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GALLERY: 3,000 people mark Eid ul-Adha celebrations in Wolverhampton

By James Vukmirovic | Wolverhampton | News | Published: | Last Updated:

A significant date in the Islamic calendar has been celebrated in the Black Country with a unique and inclusive event.

The Jamia Masjid Al-Aqsa Wolverhampton Central Mosque has held a prayer event every year to celebrate Eid ul-Adha and commemorate Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael to God.

This year, they decided to do something a bit different and, with support from the city council and the local community, the decision was made to do an outdoor prayer event on Sunday.

WATCH: Eid celebrations in Wolverhampton

Eid ul-Adha outdoor prayer event in Wolverhampton

This was the first time there had been an outdoor prayer event in Wolverhampton and inspiration was taken from Birmingham's annual event, which traditionally draws over 100,000 worshippers to Small Heath Park.

To put on such an event was a massive undertaking, with over 80 volunteers involved in everything from security to setting up marquees around the park, and an estimated cost of £6,000.

With weather warnings in place over the weekend, and the Small Heath Park event in Birmingham already moved indoors due to poor conditions, there was a risk of the event being disrupted.

However, worshippers from all over the Black Country arrived at the park, they were met with clear skies that stayed rain-free until after the service had ended.

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Community figures such as Wolverhampton South West MP Eleanor Smith, Deputy Mayor of Wolverhampton Greg Brackenridge and Conservative Parliamentary candidate Stuart Anderson were in attendance and gave speeches before the service.

The service, which started at 10am, was a traditional prayer service with readings and prayers, with over 3,000 people of all ages and cultural backgrounds participating.

Sohail Khan, Councillor for Tettenhall Regis and a member of the mosque, had been involved in the organisation and spoke of his pride at so many people taking part.

He said; "If you look around and see the different people and the different communities and backgrounds who have all come together, it's a really proud moment and I'm just happy that I was able to have a small part in it."

As the service ended, worshippers greeted each other with Eid Mubarak, an Arabic term that means “Blessed Feast”, and took refreshments before heading home to continue Eid ul-Adha celebrations with family and friends.

The mosque committee will meet later this week to discuss the event and look at plans for another event in 2020.

James Vukmirovic

By James Vukmirovic
Community Reporter - @jamesvukmirovic

Community Reporter at the Express & Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Wolverhampton. Contact me at james.vukmirovic@expressandstar.co.uk.

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