Islam/Eid

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Question
Hello dear Sir!  I teach English in the US to many Muslim students.  The school at which I teach does not allow Muslims a holiday on Eid al-Adha (tomorrow).  Since my students are required to be in class during Eid, I really would like to make it a special day for them.  However, I have no idea what activities to do to celebrate it with them.  I have read that Eid al-Adha is a time to give gifts, but I do not know what type of gifts to bring for them.    

My question is this:  Are there any activities that you can think of that would allow my students to celebrate Eid and make tomorrow special for them?  
If I brought gifts, what type of gifts or what kinds of food are typical during Eid?
Thank you, dear friend!!

Answer
Dear Abbey,

Thanks for your message with your good idea. You could bring in sweets and have a discussion about Eid Al Adha, the what and the why. I am sure they would like that. I copy you some information from the Internet below.

Kind regards,

A. Abraham

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Peace to you!

Eid Mubarak to all Muslims!

I hope you don't mind if I ask you a couple of questions about Eid ul Adha. The story where Abraham was tested by God is found in the Torah as well as the Quran:

Why did God provide an animal as a sacrifice instead of the son? (Surah 37, Al Saffat, verse 107, Genesis 22)

It cannot have been a simple act of worship on Abraham's part because the Quran says God took the initiative:

'...We ransomed him with a mighty sacrifice.'

Why did God sacrifice an animal to himself? Compared with the son who is much more valuable than an animal, why is the latter called 'mighty' ?

A Sunni Muslim said, it was literally and physically a great animal. However, aren't those rams all about the same size?

Besides that, if the main point of that story then and during Hajj is to remember Abrahams faithfulness to Allah and to feed the poor, then why the need for,

'...we ransomed him with a mighty sacrifice.'

Shia Muslims believe that the mighty sacrifice refers to Imam Hussain who died as a martyr as he stood up against the Umayyads. On the other hand, does this not go against the Islamic teaching found in Surah 6:164; 17:15; 35:18; 39:7 that a person's works can only benefit himself or herself and not others?

Followers of Jesus according to the Injeel have an answer to that question. You can find it below for your information. However, I would love to hear your explanation as well.

Thank you so much for your help in this!



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Here is the Christian answer to those questions. It starts with providing some background:

Restoring honour before God and people

According to the previous Scriptures, the Torah, Zabur and Injel, sin produces shame, fear guilt and dishonour. Sin is much more than simply wrong doing. That is only one result of wrong thinking and wrong being. Due to the seriousness of sin from the perspective of God who is absolutely Holy, He showed one unique way to mankind how to deal with it. The principles of God's way are first reflected and later clearly taught in the following, well known stories found in both, the Quran and the Bible:

-Adam and Eve: When they sinned and discovered they were naked, a horrible shame and fear entered into their lives. They tried to cover themselves with leaves. God gave them garments of animal skin, pointing to the first sacrifice that deals with the devastating result of sin. (Genesis 3:7, 21) Men's effort to do good deeds (symbolised by the leaves) to cover their shame and fear caused by sin was not enough from God's perspective. In the Quran too God gives them 'clothing to cover their shame.' (Surah 7, Al Araf, verse 26). Shame only comes as a result of sin. Where there is no actual, consciously committed sin there is no shame, hence small children do not mind being naked.

-Cain and Abel known as Habil and Kabil in the Quran: God accepted the animal sacrifice of Abel but rejected the sacrifice of crop made by Cain. (Surah 5, Al Maida, verse 27, Genesis 4:3-7)

-Abraham: God provided an animal as a sacrifice instead of the son (Surah 37, Al Saffat, verse 107, Genesis 22). It cannot have been a simple act of worship on Abraham's part because the Quran says, 'we ransomed him with a mighty sacrifice.' Compared with the son who is much more valuable than an animal, the latter must have been called 'mighty' because it symbolically pointed to a perfect sacrifice to come from God and for God in the future.

Someone said, it was physically a great animal. However, rams are all of similar size.

Besides that, if the main point of that story then and during Hajj is to remember Abrahams faithfulness to Allah and to feed the poor, then there would be no need for that sacrifice.

Abraham's faith could simply be remembered by giving bread to the poor.

-Moses: He was commanded by God to sacrifice animals for the absolute certain forgiveness of sins of the people of Israel (Numbers 19:1-10). This story is alluded to in Surah 2, Al Baqara, verses 67-74. The Jewish Temple is also mentioned in Surah17:1-7. Daily sacrifices of animals for the forgiveness of sins were central to it according to the Torah.

-Jesus: Animal sacrifices in the Torah (Old Testament) are less valuable than human beings. They only pointed to the perfect and sinless sacrifice to come. An illustration may help to understand this better: It is a bit like a cheque (=animal sacrifice) which guarantees money (=Jesus and his death). Once it is paid, the cheque becomes obsolete.

Jesus died on behalf of all people in the world to take away the sins, shame, fear and guilt of all those who repent and believe in him (John 1:29, Mark 10:45). God confirmed his work by raising Jesus back to live on the third day and up to Him about forty days later. (Acts 1:3, 1 Cor 15)

Since you are asked in the Quran to believe in the previous books from which I just explained God's way to forgive mankind, do you believe in it?

If not, please consider Surah 2, Al-Baqarah, 107:

"Whatever message We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than that or the like thereof..."

What could possibly be better than to receive instantly:

- absolute forgiveness of sins
-release from fear and guilt -power for a life in obedience to God.

All this has been promised in the previous Scriptures to all who truly repent and believe in God's way.  

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A. Abraham

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I AM A FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST AS HE IS DESCRIBED IN THE HOLY BIBLE. With God`s help I will attempt to answer ONLY those questions Muslims have regarding the Christian view of Christianity, such as: Who is Jesus? Has the Bible been changed? What is the way to heaven? Do Christians believe in three gods or One? The Christian perspective of questions Muslims ask. Etc. PLEASE DO NOT SEND ME QUESTIONS REGARDING THE MUSLIMS VIEW OF ISLAM. I WILL ONLY ANSWER QUESTIONS MUSLIMS ASK ABOUT ISSUES RELATED TO CHRISTIANITY. I WILL DO SO FROM A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE ONLY, GOD WILLING. I AM OFFERING THIS HUMBLE SERVICE TO THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY SO IT CAN GET A BETTER, FIRST HAND UNDERSTANDING ABOUT THE TEACHINGS OF THE TAWRAT, ZABUR AND INJEEL FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF SOMEONE WHO STUDIES AND FOLLOWS THE TEACHINGS OF THOSE BOOKS. THIS ENABLES A PROPER, SCHOLARLY APPROACH FOR THE STUDENTS. THEY WILL NOT HAVE TO RELY ON SECONDARY (MUSLIM) SOURCES TO LEARN ABOUT CHRISTIANITY.

Experience

My experience is in the area of Christianity and comparative Religion.

Education/Credentials
I have got a BA in Theology.

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