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Eid al Adha Has Changed
By Micah Halpern

Friday July 31, 2020

I've Been Thinking:

Eid al Adha is one of two most important holidays in Islam. The other is Eid al Fitr, But Eid al Adha takes precedence, it is actually the more important of the two.

Eid al Adha translates from Arabic as the Festival of the Sacrifice, it is found in the Koran in section 30, or Sura 30, lines 100 to112. It is the parallel story of the Binding of Isaac from Genesis 22. This holiday is also known as Eid al Qurban. Qurban is a synonym for sacrifice.

In the Koranic version of the story, Allah challenges Ibrahimís faith and commands him to take Ishmael, his son, and offer him as a sacrifice. In the end, Allah intervenes and stops the sacrifice. and Ibrahimís faith has been proven. The Koranís rendition is a near exact replica of the story of Abraham and Isaac in the Bible.

At the end of the Koranic story, a sheep is replaced for Ishmael. In the Bible, a ram takes the place of Isaac.

Eid al Adha is as much a feast as it is a holiday. The feast is traditionally a four day celebration of food and prayers with family. An entire sheep is slaughtered and prepared. Two thirds of the sheep is eaten by the family, the third share is gifted to the poor.

But we are not living in normal times. And many Islamic traditions, like almost all other traditions and behaviors, have had to shift and morph to accommodate COVID-19. This year, because of COVID coupled with a crippling financial crisis, the Islamic population on the West Bank has scaled down their celebrations.

The sale of animals has dropped more than 50% according to some slaughterhouses and animal sellers. Some families are abandoning the traditional sheep and instead, pooling their funds and buying a larger animal, such as a cow. The celebration and the tradition has been changed.

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2 August 2020 10:45 AM in Thoughts

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