Meeting, not meat-eating: Some local Muslims forgo Eid al-Adha sacrifice

Source: houstonchronicle.com | Lindsay Peyton 

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Making Eid al-Adha meatless can be more complicated than avoiding certain dishes during holiday get-togethers. That’s because this holiest day on the Muslim calendar generally revolves around eating meat.

In fact, Eid al-Adha is also known as the “Festival of Sacrifice.” For the occasion, which will be celebrated this year beginning Saturday evening through Sunday, most Muslim families will sacrifice a lamb or goat in honor of Abraham.

Muslims call him “Ibrahim” — but this leader is familiar to Jews and Christians as well, as is the story of his ultimate sacrifice.

Imam Rizwan Khan, with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Greater Houston, explains that when God commands him to do so, Ibrahim prepares to sacrifice his son. Muslims believe Ishmael was the son involved in the ritual; Isaac is his name in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

God, however, decides to spare Ishmael and replaces him with a ram instead. To commemorate this event, Muslims sacrifice an animal annually and reflect upon the story’s symbolism.

“Eid is a time when an animal is offered as a sacrifice, and food is shared,” Khan said.

He said Muslims observing the holiday only keep one-third of the meat for themselves. Another third must go to poor families, and the remainder is given to friends or family.

Partaking in the tradition of the sacrifice of the animal is important, Khan said.

Some Muslims, however, are finding ways to avoid the animal-sacrifice part of Eid al-Adha — and instead focus on charitable giving and the spirit of joining together.

For example, this year will mark the… read more at source.

 

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