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Celebrating Eid ul Adha in Tokyo

SNA (Tokyo) — This week Muslims across Japan celebrated the Islamic festival of Eid ul Adha which brought together people from many different ethnic groups. Near mosques, young children could be seen running around with their families, and friends enjoyed the occasion.

There are tens of thousands of Muslims living mainly in the three major metropolitan areas surrounding Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya.

Tokyo Camii, also known as the Tokyo Mosque or the Turkish Mosque, near Yoyogi-Uehara Station in Shibuya Ward, had hundreds of Muslims attending the Eid prayers on Tuesday. Muslims from different nations were present, and wide range of languages—including Arabic, Urdu, and Japanese—could be heard in the vicinity. Balloons were distributed to children to play with and to enjoy.

The Tokyo Camii was unusual in celebrating Eid on Tuesday, as most other mosques in Japan chose Wednesday as the celebration day.

One of these other communities was that of Otsuka Mosque, located near Otsuka Station in Toshima Ward.

Children used water guns in the hot sun, food stalls were set up selling shaved ice, including free refills. There was also a tandoori chicken skewer stall with biryani and the drink lachi. There was also a Turkish kebab truck, quite popular amongst the locals, selling ice cream in addition to kebab.

Although the population of Muslims in Japan is small, many have made Japan their permanent home. They maintain their religious beliefs and observe their own traditions, but often blending them with Japanese norms and values.

Eid ul Adha is a highly important festival within the Islamic faith as it recalls the story of Prophet Ibrahim when he was asked by Allah in a dream to sacrifice his son Ismail as an act of obedience. As Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, however, Allah stopped him and a lamb was sacrificed instead. This brought about the practice of purchasing animals, such as cows and sheep, to be sacrificed. The Eid festivities commemorate the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to follow God’s command and is now observed across the world by Muslim communities.

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