Eid al-Adha, the Festival of the Sacrifice, is an important Muslim holiday that commemorates God’s test of Ibrahim’s (Abraham’s) faith with his son Ishmael (Isaac). The day marks the end of the Hajj, the Muslim religious pilgrimage.
The holiday celebration is traditionally shared with non-Muslims to increase understanding of Muslim culture. How cool is that?
Eid al-Adha 2021
The date of Eid al-Adha changes each year because the Muslim calendar is a lunar calendar. The next celebration is Monday-Friday, July 19-23, 2021.
Eid al-Adha 2020
We celebrate Eid al-Adha 2020 from Thursday-Monday, July 30 to August 3, 2020 from sundown to sundown.
Since celebrations of faith are communal gatherings, it’s been a hard year for everyone. The COVID-19 epidemic prevented many Muslims from the traditional celebrations of Ramadan.
A New York City Holiday
Eid al-Adha is an official New York City school holiday.
The Story of Eid al-Adha
God told Ibrahim to sacrifice his son. The devil tempted Ibrahim to ignore God’s command, but Ibrahim chased the devil away by throwing stones at him.
When Ibrahim prepared to do as he had been told, God switched his son for a ram. Ibrahim had passed the test of putting his love of God above all else.
The moral of the story is that we should trust God even with the things that are most dear to us, and be willing to make tremendous sacrifices for our faith. People of faith, all faiths, know this to be true.
[Thank you to the reader who helped correct our previous mistaken interpretation of this important story.]
Many Faiths Share Abrahamic Roots
The story of Eid al-Adha is known in Judaism as the Akedah, the binding of Isaac. It is in the Tora, the first book of Moses (Genesis, Ch. 22).
The same story is in the Christian Old Testament.
The point is that Judaism, Christianity and Islam all share the same story. We have the same roots.
Islam is also a major religion of Africa from the time of Arab coastal traders, before the Europeans. So there are many Muslims in Africa and even some non-Muslim West African and Central African faiths share the Abrahamic root.
In U.S. schools we are taught that Roman and Italian Renaissance civilizations are the roots of Latin culture and Western European culture. However, recently we realized and have found confirmation in the literature that there was a third great civilization.
It was Islamic Al-Andalus in Spain. Al-Andalus was the height of Islamic culture and one of the most scientifically advanced cultures of its time. A lot of civilization had been lost when Rome collapsed, but Jewish poets who wrote in Arabic for Spanish sultans recovered classical Greek ideas from the great libraries of Islam.
So the roots of Western Civilization are Jewish + Christian + Muslim, and they are expressed through the Roman Empire, Islamic Al-Andalus and the Italian Renaissance. And in the Americas, West and Central African culture evolves into African-American culture.
The Blues, the root of all popular music in the United States, has the Muslim call to prayer in it. Wavering the voice on a phrase like a gospel singer does comes from the Islamic call to prayer. It comes to us from North Africa and Senegal/Gambia.
We are far more mixed than we are taught and we are far more similar than we are different. If you took any one of us out of the picture, you wouldn’t recognize our own culture any more.
So Eid Mubarak and we wish someone would invite us to dinner.
Islam Forbids Certain Images, but Arabic Writing is Incredibly Beautiful
We use the simple script “Eid Mubarak” (Blessed Holiday) for all Muslim holidays that we cover because we don’t know any better. We would like to learn because we want to treat everyone with respect. Please join us in that.