Why do we celebrate Bakri Eid?
Bakri Eid (Eid-al-Adha) or the ‘Festival of Sacrifice’ is one of two Muslim religious holidays. It is celebrated to commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son at God’s command. Muslims, for whom this day is auspicious believe the son being referred to is Ishmael.
What is the history behind the festival?
According to Islamic tradition Allah decided to test Abraham’s faith by commanding him to bring his son Ishmael to the land of Moriah and sacrifice him there. Abraham made all the necessary preparations for the sacrifice but just as he was about to begin the sacrifice an angel appeared before Abraham and stopped him. In place of Ishmael, Abraham sacrificed a ram.
How do people celebrate Bakri Eid?
As a symbol of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah, Muslims sacrifice a prized goat. 1/3 is kept for themselves, 1/3 is given away to relatives and well-wishers and the final 1/3 is given to the less fortunate. People make visits to their relatives and engage in communal feasts that promote the family bond.
Apart from the Shia and Sunni communities of Islam there is also a tradition of Sufism. People who follow this tradition practice a ritual called dhikr or whirling. Find out about Sufi whirling and see if you can try this practice yourself.
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