Dear colleagues and friends,
Canada’s population comes from all regions of the world. To encourage you to explore our country’s rich diversity, each month we highlight one important date, event, festival, or celebration. This month, we are pleased to highlight Eid al-Adha, which will be celebrated on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, 1443 Hijri, the Islamic lunar month, corresponding to July 9, 2022, depending on the sighting of the moon.
Eid al-Adha is one of the two annual celebrations for Muslims (the other one is Eid al-Fitre). It is also known as the “Feast of Sacrifice” or the “Festival of Sacrifice” as it commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s (Abraham) willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah (God). It also coincides with the culmination of Hajj, the annual holy pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
One of the main trials of Prophet Ibrahim's life was to obey the command of God to sacrifice his dearest possession, his son. As ordered, Prophet Ibrahim prepared to submit to the will of God. Satan (Shaitan) tempted Prophet Ibrahim by trying to dissuade him from carrying out God's commandment. Prophet Ibrahim successfully resisted the temptations and drove Satan away by throwing stones at him. In commemoration of his rejection of Satan, pilgrims follow the tradition by throwing pebbles at symbolic pillars during Hajj rites. God saved Prophet Ibrahim’s son from harm and instead an animal was sacrificed.
To commemorate this event, many Muslims sacrifice an animal, such as a goat or sheep. Larger animals such as cow or camel can also be sacrificed, and the cost of each large animal can be shared by up to seven individuals. The meat from the sacrificed animal is divided into three equal portions: One-third is donated to the poor so that they can also celebrate the festival; one-third is gifted to neighbours, friends and relatives and one-third is kept at the household to cook for the celebration. While a number of Muslims sacrifice animals at approved slaughterhouses in Canada, many others choose to donate funds to charities that carry out animal sacrifice in regions of the world where malnourishment and food shortages are common and local populations need fresh meat. Many Muslims also simply donate an equivalent amount of money to local foodbanks and local and international charities.
Eid al-Adha is also a time for forgiveness and compassion, honoring the supreme sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim and committing to share their wealth with those less fortunate. Muslims often self-reflect during this holy day and celebrate their gratefulness to Allah. Muslims dress in their best clothes, enjoy traditional sweets and meat dishes, visit family and friends, give gifts and money to children and exchange greetings.
On July 9, you can wish “Eid Mubarak” to your Muslim friends and colleagues.
If you would like that we highlight a cultural event to create awareness about the rich cultural diversity of Canada, please do not hesitate to write to me. That way, we all learn about each other, to promote mutual understanding, respect and collaboration.
Stay safe, stay well!
President, National Consultation Team