Today, Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Adha (the Feast of Sacrifice). It's the celebration of one central figure in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity: the prophet Abraham.
Eid al-Adha celebrates the occasion when Allah appeared to Ibrahim in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son Isma'il as an act of obedience to God.
The devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey Allah and spare his son. As Ibrahim was about to kill his son, Allah stopped him and gave him a lamb to sacrifice instead.
This serves as a lesson on how sacrifice, for Muslims, is purely about submitting one’s ego to the will of God. It acknowledges and recognises, 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 every day.
If they can afford to do so, Muslim families are expected to purchase a lamb or goat and then slaughter it according to Halal standards as a symbolic gesture of Abraham’s sacrifice to God. According to Islamic traditions, the meat should be divided into thirds: one for you and your family, another for friends and neighbours, and another for the poor. The whole concept of the holiday is to ensure that no one is left without meat or food on the table.
The day usually starts out in the early morning with Muslims dressed up in their best clothes, making their morning prayers, and then visiting family and friends bearing food and gifts. Since charity is one of the five pillars of Islam, Muslims must also share their food and money with those who are less fortunate as an act of celebration.
Eid al-Adha lasts for about four days. The start date falls on the evening of the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah (the final month of the Islamic calendar) and ends on the 13th day.
Eid Mubarak! (Blessed Eid)