Source: Huffington Post
Eid al-Adha, also called the Festival of Sacrifice, falls on Monday, Sept. 12, 2016 in North America. It is one of two annual feast festivals Muslims celebrate and coincides with the annual pilgrimage to Meccaknown as the hajj.
The timing of the holiday depends on when Saudi Arabian religious authorities see the new moon at the start of the Dhu al-Hijjah month, according to the Islamic calendar. For weeks, some U.S. Muslim leaders worried it would fall on Sept. 11, raising concerns that non-Muslims might misinterpret celebrations occurring on the solemn anniversary of the 2001 al Qaeda attacks.
Those fears dissipated in early September when authorities announced the holiday would take place on Sept. 12.
Muslims celebrate the Eid al-Adha to commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael in obedience to God in scripture. Today, celebrants frequently mark the day by slaughtering animals to feed the poor.
According to the Quran, when Ishmael (known as Isma’el in Arabic) was 13, his father, Abraham, or Ibrahim, began having dreams in which God instructed him to sacrifice Ishmael (Quran Surah 37). Unbelievable as the dreams were, Abraham decided to follow Allah’s instructions — but not before asking Ishmael if he would agree to this.