Today was Eid Al-Adha, one of holidays that Muslims officially celebrate. This is meant to be the biggest holiday for Muslims but I have to admit, growing up I used to think of this holiday as second to Eid al-Fitr, which was the day after Ramadan. We had just fasted for 30 days and Eid al-Fitr was the reward! We would cook good food, see family and friends, and if you’re in the Bay Area, head on over to the Santa Clara County fairgrounds at some point in the day to see everyone. That last sentence is what most folks do during Eid al-Adha as well but it doesn’t come after 30 days of fasting so whereas the first holiday seemed like a reward, I didn’t know how this one fit in. Like, we get to celebrate on some random day just because?
I obviously knew what the holiday was about. I understood that it had to do with the sacrifice that Abraham was expected to make, and was going to make for the sake of God, but my mindset was that of “holiday”=”reward” and with Eid Al-Adha, that didn’t fit.
In the past few years though, I made the effort to think more of Eid Al-Adha and make sure I somehow commemorate the day. And now… well things are different because of where I celebrated this holiday last time, in Saudi Arabia, taking part in Hajj. This pilgrimage includes rituals that actually tie back to Abraham himself.
Abraham was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice by God’s command, that of his son, who had also accepted the command. Is that not important, to remember what Abraham was going to do for the sake of God?
So, Eid al-Adha…I’m officially down with this holiday. It took a while, but I finally get it.
Further reading: Check out this article for the full impact of the holiday.
Note: I started off this post by saying “Today” but the initial day of Eid Al-Adha ended a few hours ago.