Düsseldorf, Germany—An interreligious prayer circle organized by UPF-Düsseldorf hosted a talk about one of the main Islamic holidays, Eid al-Adha, which translates as “Feast of Sacrifice.”

The main speaker at the meeting on July 10, 2023, was Vahit Arslan, a representative of the international MIHR Foundation and its special initiative Civilization, Wisdom, Charity, Progress.

Mr. Arslan explained that the holiday focuses on the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), who, according to Islamic tradition, was willing to sacrifice his son Ismael (Isaac), as commanded by God. However, at the last minute Ibrahim was sent a ram to sacrifice instead of Ismael. This story demonstrates the submittal and obedience of Ibrahim and Ismael to God and their trust in His mercy.

Eid al-Adha is celebrated by the slaughter of a sheep or goat, followed by the distribution of the meat among family members, friends and those in need.

The holiday lasts for four days and is held according to the lunar calendar. During that time, children receive presents and new clothes, and people gather in the mosque to offer prayers and listen to speeches. Families and friends meet to share meals, exchange presents and strengthen mutual bonds of love and support.

In Islam, Eid al-Adha symbolizes the important values of devotion, obedience, gratitude, solidarity, and generosity. It is a reminder that we should put the well-being of others above our own needs and desires. It is a time of spiritual growth, reflecting on the sacrifices made in life, and strengthening the relationship to Allah and the community. The festival gives the opportunity for togetherness, joy and prayer.

Mr. Arslan‘s presentation was extremely impressive and insightful. During a time of silence and prayer accompanied by meditative music, the prayer stone was passed around, giving each participant the opportunity to say a prayer.

(Translated from German by Catriona Valenta.)

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