Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Eid Mubarak

Today is the first day of Eid al Adha. I vaguely know the story behind Eid Al Adha, but I forgot some of the details, so I decided to read up on it. Here's a brief recap of what I have learned. Although most people here probably know what Eid al Adha is all about, I am sure some of my Canadian friends might be interested in learning more about it as well:

Eid al Adha (which basically means "Celebration of Sacrifice") is celebrated on the 10th day of the last month of the Islamic calendar (Dhul Hijjaj), roughly 70 days after Ramadan. It also marks the end of Hajj, the yearly pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam. All physically fit Muslims who can afford it should conduct Hajj in Mecca at least once in their lives. Almost 2 million people visit Mecca every year for Hajj.

Why is this Eid called a "Celebration of Sacrifice"? It's because it celebrates the occasion when Allah appeared to Ibrahim in a dream, asking him to sacrifice his son Ismail. Ibrahim obeyed, and as he was about to kill his son, Allah appeared again asking him to sacrifice a lamb instead. Which explains why, on the occasion of Eid al Adha, it is customary for Muslims to kill a lamb and share the meat with family, friends, as well as those less fortunate.

Eid Mubarak everyone!

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