"Festival of Sacrifice" or Eid
el kebir (Aid
Eid" is a holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide
to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice
his son Ismael as an act of obedience to God. It is
the most important feast of the Muslim calendar. It concludes
the Pilgrimmage to Mecca.
Eid al-Adha lasts for three days (in practice two weeks).
Muslims who can afford to do so sacrifice their best domestic
animals (usually sheep, but also camels, cows and goats) as
a symbol of Ibrahim's sacrifice. The sacrificed animals, also
known as "al-qurbani"), have to meet certain
age and quality standards or else the animal is considered an
unacceptable sacrifice. Generally, these must be at least a
The regular charitable practices of the Muslim community are
demonstrated during Eid al-Adha by the concerted effort
to see that no impoverished person is left without sacrificial
food during these days.
The meat is divided into three parts. The family retains one
third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends
and neighbors; and the other third is given to the poor and
One of the main trials of Abraham's life was
to face the command of Godto devote his dearest possession, his only son Ishmael.
Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to God's will.
During this preparation, Satan (Shaitan)
tempted Abraham and his family by trying to dissuade them from
carrying out God's commandment, and Ibrahim drove Satan away
by throwing pebbles at him. In commemoration of their rejection
of Satan, stones are thrown at symbolic pillars signifying Satan
during the Hajj rites.
Charcoal for the barbecue is for sale in a street Sekkala
Sheep for sale in the street the days before Eid
When Ishmael was about 13 (Ibrahim
being 99), Allah (God) decided to test
their faith in public. Abraham had a recurring
dream, in which God was commanding him to offer his son as a sacrifice
– an unimaginable act – sacrificing his son, which
God had granted him after many years of deep prayer. Abraham knew
that the dreams of the prophets were divinely inspired, and one
of the ways in which God communicated with his prophets. When
the intent of the dreams became clear to him, Abraham decided
to fulfill God's command and offer Ishmael for sacrifice.
Although Abraham was ready to sacrifice his dearest for Allah's
sake, he could not just go and drag his son to the place of sacrifice
without his consent. Isma'el had to be consulted as to whether
he was willing to give up his life as fulfillment to God's command.
This consultation would be a major test of Isma'el's maturity
in faith, love and commitment for Allah, willingness to obey his
father and sacrifice his own life for the sake of Allah.
Abraham presented the matter to his son and asked for his opinion
about the dreams of slaughtering him. Ishmael did not show any
hesitation or reservation even for a moment. He said, "Father,
do what you have been commanded. You will find me, Insha'Allah
(God willing), to be very patient." His mature response,
his deep insight into the nature of dad’s dreams, his commitment
to Allah, and ultimately his willingness to sacrifice his own
life for the sake of Allah were all unprecedented.
When both father and son had shown their
perfect obedience to Allah and they had practically demonstrated
their willingness to sacrifice their most precious possessions
for His sake — Abraham by laying down his son for sacrifice
and Ishmael by lying patiently under the knife – Allah
called out to them stating that his sincere intentions had been
accepted, and that he need not carry out the killing of Ishmael.
Instead, Abraham was told to replace his son with a ram to sacrifice
instead. Allah also told them that they had passed the
test imposed upon them by his willingness to carry out God's command.
A very short story from Essaouira.
Eid el Adha
During the great Muslim feast , Eid
it is common to help the poor if you can.
Not anyone can afford to buy a sheep for offering.
A merchant wanted to do
something good for
the workers waiting in the souk for work.
So he went there and offered
a days work
for anyone who was willing to accept the lowest salary of
Most of them laughed at him but after a while 3 men accepted.
They went to the merchants
house and when they arrived,
he opened the door of the farmhouse and pointed at a group
of sheep eating the herbs and he said:
- Each of you can choose
one of the sheep!
The 3 men looked at each
When they very happy returned, they passed the souk again
and told the others about their gift. They got sad and disappointed
and asked why.
The merchant explained that
he wanted the really poor to have the gift.
A worker who is prepared to work for such a low salary - is
really poor and in need.
Buying a sheep is expensive for families with low income.