GOD ONLINE: Exploring media spirituality

Web sites, TV, films, books and the search for meaning.

Holiday Almanac: Muslims observe Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice

leave a comment »

Calligraphic inscription for Bismillah, Arabic for "In the name of God." Photo by Salman Rana via sxc.hu.

Calligraphic inscription for Bismillah, Arabic for “In the name of God.” Photo by Salman Rana via sxc.hu.

A billion and a half Muslims today celebrate the Eid al-Adha or Festival of Sacrifice, one of the two most important days on the Islamic calendar.

The festival commemorates a story in the Quran, the Islamic holy book, in which Abraham offers his son as a sacrifice on God’s command. At the last moment God stops him and provides a sheep instead. The Hadith, the collection of sayings by the prophet Muhammad, says the boy was Ishmael, considered to be the ancestor of all Arabs.

Observances include a two-hour service starting with salat or prayer, followed by a sermon. Muslim families traditionally have been expected to sacrifice animals for the holy day. However, they may instead donate money to charitable Islamic groups overseas that slaughter livestock, then give the meat to the poor.

Eid al-Adha also marks the culmination of the Hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca in present-day Saudi Arabia. Making the Hajj at least once during a lifetime, if possible, is one of the five ‘‘pillars” or basic requirements of Islam.

— James D. Davis

Advertisements

Written by Jim Davis

October 4, 2014 at 5:35 am

Posted in islam, religion

Tagged with , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: