Muslims around the world are preparing to observe the annual Eid ul-Adha or "Feast of Sacrifice" that marks the end of the yearly great pilgrimage to Mecca, called the “Hajj.”
The "Eid", commemorates what Muslims believe was the prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, at God's request. Because of Abraham's willingness, Ishmael's life was spared, and a lamb was sacrificed instead.
Kimberly Russell reports on what the "Eid" means to Muslims living in America.
Every year, as many as three million Muslims travel to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, as part of the "Hajj."
After the Hajj, there is the three-day festival that is observed by Muslims throughout the world. It marks the sacrifice and it is a connection between Muslims who made the pilgrimage and those who did not.
Lobna Ismail has never made the pilgrimage to Mecca, but she observes the Eid with her family in Maryland. "We will go to a mosque and we will do the special Eid prayer. You tend not to have breakfast before the prayer, and you go and do your special prayers with other Muslims.”
After that, she continued, “You have a meal and share -- and visiting and meeting and really having a day off. That is typically what we do in America."
Ms. Ismail says in America there is a growing awareness of the Eid and other Muslim holidays and practices. "For example, schools would include it in their calendar. In my office calendar, I was surprised to see that January 20th there it is -- 'Eid ul-Adha '-- the feast of sacrifice.
And also that the children could take off from school without being penalized. That there will be on American television--just like this story, there will be stories about this being the day of Eid ul-Adha -- 'the feast"-- and so we will find local news as well as national news that probably will have coverage," she was pleased to say.
Ms. Ismail also says the story of the Eid is one that Muslims, Christian and Jews can share. She said it highlights how people should focus on their similarities and not their differences.