The Feast of Sacrifice
Muslims throughout the world celebrate
the holiday of Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) at the end of the Hajj
(annual pilgrimage to Mecca). Eid al-Adha lasts for three days.
What does the Feast of Sacrifice commemorate?
During the Hajj, Muslims remember and commemorate the
trials and triumphs of the Prophet Abraham. The Qur'an describes Abraham as
"Surely Abraham was an example, obedient to Allah, by
nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He was grateful for Our
bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in
this world, and in the next he will most surely be among the righteous."
One of Abraham's main trials was to face the command of
Allah to kill his only son, (whom Muslims believe to be Ishmael and not
Isaac). Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah's will.
When he was all prepared to do it, Allah revealed to him that his
"sacrifice" had already been fulfilled. He had shown that his love for his
Lord superseded all others that he would lay down his own life or the lives
of those dear to him in order to submit to God.
Why do Muslims sacrifice an animal on this day?
During the celebration of Eid al-Adha, Muslims
commemorate and remember Abraham's trials, by themselves slaughtering an
animal such as a sheep, camel, or goat. “This action is very often
misunderstood by those outside the faith,” states a Muslim Imam, “it is very
important to understand that the sacrifice itself, as practiced by Muslims,
has nothing to do with atoning for our sins or using the blood to wash
ourselves from sin. This is a misunderstanding by those of previous
generations: "It is not their meat or their blood that reaches Allah; it is
your piety that reaches Him" (Qur'an 22:37).”
What is the significance of the Feast of Sacrifice?
Muslims understand that animal sacrifices will not secure
forgiveness of sin, but still cannot fathom why the concept was introduced
by God and why he referred to it as, “… and We have redeemed him with a
great sacrifice.” It only makes sense in light of the “perfect” sacrifice of
the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave his life to grant us forgiveness and eternal
life. This is something we keep in mind when writing programs to reach our
Muslim friends – starting with common grounds.
Please join us in praying for our brothers and sisters
that the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world may reveal Himself
to them as they celebrate the Feast of Sacrifice!
“…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible
things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition
from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb
without blemish and without spot.” (1 Pet. 18, 19)