Muslims worldwide are preparing to celebrate Eid al-Adha or Pray Day, and the leaders of churches in places like the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are expressing their greetings on the special holiday with plenty of well wishes to show their country’s continuing tradition of religious tolerance and diversity. Religious festivals and traditions of faiths such as Hindu and Christian are often celebrated there, along with the Muslim religious holidays. The celebration is also called Tobaski.

Other Religious Heads Praise UAE, Theme of Pray Day

Cameron Arensen, the pastor of Evangelical Community Church Abu Dhabi, praised the UAE for its example that shows peace and the tolerance of other religions and said he hoped other countries would do the same on this annual Pray Day. He added that the UAE is full of all kinds of people living together in harmony, no matter what their culture or beliefs are in their own backgrounds.

What is the Celebration About?

Eid al-Adha is a time when Muslim people celebrate the sacrifices that the prophet Abraham made for God and his act of obedience to God.

The story says that Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son Ishmael, but then God provided a ram at the last minute and told Abraham to sacrifice it instead of his son. Then, he was instructed that the meat of the animal was to be cut up and divided: a third of it for family, another third for relatives or friends, and the last to the poor people.

This celebration is the second of two Muslim Eid religious festivals and begins after the Haji, or Mecca pilgrimage.

Everyone wears their best clothing when it is time for the Eid prayer and everyone goes to mosque to hear the sermon. In some areas, an animal is sacrificed to symbolically represent the event between Abraham, his son and God.

Price of Sacrificial Rams Higher in 2015 During Holiday

For those who celebrate the Eid al-Adha, some noted that this season the sacrificial rams being sold were costing more than last year in areas like in Gambia.

Many are finding it hard to afford this annual cost so they can obey God’s command to sacrifice a ram during the holiday.

To help alieve this situation, Gambia President Yahya Jammeh acted to put additional rams on the market to be sold at a lower price than what was previously being offered. Additionally, some Muslims who are more fortunate were asked to help lower income Muslims purchase a ram, or to share the meat of a ram with them in the name of the holy tradition and Pray Day celebration.

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