‘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):
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:
To gathering cites very close to home:
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 . . .
. . . 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.