Two Eids or festivals that Muslims celebrate are Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan and Eid al-Adha, which marks the third day Hajj, the annual time when the holy pilgrimage is made to Mecca.
The holy pilgrimage from Mecca to Mecca, which is similar to fasting during Ramadan, is one of five pillars in Islam. Every Muslim who is able must make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in his/her lifetime.
Azeem Syed is the chair of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California. This umbrella organization includes mosques and Muslim organizations operating in the region.
Syed stated that the number of Muslims who make the pilgrimage to Southern California every year varies from hundreds to thousands.
Due to the coronavirus, Hajj was restricted to Saudi Arabians last year. According to Al Jazeera, this year's pilgrimage was restricted to 60,000 Saudi citizens who have been vaccinated against the pandemic.
Sacrifice - The Lesson from Eid al-Adha & COVID-19
Eid al-Adha, which means "festival of sacrifice", is three days long. It is a celebration of the obedience of Prophet Ibrahim, whom Muslims believe was willing sacrifice his son Ismael for the sake God.
Syed stated that the three lessons Muslims can learn from Ibrahim's story include sacrifice, sincerity and solidarity.
These lessons can be also learned from the pandemic, he stated.
Owaiz Danabhoy, the president of the Islamic Center of Yorba Linda said that Muslims have lost their time over the past year and a quarter, making a sacrifice to stop the spread of the virus.
He said that he understands the importance of spending time with his partner more. "We are getting back exactly the same thing we had before, but it feels so much better because we now know what loss feels like."
Sean-Habib Tu was also a president of the Islamic Center of Santa Ana. He noted that he had made a small sacrifice for the common good in isolation over the past year.
He said, "The lesson we can take away from it is that the community essence has been reverted to family rejuvenation." We sacrificed going to mosque but we also gained from praying together in family circles.