Eid al-Adha, one of the holiest times of the year for all Muslims, will start today (1 September).
The festival marks the date when Allah appeared to Prophet Ibrahim in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son, Ismael, to show his devotion. Ibrahim was about to go ahead with the sacrifice when Allah stopped him and gave him a lamb to slaughter instead.
Of course, Eid al-Adha – or ‘the feast of the sacrifice’ – coincides with the end of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia which must be undertaken once in a lifetime all physically and financially capable Muslims.
The world’s estimated 1.6 billion Muslims stand together to observe the festival, bringing a sense of great belonging and compassion.
The story behind Eid al-Adha is similar to the Christian and Jewish accounts. Whether we identify as Muslim, Christian, Jewish, numerous other Abrahamic religions or have no faith, we share the same fundamental values.
When we learn about the roots of our different faiths, we can see how much we share. How alike we are in so many ways.
Therefore, all religions must work to overcome their struggles with one another and work together for the betterment of the world. Interfaith work is very important in fostering this.
In the UK, there are countless celebrations happening up and down the country to celebrate Eid al-Adha. As we said earlier, it is a holy time of sacrifice and generosity to friends, family and the needy.
This extends to all people in our communities. As Muslims, it is important for us to reach out to our non-Muslim neighbours, to share in our common humanity, to celebrate life, together.
We live in a wonderfully multicultural, multi-faith country which celebrates diversity of faith and religion. We are stronger, together, when we understand and acknowledge our differences and work to create a peaceful and tolerant society.
Eid al-Adha presents a great opportunity to do just that.
On behalf of the Federation of Muslim Organisations, I would like to wish everyone on this auspicious occasion, peace and happiness. I pray that the Almighty bless our country, families and homes with happiness and peace, Eid Mubarak.
Federation of Muslim Organisations