Yaqoob Malik is in Charleston as part of a U.S.-Pakistan partnership program arranged by the International Center for Journalists in Washington, D.C.
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As in other parts of the world, the local Muslim community celebrated Eidul Azha at the Islamic Center in South Charleston on Tuesday.
The main Eid congregation drew as many as 600 people to the mosque, including people originally from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The people, especially the women and children, wore beautiful, colorful clothes for the Eid's occasion, as most were in their national dress, giving a cultural look from the respective Muslim countries.
Speaking on the occasion, the Imam -- Ehteshamul Haque, who is from India and has been here since 2008 -- stressed upon the faithful to follow the sacrifice of Hazrat Ibrahim A.S, as he had performed some 4,000 years ago. Such sacrifice is the way you can achieve any goal in every field of life, he said.
Muslims celebrate two Eid festivals in a year: one is Eidul Fitar, which is held soon after Ramadan, and then Eidul Azha after the Hajj, in which Muslims slaughter animals to commemorate and recognize the sacrifice of Hazrat Ibrahim, the Imam informed.
The Imam described Hazrat Ibrahim A.S as a strong, polite and caring person who commands respect of the followers of other religions. Ibrahim is known as Abraham in the Old Testament.
"So, we should all follow the teaching and unique philosophy of Hazrat Ibrahim A.S to become successful in all manners," he stressed.
Under these teachings, the people should serve humanity and act in the society with sincerity, devotion, commitment and Akhlaz (good intentions) to get the mercy of God and should avoid sins and discourage evilness, he urged.
Otherwise they cannot become successful and strong person in the world, he cautioned.
He also lauded the interfaith harmony among the local Muslim community and people of other religions.