Dialogue Across Borders wishes Muslims a blessed ʿEīd al-Aḍḥā

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Wed, 2023-06-28
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The celebration of ʿEīd al-Aḍḥā is observed on the tenth day of Dhū al-Ḥijjah, the final month in the Islamic calendar. For most Muslims in the world, that is today (June 28th) according to the Western/Gregorian calendar. Literally translated as the “feast of the sacrifice,” the spiritual significance of the day is closely connected to the story of Abraham/Ibrāhīm and Ishmāʿīl as presented in the Islamic tradition. It is widely known that the Islamic tradition generally affirms that Ibrāhīm was on the verge of sacrificing Ishmāʿīl in obedience to God’s command (Qurʾān 37:100-112), while Judaism and Christianity maintain that it was Abraham’s other son, Isaac/Isḥāq (Genesis 22). Although the significance of the story differs in the three traditions, they find some common ground by identifying key spiritual lessons within it about the ultimate value of God over even the most precious things in human life as well as God’s generosity in substituting an animal for sacrifice instead of Abraham’s son. In general, the Islamic tradition has held that it is highly recommended for Muslim families who can afford it to arrange for the slaughter of a livestock animal (e.g. a sheep, goat, or cow) during the holiday. The food is then distributed to family, friends, and the poor. 


For many non-Muslims, it is easy to confuse the two central Islamic holy days, ʿEīd al-Aḍḥā and ʿEīd al-Fiṭr. It can be helpful to remember that ʿEīd al-Fiṭr is associated with the end of the fasting month of Ramaḍān and does not necessarily involve ritual slaughter. On the other hand, ʿEīd al-Aḍḥā has an association with Dhū al-Ḥijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar and the period devoted to the Ḥājj pilgrimage to Mecca. This video provides a helpful overview of some of the key differences between these two feasts. 


In Egypt, soaring meat prices have led the government and various charities to take additionalmeasures to ensure that Egyptians can celebrate ʿEīd al-Aḍḥā. Like many other Christian leaders, Pope Tawāḍrūs II congratulated Egyptian President al-Sīsī and the Grand Imām of al-Azhar, Dr. Aḥmed al-Ṭayyeb, on the occasion.


Dialogue Across Borders wishes all our Muslim readers a blessed ʿEīd al-Aḍḥā with family and friends. 


With best wishes,

Matthew Anderson

Executive Editor

Dialogue Across Borders 


June 28, 2023