Hello friends of Treetops Collective. My name is Amina (she/her), and I am a Collective Care Specialist and Concentric Leader for the Somali community here at Treetops Collective. I am a practicing Muslim (one that submits to God). This year at Treetops Collective, we are celebrating Eid al- Adha planned by AC (they/them) and Munira Mohamed (she/her).
AC: We are so excited to celebrate Eid al-Adha with all of you! We recognize that representation is important for all languages, cultures and religions. Especially with our Treetops Collective communities, it’s extremely vital that we celebrate and bring everyone together in uplifting our neighbors, friends, and communities.
This year we will start smaller and begin Eid al-Adha with some welcoming words, food, communion, prayer, and a closing celebration! We are also welcoming children and will provide a play room and childcare. This will be our first Eid and looking forward to many more in the future. Treetops strives to include all of our represented communities and anyone who is seeking a place to belong.
Amina: Eid al-Adha, also known as Eid ul-Adha or the Festival of Sacrifice, is one of the most important religious festivals celebrated by Muslims worldwide. This joyous occasion marks the end of Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mekkah, and to show respect to the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (may peace be upon him) to sacrifice his son, Ismail (Ishmael), as an act of obedience to God. In this blog, we will explore the significance of Eid al-Adha, its traditions, and the values it symbolizes.
About Eid al-Adha
Amina: The story behind Eid al-Adha revolves around the tale of Prophet Ibrahim's ultimate act of faith. According to the narrative of the Quran, Prophet Ibrahim had a recurring dream where he was commanded by God to sacrifice his beloved son. Although this was a challenging test, prophet Ibrahim's (may peace be upon him) steadfast devotion led him to prepare for the sacrifice. However, just as the prophet was about to fulfill God's command, an angel intervened and replaced Ismail (may peace be upon him) with a ram. This act demonstrated Prophet Ibrahim's absolute submission to God's will and represents the fundamentals of Eid al-Adha. As Muslims (one who submits to God), we celebrate his faithfulness to God (Allah).
Eid al-Adha is observed on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth and final month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The festivities begin with a collective community prayer at the masjid where Muslims gather to worship and seek blessings. It is customary to wear new or clean clothes and perfume on this special day. The lecture delivered during the prayer highlights the significance of sacrifice, compassion, and gratitude.
One of the key rituals of Eid al-Adha is the sacrifice of an animal, typically a goat, sheep, cow, or camel. This act symbolizes the prophet's willingness to sacrifice his son and serves as a reminder of the importance of selflessness and submission to God. The meat from the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts: one-third is given to the family, one-third to friends and neighbors, and the remaining third to the less fortunate, ensuring that everyone can partake in the celebrations. My family in the United States does not sacrifice, but we send money back home to Somalia and ask families to perform the sacrifice on our behalf.
Eid al-Adha reinforces the values of unity and charity within the Muslim community. It is a time for families and friends to come together, share meals, and strengthen their bonds. Additionally, Muslims are encouraged to engage in acts of charity and extend their generosity to those in need. Donating to charitable organizations, feeding the hungry, and providing financial assistance are common practices during Eid al-Adha, emphasizing the spirit of compassion and empathy.
Eid al-Adha is a festive occasion filled with various traditions. Families prepare delicious meals, featuring special dishes and sweets, and invite loved ones to join in the celebrations. Traditional clothing, such as colorful abaya and traditional jewelry, adds to the joyous atmosphere. Children receive gifts of money (in my family they also get ice cream), enhancing their excitement and making the festival a memorable experience.
Eid al-Adha is a sacred time for Muslims worldwide, honoring Prophet Ibrahim's faith and devotion to Allah. It serves as a reminder of the values of sacrifice, gratitude, compassion, and unity. Through acts of worship, sharing meals, giving to those in need, and spending time with loved ones, Muslims come together to celebrate this significant festival. Eid al-Adha not only reinforces religious beliefs but also promotes a sense of community, reinforcing the importance of empathy and kindness in our lives. Here at Treetops we are celebrating and bringing awareness to Eid al-Adha as a community.