Muslims to observe Ed ul-Adha

COSTA MESA — Eid ul-Adha, a Muslim holiday, will begin today with observations in Costa Mesa and throughout Orange County.

The four-day observance marks the end of the annual Pilgrimage, or Hajj, to Mecca with a prayer and celebration of Eid ul-Adha. This year about 3 million Muslims made the trip, a requirement of the faith for those able to go.

Muslim believe that Eid ul-Adha, or "festival of the sacrifice," honors the Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, at God's command.

Before giving up his son, God instead offered Abraham an animal to scarify, according to the Koran.

Since then, Muslims at the end of the pilgrimage sacrifice an animal and distribute the meat to the needy.

Eid-ul-Adha is also celebrated with small gifts to children.

Before the communal prayer, Muslims recite a chant, or Takberat, of appreciation to God.

Takberat at the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County, 3194 Airport Loop in Costa Mesa, will begin at 6:45 a.m. Tuesday followed by the prayer at 7 a.m.

Eid ends Friday evening.

—Mona Shadia

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