Muslims make sacrifices during Eid al-Adha

Haley Keding

Eid al-Adha, the Islamic Festival of Sacrifice, began Saturday and encourages Muslims to deny themselves and generously give to others.

Generosity comes in many forms, and for Eid, Muslims choose to sacrifice livestock as a gift to God and other people.

“If you are able, you’re supposed to slaughter sheep and distribute it to the poor,” said freshman biology major Noor Samman.

The tradition comes from a passage in the Quran where God tests the faith of the prophet, Abraham, instructing him to kill his son, Ishmael. Abraham follows this command, but God provides a sheep to sacrifice instead.

“We carry on that tradition in remembrance of how the prophet showed love to the message of God,” Samman said.

Samman said her family usually gives money to her uncle in Syria to sacrifice a sheep to give to the Syrians, and it’s especially important now because of the number of refugees in Syria.

Mahbobeh Vezvaei, a mathematical science professor, said she also paid for an overseas sacrifice.

“I ordered the lamb to be sacrificed, and they will send it to Africa,” Vezvaei said.

On this holiday, Muslims also make financial sacrifices to benefit the well being of others.

“One of the big messages of Eid is generosity toward others,” said Rami Kalash, a senior integrated life science major. “People will just donate money voluntarily to a charity.”

Vezvaei said he set aside money each day leading up to Eid to give away to a charity of her choice. She also sacrificed some of her time to grow closer to God. She prayed for 40 days prior to Eid in remembrance of Moses when he prayed for 40 days before God manifested himself in the form of light.

Prayer is a vital aspect of Eid for Muslims and the Islamic Society of Akron and Kent, or ISAK, provided an opportunity for Muslims to worship at a mosque in Stow.

Aaliah Haque, ISAK’s public relations director, said between 800 and 1,000 people attended the service as compared to 500 who attend weekly worship on Fridays.

Contact Haley Keding at [email protected].