Clipper Staff Writer
As Christians prepare for Christmas, Moslems in Davis County and worldwide are in the midst of Eid al-Adha commemorating Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael for Allah.
The four-day holiday began at sunset Wednesday night and always begins the day after the pilgrims in Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, descend from Mount Arafat.
Men, women and children dress in their finest clothing to perform Eid prayers at a mosque.
Moslems who can afford it sacrifice their best domestic animals as symbols of Abraham's sacrifice.
The practice is often misunderstood among people of other faiths.
According to al Huda International, a non-profit organization involved in promotion of Islamic education, Allah has given humans power over animals and has allowed them to eat meat, but only if his name is pronounced at the solemn taking of life.
The meat from the animal sacrificed during Eid al-Adha is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate family, one-third given to friends and one-third donated to the poor.
The act symbolizes Mos-lems' willingness to give up things that are close to their hearts in order to follow Allah's commands.
It also symbolizes their willingness to give up some of their own bounties in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those in need.
The holiday demonstrates the regular charitable practices of the Moslem community through a concerted effort to see that no impoverished Moslem is left without sacrificial food for the holiday.
During Eid al-Adha, the faithful are expected to visit those closest to them, starting with parents, then their family and friends
On the first morning of the holiday, Moslems around the world attend morning prayers at their local mosque. Prayers are followed by visits with family and friends and exchange of greetings and gifts.
At some point, members of the family will visit a local farm or make arrangements for the slaughter of an animal. The meat is distributed during the holiday or shortly thereafter.
Men, women and children will dress in their finest clothes to perform the Eid prayer.