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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Eid al-Adha
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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Eid al-Adha

today begins the muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha and continues through the 12th... now that i've at least begun to gain a little familiarity with muslim religious practices and holidays, i thought it would be only fitting to honor some of my new muslim friends by offering up a little information about a major muslim holiday...
Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى ‘Īd ul-’Aḍḥā, Urdu: بقرعید) or the Festival of Sacrifice is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims and Druze worldwide in commemoration of the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to Allah. The devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey Allah and spare his son. As Ibrahim was about to kill his son, Allah intervened: instead Allah provided a lamb as the sacrifice. This is why today all over the world Muslims who have the means to, sacrifice an animal, as a reminder of Ibrahim's obedience to Allah. The meat is then shared out with family and friends, as well as the poorer members of the community (Islam names Ishmael as the son who was to be sacrificed, whereas the Judeo-Christian name Isaac).

Eid al-Adha is one of two Eid festivals celebrated by Muslims, whose basis comes from the Quran. (Muslims in Iran celebrate a third, non-denominational Eid.) Like Eid el-Fitr, Eid al-Adha begins with a short prayer followed by a sermon (khuṭba).

Eid al-Adha annually falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja (ذو الحجة) of the lunar Islamic calendar. The festivities last for two to three days or more depending on the country. Eid al-Adha occurs the day after the pilgrims conducting Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide, descend from Mount Arafat. It happens to be approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan.

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