The Day of Sacrifice

Idul Adha is the day of sacrifice. It is the holiest day for Muslims, as it is to commemorate when Abraham showed willingness to sacrifice his son to show his love for God. The first time I experienced this day, in Indonesia, I was driving back to Makassar after spending a weekend in the beautiful mountains of Malino. We were driving along a winding road and as we turned a corner my eyes shot directly to a dead cow laid across the side of the road. There was blood everywhere. It shocked me to say the least. Wondering why I had seen such a horrible sight I questioned further. I was told Muslims pay respect to God and help others by sacrificing animals, mainly cows but sometimes goats and sheep, and sharing the meat equally between themselves, their friends and the poor. It was hard to understand how it all related together until someone told me the story.

Muslims believe in heaven and hell and showing their love for God will grant them a happy life after death. Abraham showed this love by honoring God’s command and taking his son, Isaac, to a mountain to kill him. As soon as Abraham pulled out the knife an angel appeared and told him God did not wish for him to kill his son and rewarded him with a ram. The ram was sacrificed and shared amongst the people. Muslims value this story, as it represents a person who will follow God in any situation.

Slaughtering animals also shows us that life is sacred. It symbolizes willingness to give up things that are of benefit or close to us to help those who are in need. This day starts with a morning prayer, which all men must attend the mosque for. However in large cities there is not enough space for everyone in the mosques so you will see large gathering in parks and fields, where the government have organised the Idul Adha prayer to take place.The rest of the day continues as normal, with shops and restaurants still open and others eating with friends and family. The majority of people in Indonesia are Muslim, so you won’t be far from this celebration where you can oversee their morning prayer and view how sacred this day is to them.

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