiday draws 500 to Middletown mosque


NEW HAMPTON — Acting Imam Hafiz Fahim Mahmood boiled down Islamic principles into a simple sentence.

“Be good human beings,” he said outside the Middletown Islamic Center in New Hampton after Tuesday’s Eid al-Adha service.

Mahmood delivered this year’s sermon to a congregation of about 500.

The holiday is meant to celebrate the faith of the prophet Ibrahim, who is known as Abraham in the Christian and Jewish teachings.

According to the story in the Quran, Ibrahim was ordered to sacrifice his son Ismail as a test of his loyalty to God. Just before Ibrahim was supposed to kill his son, God switched Ismail for a ram and promised to bless Ibrahim for the rest of his life.

Mahmood’s message focused on the trials Ibrahim faced. He reminded the congregation to stay strong when facing temptations.

As is tradition, women and men streamed into the mosque Tuesday morning through separate entrances. They deposited their shoes in cubbies near the front doors. Women and small children sat shoulder to shoulder in rows on the carpeted floors of a balcony overlooking the minbar, or pulpit. The men sat together on the main floor.

At the end of the service, everyone exchanged hugs and wished each other “Eid Mubarak,” a traditional holiday greeting that roughly means “blessed Eid.”