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Eid-Al-Adha


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The Islamic Calendar
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Eid-Al-Adha is one of the major holidays of Islam. According to Muslim tradition, it celebrates the sacrifice that Abraham was willing to make of his own son Ishmael when he was commanded to show his commitment to Allah. At Allah's direction, the angel Gabriel substituted a lamb for Ishmael, after Allah was convinced that Abraham would indeed sacrifice Ishmael to prove his faith.

On this day, Muslims celebrate in several ways. A large feast is the high point of the day. The name of the holiday, Eid Al-Adha, means "The Feast of the Sacrifice." An animal is sacrificed, in much the same way that Abraham sacrificed a lamb. One-third of the meat is given to the poor, and the rest goes to the holiday feast. Children get gifts to commemorate the holiday, and special prayers are said throughout the day.

Eid Al-Adha takes place on the 10th and last day of the Hajj, the celebration of holy pilgrimage to Mecca, in the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar. (In 2012, this is October 26 on Western calendars.) Muslims the world over are encouraged to make a pilgrimage to Mecca and celebrate.

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