4th Day: Eid al-Adha (Celebrating Islam)

On the fourth day, we had our first day of learning of other religions and cultures!  We talked about Abraham & Ishmael, lambs, poetry, and charity.  Today was a day dedicated to learning about Islam!  Our goal is to teach Marshall that we aren’t all as different as some may believe.  Today’s lesson on Islam, I believe, greatly reflected that.

   We talked a bit about Christmas and what that means to us as Christians.  Marshall knows that we celebrate Christmas because it is the birth of Jesus Christ.  I used our conversation on Jesus and Christmas to transition into talking about Mawlid.  Mawlid is celebrated by many Sunni and Shia Muslims.  It is the birthday of the Islamic Prophet Muhammed.  We compared Christmas and Mawlid: how it is the birthdays of very important people to their prospective religions; how charity, prayer, and family are emphasized- along with the stories of the conception, births, and lives of Jesus and Muhammed.  That in both religions, the followers eat feasts in honor of the births and decorate homes and churches/ mosques.
   Since we go by the Gregorian calendar, which is solar based, and the Islamic holidays are based on the Islamic/ Hijri calendar, which is lunar based, the date falls in various times of the year for us.  On the Islamic calendar, it falls on the 12th day of Rabi’ al-awwal.  This year, that is January 13th.
    Marshall and I made our way down to City Market, a Kansas City staple.  It is a farmer’s market as well as international market with various restaurants, cafes, and delis.  So many various countries are represented here: India, Mexico, Brazil, Vietnam, France, Korea, Greece- the list just goes on and on.  We are regulars at Carollo’s, the Italian groceria- which also has an amazing grill and deli.  Today, we decided to try Habashi House- the restaurant offering Middle Eastern cuisine.

 

   Unfortunately, the deli was unexpectedly closed so we went to Al Habashi Mart to look for some food to prepare for our special dinner.  In a move that I’m sure will win me mom of the year, I bought some frozen lamb kabobs and Marshall a sparkling fruit drink.  Hey, I wasn’t expecting to cook an in depth dinner and we have moving to do.  This was a great comprise.

 

   Lamb was the meal of choice since we were going to now talk about Eid al-Adha.

Marshall was pumped to get some more carbonation in his system, oy!  I told you I wasn’t getting mom of the year this year.

Intrigued with his lamb kabob.

  Many of my Christian friends will recognize the event that is being celebrated during Eid al-Adha.  This is a celebration of the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son, Ishmael (Isaac in the bible), at the command of God.  At the last moment, God intervened and gave Abraham a lamb to sacrifice instead.  The story of Abraham and Ishmael can be found in all three of the world’s major religions: Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.  I told you we were more alike than different!  This is not the only instance of shared beliefs between the three either.
   Mads and I talked about Abraham and Ishmael.  He cheered when I told him that God saved Ishmael, he was captivated with the story.
   Eid al-Adha is typically celebrated by sacrificing a lamb.  You then keep a third of the lamb, give another third to family & friends, and the final third goes to those in need.  The goal is for every Muslim to get a sacrificial meal, no matter of income.
   To mimic this gesture, Marshall and I made an Eid al-Adha inspired craft.  We made handprints with paint, then Marshall glued cotton balls onto the palm part, and drew on little faces.

 

 

When I turned my back, Marshall took his chance to take pictures of the craft as well.

 

We will keep the lambs made from Marshall and my hands; one for us and one to share with our family member that wasn’t here- Brad.  The third, Marshall is giving to a friend of his as a present.

   The fourth day was a wonderful time of learning.  Marshall learned the story of Abraham and how some religions honor it.  Most importantly, my goal is that Marshall learned how very alike we all are- more so than many realize.  I hope that this Christmas, Marshall is getting the gifts of love, acceptance, and knowledge.  The giving continues tomorrow as we have very special things planned.  Bayraminiz kutlu olsun! (may your holiday be blessed)
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