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Definition: Eid ul-Adha from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Muslim festival that takes place during the hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, and commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ishmael at the command of Allah.

Summary Article: Id al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice; Eid)
from Cultural Studies: Holidays Around the World

This most important feast of the Muslim calendar is the concluding rite of those performing the Hajj or PILGRIMAGE TO MECCA. It is also known as Id al-Kabir, the Great Feast.

For those not on pilgrimage, Id al-Adha is a three-day festival celebrating Ibrahim's (Abraham's) willingness to obey Allah by killing his son, believed by Muslims to be Ishmael, and not Isaac as written in the Old Testament. Muslims consider Ishmael to be the forefather of the Arabs. According to the Qur'an, Ibrahim had an ax poised over the boy when a voice from Heaven told him to stop. He was allowed to sacrifice a ram instead. Many Muslim families reenact this show of faith by sacrificing a cow, a ram, or a lamb on this day, using a portion of it for the family feast and donating one- or two-thirds to the poor.

In Turkey this day is called the Kurban “sacrificial” Bayram. In northern central Africa it is called Tabaski. It is an official public holiday in numerous African countries and elsewhere around the world.



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