Happy Eid al-Adha!
Today Muslims around the world are celebrating the Festival of the Sacrifice, Eid al-Adha, one of the most important holidays in the Muslim calendar. On this day Muslims gather at a mosque for a common prayer and sacrifice an animal to honor the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his only son.
The holiday is marked on the 10th day of the Zul Hijjah month and marks the end of the fifth pillar of Islam. According to a tradition, every Muslim is obligated to sacrifice a lamb or a cow, or other livestock animal.
The head of the Russian Muftis Council, mufti Sheikh Ravil Gaynutdin, reminded in his speech the true meaning of Eid al-Adha. "True worship of God is a sacrifice of one's life, health, property and time for doing good and bringing benefits to the society, despite all the difficulties and temptations. On these days this worship of God is realized through the sacrifice of one's property to needy people, gifting meat to the poor, inviting relatives and neighbors, regardless of their religious beliefs or ethincity," he said.
The second very important part of the meaning of the Festival is nobody is allowed to sacrifice people including self. "Even the prophet Ibrahim did not have the right to sacrifice a man. Therefore, no one has the right to claim that he has God's support to sacrifice other people's lives," Gaynutdin stressed.
According to the tradition, in the morning Muslims perform ablution, put on festive clothes and perform a collective prayer after the sermon in a mosque. Then, after a ritual sacrifice, Muslims give one-third of the meat to the poor and orphans, the second part to guests, and the third to their relatives. The holiday lasts for three days, during which believers recite special prayers like Takbir - praising God by pilgrims during the Hajj.
In Moscow, a festive prayer takes place in four mosques and five communities. This year, the Central Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Moscow has decided to extend the holiday and organize several activities after end of Eid al-Adha. On September 17, the Victory Park will host the KurbanFEST, the 'Drawing closer' action will be held on September 19-25 (distribution of meat of sacrificial animals to veterans, pensioners, needy, to hospitals, orphanages, kindergartens and schools). From September 16 to 18 halal cafes and restaurants will distribute free food for Moscow residents and visitors.