Muslims around the world will be celebrating Eid al-Adha – one of the two most important festivals in the Muslim calendar – this week.
But what exactly is Eid al-Adha?
Eid al –Adha or The Festival of Sacrifice is celebrated by Muslims around the world and marks the end of the Hajj, which is the annual pilgrimage to Makkah. During the Hajj, Muslims remember and commemorate the trials and triumphs of the Prophet Abraham.
One of Abraham's main trials was to face the command of Allah to kill his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah's will. However at the last minute Abraham’s son was replaced with a ram and Allah revealed to him that his "sacrifice" had been fulfilled. He had shown that his love for his Lord superseded all others.
Abraham’s sacrifice is remembered during the celebration and Muslims may commemorate the day by slaughtering an animal such as a sheep, camel, or goat. The meat from the sacrifice is meant to be shared with family, friends and also those less fortunate, so that they too can take part in the celebrations. It is truly a time of sharing with all your loved ones but also those less fortunate. The day typically begins with morning prayers, followed by visits to friends and family and the exchange of gifts and food.