Eid al-Adha, or ‘Festival of Sacrifice’, is celebrated by Muslims to mark the occasion when Allah appeared to Ibrahim in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, to demonstrate his devotion to the Almighty.
Ignoring the advice of the Devil, who tried to tempt Ibrahim into disobeying God by saying he should spare Ishmael, Ibrahim was about to press ahead with the sacrifice when Allah stopped him and gave him a lamb to kill instead.
The story is designed to demonstrate how Ibrahim’s devotion passed even the sternest test, and is told in a similar fashion in the Jewish Torah and Christian Old Testament, where God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac.
Today the story is commemorated on Eid by the sacrifice of a sheep, or sometimes a goat, although in Britain the animal must be killed at a slaughterhouse. The day is a public holiday in Muslim countries, and the festival’s Arabic title has connotations of a period of rejoicing that comes back time and again.
Eid al-Adha is not to be confused with the other major festival, Eid al-Fitr, or festival of breaking the fast, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Eid al_Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th month of the Islamic calendar. It is this month that Muslim pilgrims travel to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, to visit the Kaaba – the most sacred site in Islam and the point all Muslims face when they pray. To go on the Hajj pilgrimage at least once during their lifetime, unless they are unable to for financial, health or psychological reasons, is the duty of every Muslim and one of the five pillars of Islam. Eid al-Adha marks the end of the Hajj.
The photos were taken outside the Abu Huraira Mosque on Hardy Street in Beeston on 23 September 2015
This post was written by Noor Zaman using our Create an article for South Leeds Life page.