Sharing Stories: Meeting Sharafat Khan
Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, is the second and arguably biggest main holiday celebrated in Islam. The holiday kicks off Saturday, July 9th this year and our own Sharafat Khan wanted to share his story around how Eid al-Adha is celebrated and the importance of the holiday.
For those who don’t know, can you explain what Eid al-Adha and how you celebrate it?
Islam, Judaism, Nasrani and Christianity are related to this special holiday. According to the four Abrahamic monotheistic religions, of which is Islam one, Eid al-Adha—the Feast of the Sacrifice—is the latter of the two official holidays which are celebrated within Islam, Judaism and Christianity (the other being Eid Al Fitr). The day is also sometimes called Big Eid but did not get celebrated as Eid Al Fitr because Muslims fast for 30 days during Eid Al Fitr and they are excited to finish that month.
It honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of obedience to God’s command. [In the text,] before Ibrahim could sacrifice his son, God provided him with a lamb which he was supposed to slaughter in his son’s place. In commemoration of his intervention, animals are ritually slaughtered where one-third of their meat is consumed by the family which offers up the animal; the rest of the meat is distributed to the poor and the needy.
My favorite dish for this holiday is mutton biryani and Shami kebab. No one can make it better than my mom! (And yes, I am biased!)
Sweets and gifts are given, and extended family members enjoy the gathering trade gifts, visit relatives and friends. Community members are supposed to go pray in mosque, and, after the prayer, selected animals are sacrificed.
Why is this holiday important to you and your family?
Eid al-Adha is important because it teaches to be thanked full and be happy what you have, if you have mean to help others help others by donating and taking care of needy (sacrifice).
What is one thing you wish people could know about this culture and holiday?
I am not religious, and I am non-practicing, [but] I believe all religion is same and they all teach the equality, love, and care regardless of who we are.
Why did you want to share your story?
I believe learning about each other's culture can create a better society and understanding among all of us which promote a stronger society or country better world order.
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