Observant Medina watchers have reported the first sightings of sheep in the Fez Medina. And down in the souk of the knife-sharpeners, business is picking up. Even those not aware of the reason for all the sheep and knives can probably deduce that lamb will soon be on the menu. The reason? Eid al-kabir - the feast of the sacrifice.
Eid al-kabir commemorates the Prophet Abraham's willingness to obey God when he envisioned that he was to sacrifice his son. Muslims observe this day by slaughtering an animal (usually a sheep) and then offering much of its meat in charity to poor people.
|Photograph of sheep on Mt Zalagh by Jearld F Moldenhauer,|
courtesy Dar Balmira Gallery, Gzira Fes Medina.
The sacrifice symbolizes obedience to Allah and its distribution to others is an expression of generosity, one of the five pillars of Islam.
Eid al-kabir (also called Eid al-Adha) is one of the two most important Islamic festivals, Eid al-kabir begins on the 10th day of Dhu'l-Hijja, the last month of the Islamic calendar. Lasting for three days, it occurs at the conclusion of the annual Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid al-kabir, not simply those undertaking the hajj, which for most Muslims is a once-a-lifetime occurrence.
Eid al-kabir will be celebrated this year on 7th November, +-1 day, depending on the country.