Monday, December 08, 2008

Eid al-Adha: The End of the Pilgrimage

(Waridaad)-The charitable tradition of the Islamic community is demonstrated during Eid al-Adha, the three-day celebration that occurs at the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca or Hajj. It is celebrated worldwide.

U.S. Muslims also celebrate, often including non-Muslims in the festivities. For example, at the Ford Motor Co., there is an annual Eid al-Adha dinner in which Ford's Muslim workers invite all employees to attend.

"We have a large number of people who participate in the annual Eid dinner," says Allison Trawick, manager in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Ford Motor Co.

The festival commemorates Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to Allah. Just as he was about to do it, Allah intervened and revealed that his "sacrifice" had already been fulfilled. Allah then provided a sheep to Ibrahim. According to the Quran, the meat of the sheep was divided into three shares--one for the poor, one for relatives and neighbors and one for self.

"About 40 percent or more of the participants [at the Ford dinner] are non-Muslim," Trawick says. "In addition, about 10 percent come from the outside community as well."

By understanding someone else's beliefs, you become more familiar with how that person came to be the person they are. Whether or not you like it is up to you, but knowing the truth eliminates the prevalence of ignorant statements and prejudice.

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