ARABIC: "What's Going On?" October 2015

Dr. Tony Tadros
Arabic Senior Producer

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 follows:

"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." (Qur'an 16:120-121)

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 He had shown that his love for his Lord superseded all others that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dear to him in order to submit to God.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)

 

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