Visiting During The Muslim Holiday, Eid al Adha
July 2022
By a member of SEND’s Diaspora | North America teamFrom July 7-12, if COVID conditions permit, up to a million Muslims from around the world will be participating in Hajj near and at Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Muslims worldwide will be celebrating their big holiday called Eid al Adha, which comes in the middle of Hajj on July 9. This same Eid or festival is called Eid I Qurban by Afghans and other Persian speakers. The meaning in English is the same, the festival of the Sacrifice, where Muslims celebrate the time God called Abraham to sacrifice his son. Then at the last moment provided a ram so that Abraham didn’t need to sacrifice his son. Muslims change the name of the son from Isaac to Ishmael, to fit their narrative, but the overall meaning of God’s provision of a sacrifice just in time is the same.It is a great time to have a discussion of why this sacrifice is necessary every year. Because Muslims will set aside an unblemished animal (lamb, cow, or even camel) to sacrifice at this special time. They will pray over the animal before sacrificing it. They pray believing this animal will cleanse them and their families from their sins. And it is done year after year. Perhaps you could read and talk about Hebrews 9:28 (and 10:1-4 too if possible). “So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”

Muslim Family Sharing a Meal

It is a big celebration time for Muslims. In their home countries, they will take three or four days to celebrate by visiting family and neighbors alike. The length of time of an Eid visit is not so important, it is the fact that you took the time to come to their house that is important. When we first worked at the eye hospital, we would visit a few families and co-workers each Eid. We thought we were doing well. Then we found out that we were offending co-workers by not visiting them over Eid. They all wanted to be visited, every Eid! So, early in the morning of each Eid, we would gather at the hospital, pile 25 co-workers into a couple of vans, and drive from house to house. We would drink one cup of tea. Then someone would jump up and say we had to go to their house next. So, we would get up and jump in the van and drive to the next house. We would do this all day and if we didn’t get to everyone’s house, we would do it again the next day, until everyone’s house had been visited!July 8th is called the day of Arafa or day of preparation. It is a further indication that Muslims take this time very seriously and want to be prepared and ready for it. You could ask a family you are getting to know if you could visit them during this time. While there, you might consider asking them their thoughts on this particular holiday. Pray and ask God to give you wisdom for this visit. Pray that you might reflect the love of Christ into the lives of your friends.

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