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Muslims around world to celebrate Eid al-Adha

A Palestinian boy looks on as he attends Eid al-Adha prayers on the first day of Muslim holiday in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip on July 9, 2022. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI | License Photo

July 7 (UPI) -- Muslims around the world this week will celebrate the holy celebration of Eid al-Adha, which also marks the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

Eid al-Adha is the annual festival that recognized the Prophet Abraham's faithfulness to God after being tested with an unfulfilled command to sacrifice his son. Most Muslims in the United celebrate Eid al-Adha starting Saturday by visiting mosques and hosting community events.

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Omid Safi, professor of Islamic studies at Duke University, told USA Today that "Al-Adha" refers to sacrifice, particularly to the "one in which Abraham was asked, as a test, by God to sacrifice his son, only to have God intervene and substitute a ram or lamb instead."

Goats, lambs and cows are sacrificed to mark the occasion in celebrations today. The story of Abraham is mostly similar to that shared in Christianity and Judaism as well.

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The Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in western Saudi Arabia marks the end of Eid al-Adha. It is one of the five pillars of Islam and required for those who are financially and physically able to complete it at least once in their lifetime.

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Tens of thousands travel to Saudi Arabia annually for the pilgrimage but the kingdom's borders were closed to foreigners for the past two years because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Saudi Arabia has instituted new booking rules using a lottery system to an attempt to manage the anticipated crowds this year.

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Eid is a public holiday in numerous Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, along with Muslim-majority states outside the region such as Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia and Afghanistan.

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