Eid Al Adha
The Feast of Sacrifice
The boy looks up lovingly at his father, despite the knife in his father's hand - a knife which, he believes, will soon end his life. A grimace of pain is hidden behind the father's beard. The father ignores the ethereal whispers that surround him, coming from the very devil himself, urging him to desist. He knows what must be done.
The father looks at the boy, then, slowly, reluctantly, raises his knife to strike the boy down.
The strike is never made. Instead, God, who, in order to test Ibrahahim's faith, had ordered Ibrahim to kill his son, intervenes, sending an animal to be sacrificed in his place. From this day forth, no human sacrifice would ever be made by the people of the book.
And to this day Muslims remember the story of Abraham on Eid Al Adha - the feast of sacrifice.
Eid Al Adha takes place roughly seventy days after the end of Ramadan, and coincides with the day that pilgrims performing the Hajj, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, descend from Mount Arafat. On the Islamic calendar the date is 10th of Dhu'l-Hijja, the last month of the lunar year: being lunar, this can take place at any season.
On the Day
The day starts very early. Muslims dress in their best clothes, and go to a communal morning prayer.
As Ibrahim did, all financially able Muslims must make a sacrifice (Qurban). Families who are not financially able may get together to pool their money and buy an animal.
The animal sacrificed must be of a certain age and quality. As Muslims make the sacrifice they will recite a prayer:
In Qatar these greetings are made at specifically designated areas and slaughterhouses.
The meat must not be wasted. One third will be given to the poor and needy, one third to the extended family while one third will be for his own household.
As with Eid Il Fitri, the holiday is also a time for visiting and greeting friends and family, for eating and for giving presents.
On Eid Al Adha you can greet Muslims by saying:
Eid Mubarak." (Blessed Festival.) The same greeting is also used for Eid Al Adha.
They, in turn may respond by saying: "Taqabbal Allah minha wa minkum."
Which means: May Allah accept [Good deeds] from us , and from you.
Also see Eid Al Adha: The Feast of Sacrifice on the blog.
Listen to the haunting sound of the Adhan, the Muslim Prayer Call.