The Islamic Feast of Eid Al-Adha
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - August 12, 2019 - 12:00am

Today, the whole Christendom should join the entire Islamic world in celebrating the Holy Feast of Eid Al-Adha, or the Great Feast of Sacrifice.

It is sad that many Christians and Muslims don’t know that we all came from the same father, Abraham, the same great prophet Muslims call Ibrahim. Abraham, who used to be called Abram, was given a new name by God himself.

He was the father of both Ishmael, from whom Muslims descended, and Isaac, father of Jacob, from whom both Jews and Christians came. If we reflect on this, we should conclude that Muslims, Christians, and Jews are brothers. Islam, Christianity, and Judaism all came from Abraham. We should all read the Torah, the Book of Genesis, and the Koran.

Genesis tells us that in her old age, Abraham’s wife Sarah could not bear a child. So, she asked her Egyptian maid, Hagar (some versions call her a slave from Egypt), to sleep with Abraham because to be childless was then considered a curse. Thus, Hagar became pregnant and delivered a boy they named Ishmael.

This boy later grew up to be the father of the Islamic nations because it was from his descendants that Mohammad came. In fact, later, Abraham brought Ishmael to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, which then made that city a holy one. Today, one of the five pillars of Islam is the Hajj where all Muslims are required to visit Mecca at least once in a lifetime.

The birth of Ishmael made Sarah jealous because Abraham gave much attention to the boy. But a miracle happened and Sarah, in her advanced age, delivered a boy, Isaac. Isaac was showered with much love and affection, and Ishmael became less attended to, making Hagar sad and jealous.

The tension between Sarah and Hagar escalated, until Sarah decided to drive away Hagar and Ishmael. Abraham, with much sorrow, bid them goodbye, and after giving them bread and water allowed them to go. Mother and son wandered in the desert until they had no more water to drink.

Hagar shed tears so that Ishmael could have water to drink. Then the angels led them to a spring where water was abundant. They proceeded to Egypt where they settled in the valley of Paran. From Ishmael descended the Islamic nations.

Isaac married Rebecca and they had a son, Jacob, who had two wives, the sisters Leah and Rachel. Jacob had 12 sons from his two wives and from his wives' maids Bilhah and Zilpah. The 12 sons who became the 12 tribes of Israel were Reuben, Simeon,, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naptalli, Gad, Asher, Isaachar, Zebulum, Joseph, and Benjamin. According to the evangelist Matthew, there were 42 generations from Abraham to Jesus, who descended from the line of Judah. The famous ascendants of Jesus included the kings David and Solomon.

Muslims believe that during Eid Al-Adha, Ibrahim was about to slay Ishmael as a sacrifice to Allah. Christians and Jews believe that it was Isaac who was about to be offered by Abraham. They all agree an angel intervened and told Abraham God was convinced Abraham really deserved the promise of the Father.

He will be the father of a great nation, with descendants much more than the sands and stars. Today, the Muslims, Christians, and Jews should hold hands in celebrating this great feast of their common father’s sacrifice.

EID AL-ADHA
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