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Report of ‘Id-ul-Adha at Woking, 21 February 1937
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Report of ‘Id-ul-Adha at Woking,
21st February 1937

Maulana Aftab-ud-Din leads prayer and gives khutba

From The Islamic Review, April 1937

We present below the report relating to‘Id-ul-Adha at the Woking Mosque on Sunday, 21st February 1937, taken from The Islamic Review, April 1937 (pp. 122–124).

The photograph below also appears in this issue. (See this photo here in larger size.)

Id-ul-Adha, February 1937

Report of the occasion

EID-UL-AZHA (1355 A.H.)
By A. A. BAIG.

The festival of Eid-ul-Azha was celebrated at the Shah Jehan Mosque, Woking, on Sunday, the 21st February.

Owing to the diminutive size of the Mosque, the weather has always been a matter of anxious consideration to the authorities on such occasions.

The day being a Sunday, the congregation, as was expected, was much larger, and numbered nearly 600.

Thanks to the foresight of the authorities, who had taken every precaution in the matter, the marquees in which the prayers were held, and the adjoining one in which the lunch was served, were much larger than those on previous occasions, while the beautiful thick carpets and warm heaters added more to the comfort of the guests.

Keeping in view the ever-increasing number of the Muslim fraternity and the vagaries of the English weather, it seems necessary that the authorities should take some steps to build a big hall adjoining the Mosque for such occasions.

The scene was essentially human, in the best sense, and to one beholding it for the first time, of intense significance. Muslims from all parts of the world, of every nation and every rank of life, most of them dressed in their national costumes, including a fairly large number of European members of the fraternity, some of whom had travelled from the farthest corners of the country, were standing shoulder to shoulder giving a true and practical demonstration of the universality of the Islamic brotherhood in this huge marquee spread over the lawn with the grass covered with thick carpets.

The prayers were said at 11-30 and were followed by a sermon from the Imam, Maulvi Aftab-ud-Din Ahmad. After which, as is the Muslim custom, the congregation wished one another ‘Eid Mubarak’ — Happy Eid — with mutual embraces.

Soon after this the Imam had to proceed to the Mosque to lead a second Eid prayer, for it was found that a batch of nearly fifty people had arrived later.

The Imam in his sermon said, “Allah be praised that so many of us have assembled here to-day to celebrate the Eid-ul-Azha, the festival of sacrifices. It is celebrated not only by the scattered millions of Muslims all over the world, but also, in a centralised way, at Mecca — the one great centre of absolute unity for humanity — in the form of the Hajj, or Pilgrimage.”

At the end of the lecture the Imam touched on the necessity of tabligh in the West through more frequent discussions with the Jews and the Christians. The Muslims in England have special advantages for such discussions, and it was their duty to bring back the “peoples of the Book” to the religion of the great Patriarch whose magnanimity the Eid-ul-Azha commemorates. An appeal to the personality and mission of Abraham was bound to be most effective in this direction, the Imam further explained. For this reason we should lose no time in striving to unite the three branches of Abraham’s progeny, — the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims, through the agency of the great faith of Islam. That will be the only fitting homage to the memory of that great Patriarch whose attempted sacrifice of his then only son we are all assembled here to commemorate to-day.

Lunch was served at 1-30 p.m., the arrangements being admirably carried out by Mr. and Mrs. Tirmizey, Miss Ghani, Miss Howell and Messrs. S. D. Piracha, Abdur Rahman, Irshad and Riaz Qadir, together with a band of voluntary workers.

Among those present were His Excellency the Iranian Minister, His Excellency the Egyptian Charge d’Affaires, His Excellency the Iraqi Minister, His Excellency the Saudi-Arabian Charge d’Affaires, Sir Abdul and Lady Qadir, Major-General Sir Percival and Lady Wilkins, Madame Khalida Buchanan-Hamilton (President, the Muslim Society in Great Britain), the Dowager Duchess of Somerset, Mrs. L. Dudley, Mr. Ismail De Yorke (Chairman, the Muslim Society in Great Britain), Mrs. De Yorke, Mr. and Mrs. Zaman, Ameer Arsalan, Count E. Gioja, Afzal-ul-Ulema M. Abdul Haq, Mr. and Mrs. Said Mohamadi, Dr. and Mrs. Shastri, Mr. Nehra, Rev. Green, and groups of Muslim students from Cambridge, Oxford and Leeds.

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