Eid Al Adha: An Islamic occasion
The Muslim Eid Al Adha ( Festival of Sacrifice) is not only a religious occasion but a social one where family, kindred, friends and acquaintances renew their social bonding.
Today, Eid Al Adha is once again upon us, being on the last days of the Islamic lunar month where every 1.5 billion Muslims around the world celebrate this occasion.
The festival marks the Hajj (Pilgrimage ) in Mecca where Muslims—at least a couple of millions—from around the world gather to adhere maximum allegiance to God by performing his commandments.
The name of Eid Al Adha is today an Islamic symbolic occasion deeply-rooted in religious history when Prophet Ibrahim had a dream about the need to sacrifice his son Ismael. On the day when that was to be, in fact right at the end when the knife was taken to the neck, God sent down his word, that a ram could be sacrificed instead.
The dream was a test for Ibrahim and his son to see how far they would go to uphold the word of God and his command, hence the name Eid Al Adha.
On this occasion sheep, millions and millions of them are slaughtered, in Mecca during the Hajj, and all over the Muslim world. Those families who are prosperous, and can afford it, have to sacrifice a sheep, and distribute the meat to the poor and needy.
Eid Al Adha is a two-to-three days religious social occasion spent where everyone visits each other to signify social commitment. Visits to relatives especially aunts, nieces, uncles, brothers and sisters is especially important on this occasion.
The idea of forgiveness is stressed as there are many people who for some reason or each other have not spoken for years. This occasion is for people to make peace, to let bye gone be bye gone and start anew as part of the teachings of Islam.