This weekend, Muslims around the world will celebrate Eid al-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice. Families and loved ones will gather to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (or SWT, which means “the most glorified” or “the most high”).
Approximately 4,000 years ago, Allah SWT came to the Prophet in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son, Ismail. But just as Prophet Ibrahim was about to perform the sacrifice, Allah SWT provided a ram to be slaughtered in Ismail’s place. During Eid al-Adha, Muslims commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to follow the command of Allah SWT.
As per tradition, many Muslim families will sacrifice an animal and divide the meat into three parts. One part is enjoyed among the family, one part is given to relatives and neighbours, and one part is donated to those in need. Here in Al-Khalil (Hebron), people are stocking up on fruit, nuts, and maamoul (date-filled shortbread cookies) before the shops close for several days. Soon, the streets of the Old City will be quiet as people take time to gather with their families.
One of the questions I often get asked at Israeli checkpoints is whether I’m Christian or Muslim. By answering with the former, I am much more likely to avoid interrogation, discrimination, and the possibility of detainment. This Eid-al-Adha, I am acutely aware of the privilege that I carry as a Caucasian Christian in Al-Khalil. I want so much for all Palestinian Muslims to be able to celebrate their holiday free from fear. I long for the day when Palestinian Muslims will commemorate Eid al-Adha in their liberated homeland. Eid Mubarak to all those who are celebrating. CPT Palestine stands with you.