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Islamic culture reflects how the Allah commanded Ibrahim- also known as Abraham to the Jews and Christians- for sacrificing his son as a test of his devotion. Though he loved his son, Ibrahim made up his mind to follow Allah’s command.
At the last moment, Allah told Ibrahim is leaving the child and just sacrifice something else instead of a son. In the commemoration of Ibrahim’s willingness for submitting himself to the sacred will. So Muslims families sacrifice an animal at the time of Eid-Al-Adha.
Another major distinction is that Ibrahim in the Quran in contrast to the Biblical counterpart, tells his son about the sacred command, and the son tells his father to stick at Allah’s will. The Eid-Al-Adha is performed on the 10th day of Dhul Hajjah as per the Islamic calendar. This can be observed at any time after the dusk, but before the Zuhr prayer.
The Islam religion celebrates 2 different kinds of Eid festivals. One is Eid-Ul-fitr and second one is Eid-Al-Adha. The Eid-Al-Adha honors the pilgrimage of Hajj, the divine journey which Islam made a compulsion on all the Muslims. Various people of Islamic religion performed the pilgrimage of Hajj.
People dress up in new clothes on this day and Eid prayers are being offered in groups. A khutba follows the spiritual prayer. It is compulsory for the Islamic people hear these prayers. It can be around 15-20 minutes long.
After the Eid-Al-Adha prayers are done, Islam people observe the urban ritual which includes sacrificing a sheep, cow, goat or the buffalo. This Qurbani meat is being divided in 3 parts. One for the family, second part of the neighbor and 3rd one of the poor people. Islam religion teaches that we must feed the poor. After the Khutba (sermon), Muslims give greeting to each other. Young children offer gifts from elders. After Eid-Al-Adha, all the people again get back to the normal routine life.
While the moral of the story may seem a bit grotesque for those outside (or even for those within) the Abrahamic faith, the purpose isn’t about sacrificing one’s life for the glory of God. It’s a lesson on how sacrifice, for Muslims, is purely about submitting one’s ego to the will of God. It acknowledges and recognizes, no matter the size and scale, all sacrifices Muslims make to stay on the straight and narrow path — whether that may be financial sacrifices for the wellbeing of your children or the small sacrifices you make to stay at home to help your mom with dinner. More importantly, Muslims celebrate the holiday to commemorate those sacrifices and to live in the example of their prophets like Abraham and Ismail.
There are five pillars of Islam that are mandatory for Muslims: Salat (Prayer), Zakat (Charity), Shahada (Creed), Sawm (Fasting), and, only if the individual can afford it, Hajj (Pilgrimage).
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Islam’s holiest site Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Every year on the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar, over 2 million Muslims from all around the world and from different walks of life travel to Mecca and pray to God facing the Ka’aba (a shrine built by Abraham). According to Islamic beliefs, it is believed that Prophet Mohammed said a person who performs the pilgrimage returns home as a “newly born baby, free of all sins.”
Every year, Eid al-Adha falls on the end of the pilgrimage where Muslims head to Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia and ask God for his forgiveness for their sins. In Islam, it is important to understand that sins are not washed away by the blood of another. Instead, God is seen as the Most Merciful and Gracious, and often bears us forgiveness of or sins if we plead for it.
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