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Culture - Eid-E-Ghorban

  • Eid-Al-Adha (Eid-Al-Azha or Eid-e- Ghorban) is the festival of sacrifice. The word "Azha" literally means sheep, goats or cattle offered in sacrifice. All Moslems celebrate this festival by sacrificing cattle.

  • This is the second festival introduced by the prophet Mohammed and is connected with the historical incident when Saint Abrahim (Abraham) decided to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) to Allah (God). God put a ram in place of Ismail.

  • About two thousand seven hundred and ninety three years before the Migration (Hijrat) of Prophet Mohammed, Saint Abrahim, his wife and his infant son Ismail left Syria to Mecca. Mecca was a desert with no water and vegetation. Saint Abrahim prays to God, departs from his family but ensure them of God's protection. Janab-e-Hagar, Saint Abrahim's wife in compliance's with God's will settled on the land until all the stored water was used up. She climbed two hills of Safa and Marva seven times without a stop in hope of finding water for her thirsty infant. However, it was in vain.

  • When she returns to her child without water, she found her infant son under a fountain of water rushing under his feet. On viewing the miracle of God, she thanked God and called this water Zamzam. Since then, this fountain is known as Zamzam.

  • The tribe of Jurhum was passing by in search of water when they found the fountain, Abrahim's wife and his son. With the permission of Janab-Hagar, they stayed at the place of "Arafat". The tribe settled there with approval of Saint Abrahim when he returned to visit his wife and son.

  • The tribe offered sheep to Saint Abrahim' son, Ismail as a present. As Ismail grew older, he owned a large number of sheep. He lived with his mother comfortably and was visited by his father occasionally.

  • One day Saint Abrahim saw in his dream slaughtering his son so he took his dream as a command of his Lord. He spoke with his son and asked for his opinion. Saint Ismail responded "if God pleases, you will find me among the patient ones."


  • Saint Abrahim and Ismail prepared for the sacrifice. When Saint Abrahim moved the knife against Ismail's neck, Angel Gabriel replaced Ismail with a sheep. God praised Saint Abrahim for passing the test. When Saint Abrahim found his son safe, he thanked God and took his son to Kaaba (in Saudi Arabia).

  • Saint Abrahim's commitment and devotion to God earned such a great pleasure of God that all Muslims required to visit Kaaba a monument to Allah at least once in their lifetime if they can afford it.

  • Some commentators have interpreted that physical conclusion of great sacrifice of Ismail is found in the Martyrdom of Imam Husain.