Eid'l Adha, Islam, and Christianity – The Freeman

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Today is a national holiday in the Philippines. All government offices are closed including all our embassies and consulates abroad. We join our Muslim brethren in observing the Feast of Sacrifice, the second of the two main holidays observed by Muslims all over the world, the other being Eid al Fitr. There are 12 million Muslims in the Philippines out of a population of 110 million.
Today honors the willingness of Ibrahim, whom Christians call Abraham, to sacrifice Ishmael, in obedience to God. Christians believe that it was Isaac, the son of Sarah, who was offered, not Ishmael, son of Hagar. Nonetheless, we focus on what we commonly believe, not on the differences of our respective beliefs. In the Islamic calendar, this celebration falls on the tenth day of the Muslim month of Dhu al-Hija and lasts four days. In the Gregorian calendar, this day falls on various dates from year to year, shifting 11 days earlier every year. Abraham is accepted by Jew, Christians, and Muslims. That’s why Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are known as the three Abrahamic religions, religions that profess that there’s only one god.
Judaism is named after Yehudim or Judah. Christianity is named after Cristos or Jesus Christ, who was originally a Jew. Islam is derived from the Arabic word meaning “submission” and is related to the word "salaam", meaning peace. Abraham is recognized as the first Patriarch of Judaism when he founded it in 1800 BC. Christ founded Christianity in 30 AD. Islam was founded by Mohammad sometime between 570 to 632 AD. Thus, Judaism is the oldest of the three and Islam the youngest. Judaism had been fragmented into many divisions: Hasidic, Conservative, and Reformed. Christianity has Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox. Islam has Sunni and Shia.
Today, the biggest of the three religions in terms of number of followers is Christianity with 2.4 billion. Next is Islam with 1.5 billion. Judaism only has 14 million. More than two-thirds of Jews in Europe, or more than 6 million, were exterminated by Adolf Hitler between 1941 and 1945. More than 62% of Muslims live in the Asia-Pacific region. The biggest Muslim country today isn’t Saudi Arabia but Indonesia, with more than 237 million Muslims mostly concentrated in Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi. There are 241 million Muslims in Pakistan, 200 million in India, 152 million in Bangladesh, 95 million in Nigeria, 90 million in Egypt, 84 million in Turkey, 83 million in Iran, 40 million in Iraq, 38 million in Sudan, 36 million in Morocco, 30 million in Saudi Arabia, 26 million in Yemen, 20 million in Malaysia, 3.5 million in the US, 2.2 million in the UK, 5.7 million in France, and 4.6 million in Germany.
Muslims believes there’s only one God, Allah. Christians believe there’s one God but with three persons the Holy Trinity. Jews believe there’s one God, Jehovah or Yaweh. Christans refer to the Bible as the word of God. Muslims believe the Quran is the final revelation conveyed by Allah to mankind. Jews believe the Tanakh is composed of the Torah (The Law), the Nevim (The Prophets), and Ketuvim (The Writings) are all the words of God. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the second person of the Holy Trinity. Muslims profess that Jesus, called Isa, was not divine but a prophet born of the Virgin Mary. Jews believe that Jesus wasn’t a messiah or a divine person but an ordinary Jew.
It’s written in the Quran that Ibrahim said "Oh, son, I keep dreaming that I am slaughtering you" Ishmael replied: "Father, do what you are ordered to do" (Surah As Saffat 37:102). When Ibrahim was about to strike Ishmael with his slaughtering knife, he was stopped by the Angel Gabriel who told him: "O, Ibrahim, you have fulfilled the revelations." And a lamb from heaven was given to Ibrahim to slaughter and offer to God. This narration in the Quran is also found in the Jewish Book of Torah, the first Book of Moses (Genesis, chapter 22). Christians also believe in that story. Hence, it can be concluded that Muslims, Christians, and Jews are brothers, all descendants of Abraham or Ibrahim.
Today, therefore, we should greet our Muslim brothers and sisters "salam" and "eid mubarak" or happy Feast of the Sacrifice. Today, we should all remember that the 2.4 billion Christians, the 1.5 billion Muslims, and the 14 million Jews all come from one father, Abraham or Ibrahim.
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Written by: Christianity Today

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