from one sacrifice to another, by Marie-Armelle Beaulieu

from one sacrifice to another, by Marie-Armelle Beaulieu

Thursday, June 28 in the morning, the melody on which the muezzin called the Muslims to prayer was not the same. It marked the beginning of the festivities of Eid-El-Adha, the feast of sacrifice. It is one of the most important festivals in Islam. It lasts three to four days. It commemorates the submission to God of Abraham-Ibrahim – the father of believers – and his son, and the blessing they receive in return.

The Koranic text does not mention the name of the son, popular tradition has attached the name of Ishmael, the son Abraham had with his servant Agar. Where Judaism mentioned Isaac, the son given to him by his wife Sarah. But while Judaism places the binding of Isaac on Mount Moriah, in Jerusalem, the Koranic tradition places the episode in Mecca. In either case, God, faced with the confidence of Abraham-Ibrahim, holds back his arm.

Whereas in the Genesis story Abraham ultimately sacrifices a ram, the text of the Quran speaks only of a “generous immolation” and in turn will make the sheep the animal of the party. Sacrificed according to the rules of the art, its meat is divided into three parts. That intended for the immediate family, that intended for the family who will come to visit and finally a part which will be offered to people in need.

Prayer and works of charity

Because the celebration would not be complete if, alongside the time devoted to prayer, there were no works of charity. This is one of the inspiring aspects of Islam, the concern for those who have nothing and the discretion with which we will make sure to give to them so as not to offend them.

For the Muslims of Israel and Palestine, the importance of the Haram-Al-Sharif, the noble sanctuary, the esplanade where the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque were built, makes them accustomed to go there for the party. They were 150,000 last year.

So we end up with Muslims who come to commemorate the submission to God to which Ishmael was ready “O my father! Do what you are commanded. You will find me patient, God willing” – instead of the site where Isaac was going, precisely observing that something was missing in his father’s preparations: “Here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering? »

A tense party

It looks like Jerusalem, the traditions intersect, overlap, differ, mix, oppose. Eid-El-Adha is one of the happiest holidays in the Muslim calendar. But there are not many people in “the country” to have the heart to celebrate this weekend, as the political situation is on all sides explosive.

All the more reason to turn, a stone’s throw from the Esplanade, to the place where we find the scene of the sacrifice represented in mosaic. We see the angel of the Lord holding Abraham’s hand raised above his bound son, and in the corner of the panel a ram with horns stuck in a thorn bush. We are at Calvary, the place where God held no one’s arm when it came to offering his own son. He is the slain lamb who, by his blood, has “redeemed for God men of every race, tongue, people and nation”.

Waiting for the fullness of His Salvation to be revealed, Eid mubarak to all Muslims.

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