Feast Of Sacrifice – Eid al-Adha

Feast Of Sacrifice

One of the three most holy times in Islam is Eid al-Adha. It’s a celebration of an occasion that Muslims, Jews and Christians all share as basic tenets of their faiths. You’ll recall the story of Abraham, and that he was directed to sacrifice his son. Abraham’s faith and his obedience are pillars of all three of these religions. This is part of our common ground.

For those of you who may not know the story, let me give it to you briefly. The God of Abraham called him to take his son and go onto a mountain to sacrifice, but to take no animal with him. When Abraham reached the place he was going, his God instructed him to lay his son on the altar as a sacrifice. Abraham complied and only just as he was to plunge the knife into his son’s chest, his God called to him and stopped him. Instead, Abraham was supplied with a perfect animal which he sacrificed instead.

Eid al-Adha ( Adha Eid )
The celebration lasts 3 days, beginning this year(2008) on December 8th. This bit of information comes by way of About.com:Eid

“This is the auspicious day of sacrifice. The day on which Hazrat Ibraheem (Alayhis-Salaam) was tested to sacrifice his beloved son, Hazrat Ismaeel (Alayhis-Salaam). To commemorate this event, Muslims have been directed to sacrifice animals on this day so that all Muslims can remember this incident and learn a lesson from it. Hence, this day, the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, is known as Eid-ul-Adha.

‘Eid Al-Adha’ is a symbol of obedience. It signifies submission to Allah. On this day, we commemorate together the acts of obedience and submission performed by Prophet Ibraheem and his family when he was commanded to take Hajar and their son Ismaeel to an uninhabited, barren, distant land and leave them there alone. He submitted and obeyed. When Hajar realized what was happening, she cried out, “Ibraheem! Are you going to leave us in this valley where no people live?” She repeated the question yet she received no answer, so she asked him, “Did Allah order you to do this?” He replied, “Yes.”So she said, “Then Allah will not let us perish.” Thus she submitted. Furthermore, when his son Ismaeel became older, Ibraheem received a command from his Lord to sacrifice him. He submitted and so did his son. The family of Ibraheem was a family of obedience and submission. They were tested and tried again and again, but the result was always submission and obedience. Both ‘Eid al-Adha’ and ‘Eid al-Fitr come after performing a pillar of Islam and an act of obedience. Hence ‘Eid Al-Adha and ‘Eid al-Fitr are annual reminders that this life is a test and we must be obedient if we wish to be successful.”

From the KUMC.edu website:

“Eid al-Adha or Feast of Sacrifice is the most important feast of the Muslim calendar. It concludes the Pilgrimmage to Mecca. Eid al-Adha lasts for three days and commemorates Ibraham’s (Abraham) willingness to obey God by sacrificing his son. Muslims believe the son to be Ishmael rather than Isaac as told in the Old Testament. Ishmael is considered the forefather of the Arabs. According to the Koran, Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son when a voice from heaven stopped him and allowed him to sacrifice a ram instead.”

For more, check out “Inside The Eid“, where we learn:

“…it is the Sunnah to make the Eid a joyous occasion. To that end, some mosques will rent out a hall or the local YMCA so the children can celebrate freely and to accommodate larger-than-usual crowds. They also set up activities and candy booths and will distribute toys.

Children are not the only ones having fun at the Eids. Adults enjoy games after the religious ceremonies as well: The highlight of some celebrations may include a basketball game or Islamic trivia games.”

We’re all brothers in the beginning; we’re all brothers in the end.

I am Jon, and I don’t think it mattered much to Abraham which son it was…

Image 19

.Thanks to Maurice for the reminder.

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