Tuesday, October 15, 2013 will be the Moslem Festival of the Sheep (as they call it here in Cameroon). It is also known as the Festival of Sacrifice.
I went to the internet to get a little more information. It says, "The celebration of Eid-Ul-Adha is in commemoration of the command given by Allah to Prophet Abraham (may Allah be pleased with him) to sacrifice his first born son Ishmael to Him. The fulfillment of this noble command of Allah by Abraham signifies his faith in Allah...." http://www.religioustolerance.org/isl_feast.htm
It is always celebrated after a hajj (trip to the Holy Land) that all Moslems must make if they have good health and sufficient money. Here it is celebrated by all Moslems.
According to a friend here in Garoua Boulai, the celebration will be held in a large open field near town. There will be prayers, a sermon by the Imam, and the preparation of a sheep that the Imam will eat there. Everyone else will return home after the religious ceremony and eat their sheep there – provided that they can afford to pay for one.
(This is just the basics of the holiday. I encourage you to talk to a Moslem to get more details or to check it out on the web.)
Another Moslem friend asked me why Christians don’t celebrate this day since the story of Abraham is part of our Old Testament (although we say Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac…) I answered that Jesus is known as the Lamb of God because he willingly sacrificed himself for us on the cross. All other sacrifice is no longer needed since He did it once and for us all.
The 3 religions “of the Book” – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam share many common roots and beliefs. May we see our similarities this week instead of focusing on the differences.
Note: A short blog entry this week since I have been very busy meeting with Central Africans here in GB – completing ELCA scholarship applications, discussing how to create monthly reports that are complete and helpful, and talking about how 2014 planning and budgeting must be linked. Generally productive meetings, but over lots of hours.
P.S. No wonder there have been so many new “lawnmowers” around my house! Being fattened up for Tuesday!