Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Four thousand years ago the valley of Mecca was a dry and uninhabited place. Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) was instructed to bring his wife's servant, Hagar (Hajar) and their child Ishmael to Arabia from Palestine by Allah's command, as his first wife Sarah started to get jealous after Hagar got her baby.
With some supplies of food and water he left them without wanting, his wife Hagar asked him: "Who ordered you to leave us here", Ibrahim replied :"Allah", she said: "than Allah will not forget us, you can go". However the supplies quickly ran out and within a few days Hagar and Ishmael were suffering from hunger and dehydration.
In her desperation Hagar ran up and down two hills called Safa and Marwa trying to see if she could spot any help in the distance. Finally she collapsed beside her baby Ishmael and prayed to Allah for deliverance.
Ishmael struck his foot on the ground and this caused a spring of water to gush forth from the earth. Hagar and Ishmael were saved. Now they had a secure water supply they were able to trade water with passing nomads for food and supplies.
After a while the Prophet Ibrahim returned from Palestine to check on his family and he was amazed to see them running a profitable well.
The Prophet Ibrahim was told by Allah to build a shrine dedicated to him. Ibrahim and Ismael constructed a small stone structure – the Kabe - which was to be the gathering place for all who wished to strengthen their faith in Allah.
As the years passed Ishmael was blessed with Prophet hood and he gave the nomads of the desert the message of surrender to Allah.After many centuries, Mecca became a thriving city thanks to its reliable water source, the well of Zam Zam.
In the year 628 the Prophet Muhammad set out on a journey with 1400 of his followers. This was the first pilgrimage in Islam, and would re-establish the religious traditions of the Prophet Ibrahim.
Eid-e-Ghorban or the Festival of Sacrifice is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims worldwide in commemoration of the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God. The devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey God and spare his son. As Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, God intervened and instead provided a lamb as the sacrifice. This is why today all over the world Muslims who have the means to, sacrifice an animal (usually a goat or a sheep), as a reminder of Ibrahim's obedience to God. The meat is then shared out with family, friends (Muslims or non-Muslims), as well as the poor members of the community.
I took some photos from a Sacrificing place in Mashhad for Eid-e-Ghorban. Every year, my dad buys a sheep, and then we sacrifice and distribute it between poor people.

A place of Sacrificing in Mashhad

Dad selected a sheep to Sacrifice

Flayers are dividing meats
* The Arabic sentence at top of the photo says: When an orphan (a child without living parents) cries, the Throne of the God shakes! Erase the tears from his/her face kindly!

Happy Eid-e-Ghorban to all Muslims!