Recently there was an announcement everyone in the office was waiting for: Eid Al Adha has been announced to be on Tuesday, November 16th. To me, a non-muslim, that just means a 4 day holiday, but obviously EID Al Adha has a big history behind it. Let me share the story!
The Story of Eid Al Adha:
This is a story about a boy, his father and mother. The dad’s name is Ibrahim, the boy’s name is Ishmael and the mother’s name is Hagar. One day Allah (God) commanded Ibrahim to leave Canaan (which is now Palestine) and take his family to Mecca (which is now Saudi Arabia). While in Mecca, Ibrahim was ready to head back to Canaan so he left his family with loads of food and water while he took off to Canaan. Little did he know it wasn’t enough to provide for his family. His wife, Hagar, worked hard hiking up and down 2 hills to provide her son, Ishmael, with water. Right before she died, she prayed for God’s deliverance… and it worked! Miraculously, a gush of water came in and cured his thirst – he was given a large supply of water. During that time, Ishmael became a big, hot shot with this all this water and what not. Years later, his father, Ibrahim, returned to Mecca to check on his son and was extremely happy to find him doing so well.
Then Allah decided to test their faith in him and told Ibrahim to take a knife and kill his son. Both the father and son reacted shocked, but knew it had to be done because that is what Allah commanded. When Ibrahim was about to kill Ishmael, Allah was impressed that he listened and turned Ishmael into a goat. Ibrahim killed the goat rather than his son. So then for sacrificing the goat, he granted Ibrahim with a new son named Isaac.
Today, muslim families get together during the Eid Al Adha holiday to slaughter a goat and give it out to the poor. Hope you enjoyed the story!
For me on the other hand, I won’t be spending my holiday distributing meat to the poor. Maybe next year though. This Eid, I’m heading off to the glorious Nepal. I fly into Kathmandu and Pokhara next week for a short 4 day trip of hiking, rafting, temple sighting and more trekking. This may the perfect trip for exercising and losing weight right before I head back to Texas (refer to previous blog post) :p
Stay tuned for next Thursday’s post from Nepal.