In the Arabic world, this holiday is known as Eid al-Adha (or simply Eid) and is in remembrance of Abraham’s (Ibrahim) willingness to sacrifice his son to God. God recognized this willingness to sacrifice, and He allowed for a lamb to be sacrificed instead.
Today, this ritual has become more of a day of almsgiving, and when an animal is sacrificed as a part of this religious observation, a third of the meat is donated to people in need, either through charitable organizations or to families directly. Many Muslims give additional donations on this holiday in lieu of the killing of animals as a showing of the sacrifice.
In the spirit of this holiday, we pray for the prosperity and security of all of our community, and we remind everyone that this holiday is not about the killing of animals, but one of remembrance that we are all connected. Always put God before self, and always ensure that everyone in your community is secure in their basic needs.
On this holiday, almsgiving (Zakat), the fourth pillar of Islam, is demonstrated by ensuring everyone has food. Traditionally, people of faith have given their Zakat (donation to those in need) at about 3% of their annual income. This year, many in our Turkish community have given or are giving aid to those impacted by the earthquake in Türkiye.
Because religious holidays are based on the Lunar Year, the beginning of the holiday is based on the observation of the stage of the moon. This year, most Muslims located in Saudi Arabia and to their East will begin the holiday on June 27th, and in Türkiye and Muslims to the West will begin observations on June 28th this year.
On behalf of the Maryland American Turkish Association (MATA), we wish everyone in our community a blessed and happy Kurban Bayramı (Eid).