For Jamillah Aquil, her head covered by a lacy white shroud, the beauty of Islam's holiest day was in seeing Muslims from all cultures united in a shared faith.
The 41-year-old Trinidad native on Saturday joined thousands of other Muslims--among them Iraqis, Kuwaitis, Pakistanis and African-Americans--to mark the Feast of Sacrifice in an early-morning prayer service at the Islamic Center of Southern California.
"It's a good feeling to know you can go to one place with so many different people from so many different worlds and feel such unity," Aquil said, as she stood outside the Los Angeles mosque on Vermont Avenue. "In there, everybody is equal."
The holiday, which is considered the most sacred of the year for Southern California's 400,000 Muslims, commemorates the prophet Abraham's offer to sacrifice his son to God. The event, known in Arabic as 'Id al-Adha, coincides with the pilgrimage, or hajj, that annually draws more than a million faithful to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.