Home > Cultural Musings, Scripture, World, World Religion > ‘feast of sacrifice’ ends Muslim Hajj

‘feast of sacrifice’ ends Muslim Hajj

I am no expert on Islam.  In fact, I would consider myself to be pretty ignorant when it comes to the Koran or to the daily practice of Muslim people around the world.

My ignorance made today’s photo post over at The Big Picture all the more interesting and informative.

According to The Big Picture:

Yesterday marked the end of the Muslim festival Eid al-Adha, or “Feast of Sacrifice” – which also marks the end of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

One of the pillars of Islamic faith, the Hajj must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by any Muslim who has the ability to do so.

This year, nearly 3 million Muslims made the Hajj, without major incident, and are now returning to their homes across the world. Muslims who stayed closer to home celebrated Eid al-Adha, commemorating the the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son to God.

Traditional practices include ritual prayers, the sacrifice of animals (usually sheep), distribution of the meat amongst family, friends and the poor, and visiting with relatives.

My ignorance prevents me from making an educated comment on the nature of Eid al-Adha sacrifice, but it is worth noting that millions of people, worldwide, still gather for the shedding of blood.

Here is an image of thousands of pilgrims gathered in Mecca (images and captions from The Big Picture):

Tens of thousands of Muslim pilgrims move around the Kaaba, the black cube seen at center, inside the Grand Mosque, during the annual Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Tens of thousands of Muslim pilgrims move around the Kaaba, the black cube seen at center, inside the Grand Mosque, during the annual Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

How incredible is the scale of this picture?  At first glance, the Grand Mosque registered as a massive sports arena in my American mind.

Lest we deceive ourselves, the celebration of the “Feast of Sacrifice” is not limited to the Middle East.  As the following images show, Eid al-Adha spans the globe …

From the other end of the world:

Members of an exclusive Muslim community who call themselves An-Nadsir attend prayer to celebrate Eid al-Adha in a remote area in Gowa district, in Indonesia's South Sulawesi province, December 8, 2008. (REUTERS/Yusuf Ahmad)

Members of an exclusive Muslim community who call themselves An-Nadsir attend prayer to celebrate Eid al-Adha in a remote area in Gowa district, in Indonesia's South Sulawesi province, December 8, 2008. (REUTERS/Yusuf Ahmad)

To gathering cites very close to home:

Some of the approximately 12,000-13,000 members from 19 mosques in the Islamic Society of Greater Houston gather on Moday, Dec. 8, 2008 to celebrate Eid-al Adha at the Reliant Center Hall in Houston, Texas. (AP Photo/ Michael Paulsen / Chronicle )

Some of the approximately 12,000-13,000 members from 19 mosques in the Islamic Society of Greater Houston gather on Moday, Dec. 8, 2008 to celebrate Eid-al Adha at the Reliant Center Hall in Houston, Texas. (AP Photo/ Michael Paulsen / Chronicle )

I am almost embarrassed to admit that for all of my 26 years, the Hajj and Eid-al Adha have been barely a blip on my radar screen.

Our world manages to be both incredibly large and incredibly small, incredibly distant and amazingly near to us.  As a Christian, I need to realize–we all need to realize–that we live in an increasingly global community.

The nations are no longer so foreign to us.  The nations have now come to us.

We must realize–I must realize–that there is much to learn and much work to be done.  There is much need to make Christ known.

We have been entrusted with the message that this . . .

Muslims offer prayers before sacrificing a goat on Eid al-Adha in Allahabad, India, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

Muslims offer prayers before sacrificing a goat on Eid al-Adha in Allahabad, India, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

. . . is no longer required for us to gain access to God, for:

when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.  For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,

“This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts,
and write them on their minds,”

then he adds,

“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Hebrews 10:12-18

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  1. Beth
    December 12, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Great post!

  2. Pinckard
    December 12, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Hey Lee this was a really encouraging post. I find myself often really struggling to how much time I need to spend knowing the Word of God *b/c I have MUCH to learn* verses learning about other world religions, and this is an important tradition. It’s great to know that we need not travel to ‘idol’ places to worship our God, for He has made His indwelling within our very selves.

    Love ya brother,

    pinkmeltingpot

  3. Noon
    December 29, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Jesus is anxiously expected by the Muslim’s to arrive near the end of time; when he will come, he will make matter’s right between the nations, destroy anti-christ, and he will correct the vulgar concept of trinity.

    For a definition of trinity and how it was introduced later into Christianty, see this link from Wikipedia and the some passages from the same page below:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity

    The basis for the doctrine of the Trinity is found in New Testament passages that associate the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.[28] Two such passages[28] are Matthew’s Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19) and St Paul’s: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14).

    In 325, the Council of Nicaea adopted a term for the relationship between the Son and the Father that from then on was seen as the hallmark of orthodoxy; it declared that the Son is “of the same substance” (ὁμοούσιος) as the Father. This was further developed into the formula “three persons, one substance”. The answer to the question “What is God?” indicates the one-ness of the divine nature, while the answer to the question “Who is God?” indicates the three-ness of “Father, Son and Holy Spirit”.[29]

    Saint Athanasius, who was a participant in the Council, stated that the bishops were forced to use this terminology, which is not found in Scripture, because the Biblical phrases that they would have preferred to use were claimed by the Arians to be capable of being interpreted in what the bishops considered to be a heretical sense.[30] They therefore “commandeered the non-scriptural[31] term homoousios (‘of one substance’) in order to safeguard the essential relation of the Son to the Father that had been denied by Arius.”[32]

    The Confession of the Council of Nicaea said little about the Holy Spirit.[28] The doctrine of the divinity and personality of the Holy Spirit was developed by Athanasius (c 293 – 373) in the last decades of his life.[33] He both defended and refined the Nicene formula.[28] By the end of the 4th century, under the leadership of Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus (the Cappadocian Fathers), the doctrine had reached substantially its current form.[28]

    [edit] Comma Johanneum

    Main article: Comma Johanneum

    One explicit Trinitarian passage, called the Comma Johanneum, which is often quoted from the King James Version of 1 John 5:7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” is believed to be a later addition. It is commonly found in Latin manuscripts, but is absent from the Greek manuscripts, except for a few late examples, where the passage appears to have been back-translated from the Latin. Erasmus, the compiler of the Textus Receptus, on which the King James Version was based, noticed that the passage was not found in any of the Greek manuscripts at his disposal and refused to include it until presented with an example containing it, which he rightly suspected was a gloss after the fact.[34] Although the Latin Church Father, Saint Cyprian, is thought to have referred to the passage,[35] it is now considered not to have been part of the original text, and is omitted from modern translations of the Bible, even from the revision of the Vulgate that is now the official Latin text of the Roman Catholic Church.[36]

  4. Noon
    December 29, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    There are only two major monotheistic religions on the face of earth: Islam and Judaism. The practice of traveling to the Holy Kaabah is in commemoration of Prophet Abraham who had built a house to remember the One True God in the same place; not an Idol.

    Idol worship definition from Princeton:
    Idolatry: the worship of idols; the worship of images that are not God

    wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

    Muslims do not worship images of God, hence if you go to the Holy Kaaba or your local Mosque you will not find any images.

  5. Fouly74
    November 27, 2009 at 3:46 am

    Thanx Noon. May Allah protect you for Islam! Your comment, reply and correction of misconceptions about Islam do matter.

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