Tens of thousands of central Ohio Muslims will honor the sacrifice of Abraham, who was asked to give up his son, in one of the biggest holidays on the Islamic calendar.
As many as 10,000 worshippers are expected at the Noor Islamic Cultural Center in Hilliard on Monday for Eid al-Adha.
Muslims believe that God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son to prove that God was more important than Abraham’s wants or needs. Abraham was prepared to do so, but at the last moment, God provided a ram to sacrifice instead.
“The idea is we should love God above all. That’s the idea behind the holiday,” said Asma Mobin-Uddin, head of the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
The holiday also marks the end of the hajj, an annual pilgrimage by millions of Muslims to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Making such a trip is one of the pillars of Islam.
Typically, Muslims attend morning prayer services at a mosque. They often give gifts or money to the children.
Islamic tradition calls for slaughtering an animal on the Eid. Muslims give a third of the meat to relatives, a third to friends and a third to the poor.
Many families give the whole animal to the poor, said Huma Khan, a spokeswoman for the Noor center.
Today, many families have someone slaughter the animal for them. There are local markets, but many families find companies on the Internet that will send the meat directly to charities.
“It’s a way of being grateful,” Mobin-Uddin said.