Muslims gather across suburbs for socially distanced Eid prayers
Muslims gathered across the suburbs Friday for socially distanced communal prayers to observe the festival of Eid al-Adha.
The Festival of Sacrifice, as it is known, marks the culmination of the Hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia performed by millions of Muslims annually from across the globe. This year, Hajj pilgrims were limited to mere thousands due to new COVID-19 restrictions.
In the suburbs, worshippers wearing masks and spaced 6 feet apart performed the ritual Eid congregational prayer in two back-to-back services in the parking lot of Boomers Stadium in Schaumburg.
"Safety is our concern," said Rezwan Ul Haque, spokesman and past president of Masjid al-Huda in Schaumburg, which organized the services.
Attendees were asked to bring their own prayer rugs so they could stand distanced without coming into contact with anyone else. Loud speakers were set up so everyone could hear the sermons and prayers led by Sheikh Omar Haqqani and mosque Imam Sheikh Khalid Herrington.
Similar outdoor and indoor congregations took place at Islamic centers in Bolingbrook, Des Plaines, Elgin, Glendale Heights, Libertyville, Lombard, Naperville, Plainfield, West Chicago, Wheaton and Villa Park.
Festivities continue this weekend with drive-through Eid celebrations planned from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of The Mecca Center, 16W560 91st St., Willowbrook, and from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Islamic Foundation of Villa Park, 300 W. Highridge Road.