The event recalls Abraham’s unquestioning obedience to God, as he willingly prepared to take the life of his beloved son Isaac because the Almighty had asked him to. But just as Abraham was about to slay Isaac, God intervened by sending a lamb to be sacrificed instead. Eid al-Adha’s dates vary from year to year.
As the holier of the two Islamic holidays, Eid al-Adha is celebrated with prayer and food. Traditional Muslims dress up for the occasion and spend time at the mosque praying with the congregation. They end their worship by greeting their fellow devotees, exchanging gifts, and visiting them.
High-quality halal meat (from cow to camel, goat, or sheep) is shared among worshipers and split into three—one third for the family, one third for relatives, friends, and neighbors, and one third for the poor. Ma’amoul (special cookies filled with dates, nuts, almonds, figs, and other ingredients) is prepared by the women and served to guests.
While many of us might have already made plans to spend the regular holiday from school or work with a long weekend getaway, we can still celebrate this special occasion of our Muslim brothers and sisters in our own little ways:
Wish them well.
Greet Muslims you know with a smile and a cheerful “Eid Mubarak!” (“Happy Festival!”) It’s the Arabic greeting they say to each other during events like Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr. Surely they will appreciate it!
Share your blessings with others.
It doesn’t have to be halal meat, but sharing your blessings—of food, resources, clothes and books you don’t need, your time, and your companionship—with family, friends, and the less fortunate is a nod to Eid al-Adha’s practice of dividing the meat that symbolized Abraham’s act of sacrificing his son.
Include them in your prayers.
From simply wishing the members of the Muslim community a happy feast day to praying for their peace, your good intentions, especially when they come from the heart, do not go unheard.