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Give up something you enjoy for one day. Tell us about it.

30 November 2009 No Comment

Level: Community — Pillar: Interfaith Understanding

This week’s featured story came in from Washington, DC:

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Over this past weekend, Muslims throughout the world celebrated the holiday of Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice).

According to Muslim faith, Eid al-Adha is at the end of the Hajj (the annual pilgrimage to Mecca) and commemorates the sacrifice that Abraham was willing to make of his own son Ishmael when he was commanded to show his commitment to Allah. When Allah was convinced that Abraham was willing to sacrifice Ishmael to prove his faith the angel Gabriel substituted a lamb for Ishmael.

On Eid al-Adha, in commemoration of Abraham’s sacrifice, Muslim families around the world slaughter a sheep, lamb, goat, camel, or cow (or buy meat slaughtered according to Islamic requirements from a market or grocery store). One-third of the sacrificed meat is eaten by immediate family, one-third is given away to a larger community of family and friends, and one-third is donated to the poor. The act symbolizes a willingness to give up things that are of benefit or close to our hearts. It also symbolizes a willingness to give up some of our own bounty, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need.

I have often been told by Muslim friends that the symbolism is in the attitude: a willingness to make sacrifices in our lives and opening our hearts to share with others, recognizing that all blessings come from Allah.

No matter what faith tradition you are, Eid al-Adha is a good reminder to open your heart and to share the blessings in your life. In recognition of this, I encourage you to give up something you enjoy for just one day.

Please use the comments section below to share your experience of sharing the blessings in your life.

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