The Id el Kabir also known as Id el-Adha is a Global Islamic festival which falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hija to celebrate and commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son.
The holiday is seen as the holier of the two annual celebrations all Muslims partake in as it honors prophet Ibrahim's selflessness and willingness to sacrifice his son as an obedience to Gods command.
Same Characters, Different Story
The festival is Eid al-Adha, which means the Feast of Sacrifice. Muslims derive this celebration from the Qurans account of Abrahams willingness to sacrifice his son. Although the passage does not mention the name of the son Allah instructed Abraham to sacrifice, Muslims believe it was Ishmael, not Isaac, whom Abraham took up the mountain as the bible suggests. Muslims commemorate the obedience of Abraham by killing an unsullied animal, typically a goat, lamb, or cow. The meat from the animal is then divided into three parts and given to family, friends, and the poor, respectively.
How to celebrate with Muslims during this Id el Kabir celebration.
Although a mountain of differences exist between the Christian and Islam faiths respectively, there are few common beliefs that can create a medium for Christians to share the gospel with Muslims and the Eid al-Adha is one of such opportunities, and here is how we can go about it;
Both Christians and Muslims accept Abraham as a faithful follower of the one true God. In every Eid al-Adha, the faith and actions of Abraham are a point of focus for every Islamic life. Christians all over the world can join in the conversation, exploring Abrahams faith and throwing more light on the biblical truth as intended by God.
Our Need for Forgiveness
The Islamic faith does not subscribe to the belief that God requires a sacrifice for the forgiveness of the sins of man. However, lets take a closer look at the offering the Lord instructed Abraham to make. According to the bible, God's requirement for a burnt offering is seen a few times like in Gen. 22:3, 6, 7, 8, and 13 also in Leviticus 1:317 which shows that the burnt offering was the presentation of an innocent and unsullied animal to be totally consumed on the altar for the restitution of sin. In Lev. 17:11, Gods words written clearly states; For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given this obligation to you to make atonement on the altar for your lives, since it is the lifeblood that makes restitution for sin. The Koran also keeps account of God providing a ram in replacement for Ishmael during the testing of Ibrahim's obedience and selflessness.
The One true Sacrifice
After sharing the biblical story of Abraham and drawing attention to the points above, Christians can transition to the gospel. The story of Abraham and Isaac foreshadows the person and work of Christ. Just as the Lord required and provided a blood sacrifice in the place of Isaac, so he required and provides a blood sacrifice for all people through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus.
Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha on the tenth day of the Islamic month Dhu al-Hijjah. The official date for the celebration this year is July 31st, lets us all join the Muslims to acknowledge and honor the selfless act of Ibrahim (Abraham).
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