Eid-al-Adha – The feast of sacrifice

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At Querease, we recognise that religious beliefs have the power to divide as well as unite people. One religion can be interpreted in different ways by a different set of people, and this is how religious differences occur. Due to this, religious differences and varied misinterpretations can also take a wrong and destructive path. Due to the omnipresence and sensitivity of this social practice, it becomes necessary to know about not only our own religion, but as much as we can about other religions as well.

Last week, the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-adha was celebrated throughout the world. Eid-ul-adha, or Arabic for the ‘festival of sacrifice’, is the holier of the two Eids celebrated by the Muslim community each year. It commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim to make the ultimate sacrifice, that of his own, to obey the God’s command, before God then sends his angel to Ibrahim. The angel tells Ibrahim to spare the boy and sacrifice a nearby goat instead. The meat from the sacrificed animal is then distributed in three ways – among family, friends and relatives and finally, among the needy.

This is how the festival continues to be celebrated today. Worshippers slaughter a goat, the meat of which is shared among family, friends and the poor. The day begins with morning prayers, which take place in mass congregations. Men, women and children then expected to put on their finest clothing which is then followed by visits to family and friends and the exchange of food and gifts. Money and food is distributed among the needy. Although the celebration of the festival takes many forms in today’s day and age, all variants have an underlying theme in common i.e. that of prayers, gatherings and goat sacrifice.

Interestingly, the festival assumes heightened significance this year as the date on which was celebrated fell on September 11, which is also the date of the attacks carried out by Al Qaeda on the World Trade Centre in New York in 2001. This was the first time this had happened leading to concerns that the celebration of the holiday could be widely misunderstood, aggravating the tension between the Muslim and the Western world.

However, as the imam of the Jamaica Muslim Centre in New York puts it, “An event like this is an opportunity to eradicate misunderstands and to build bridges.”

At Querease, we have online religion experts to help you to have an in-depth knowledge of our own as well as other religions. Every religion has something true and beautiful to teach and preach, and we must understand these teachings without any kind of preconceived notions and prejudices. No religion advocates division, bloodshed, or alienation. Getting to know more about a religion with the help of religion experts clears out a lot of doubts and misconceptions we may have about our own religion or other religions, and this can go a long way in maintaining peace and brotherhood in a community.

Querease presents you the opportunity of seeking counsel from religion experts or mythologists who will give you an in-depth, unbiased and possibly an entirely new perspective with which to view the set of practices you follow. Get to know more and consult now!

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