RS 101 92537, Spring Bi-Term 2014
The notion of sacrifice within most religions acts as not only a show of faith but also as form of tribute to past biblical stories. From Islam to Judaism to western Christianity, various religions, even those in conflict with each other, share the significance of certain sacrifices that are still honored and hold relevance to this day. Of the more prevalent occasions is the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son to show submission to God’s command. Though the details vary from one religion to the next the importance and power of the event remain strong to these communities. Each of these four religions have a different account or play a different part in the story. The Muslim community celebrates Eid al-Adha to honor Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his first born son Ishmael. To commemorate this near sacrifice, Muslims willingly sacrifice their best domestic animals as Ishmael was spared with a goat taking his place. The meat is split into three sections with the family keeping a third and the other two thirds going to friends and family and the less fortunate, respectively. Those taking part dress in their finest clothes and have specific prayers for the event which lasts four days with a total of 23 prayers. The name Eid al-Adha translates to “festival of the sacrifice.” In Judaism the story is slightly different. The story of the Akedah, or the binding of Isaac, is relatively the same except that instead of Ishmael, the son to be sacrificed is Isaac. This is seen as a test
God had placed upon Abraham to measure his faith. As Isaac was about to be sacrificed, God stepped in and stopped Abraham offering a ram in his stead. Christianity agrees with this story but adds that
Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son due to his faith that God would then resurrect Isaac. Christianity also says this sacrifice either took place at the Temple
Cited: Quran, 2:196 Quran, 5:114 Quran, 37:100-112 Owen, Wilfred. “Parable of the Old Man and the Young.” The Poem Tree. Website.