International (MNN) — Today begins Eid al-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice, on the Islamic calendar. Known as the “greater Eid,” it marks the end of the hajj and is celebrated globally by Muslims of all sects.
According to Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court, the annual Muslim pilgrimage known as the hajj began July 18, with Eid al-Adha celebrated July 20-22. Eid al-Adha is the second major Muslim festival after Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting.
Uncharted Ministries co-founder Tom Doyle says it’s an essential time for believers to pray for the Muslim world.
“They (Muslims) are seeking; they want to have a personal relationship with God,” Doyle says.
“We do see God move more dramatically during Muslim holidays, because what are the Muslim holy days about? They’re trying to connect with God.”
What is Eid al-Adha?
Eid al-Adha commemorates a father’s willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience, but God provides an animal to offer instead. Most Muslims sacrifice an animal in remembrance of the father’s compliance.
While the father is Abraham in the Bible and Ibrahim in the Quran, both holy books contain a version of this event. Furthermore, while the Quran doesn’t indicate the son by name, most Muslims believe it was Ishmael. Genesis 22 shows the son was Isaac – the son of promise.
“They don’t know the truth. They have a story that’s been changed; it wasn’t Ishmael, it was Isaac,” Doyle says.
“But most importantly, all of this is fulfilled in Jesus, who died on the cross for their sins.”
Find your place in the story
Pray Muslims will encounter Christ in visions and dreams during this holiday season. “[It] is important that we see Muslim holidays; we don’t just blow them off. Take some time and pray,” Doyle says.
Use this free resource from Prayercast, our sister ministry, to guide your intercession. “Pray for breakthroughs. There is an openness; there is a dissatisfaction with their religion. There is [a] sense of hopelessness [among] young Muslims throughout the Middle East,” Doyle says.
“One-fifth of the world [is] remembering this sacrifice, but the ultimate sacrifice – the real sacrifice – is what Jesus did on the cross for the world, and that includes Muslims.”
Header image depicts Muslims at a 2019 Eid al-Adha event in Delhi, India. (Photo courtesy of Shivam Garg/Unsplash)