Muslims from all over the world mark beginning of Eid al-Adha

A Chechen muslim boy pats a sheep chosen for sacrifice during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha in Chechen regional capital of Grozny, Russia. [AP Photo]

Muslims all around the world flocked to prayer grounds to perform the Eid prayers on the first of the four-day Eid al-Adha holiday on Sunday. Following the prayers, many began to slaughter their animals, a ritual that commemorates the readiness of Prophet Ibrahim -- also known as Abraham to Christians and Jews -- to sacrifice his son on God's command.

Muslims will mark on Sunday the beginning of Qurban Bayram (Feast of the Sacrifice), also known as Eid al-Adha, a four-day holiday marking the end of the hajj and the second most important religious festivity after Ramadan Bayram, also known as Eid al-Fitr. Falling on the 10th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th month on the Islamic lunar calendar, this year Muslims expect Qurban to fall on Aug. 12.

On this holy day, Muslims sacrifice livestock, namely, sheep, goats, cows or camels, in commemoration of Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail on Allah's command.

Bayram starts with a special congregational morning prayer, followed by the sacrifice ceremony.

Like Ramadan Bayram (Eid al-Fitr), this festival is a time for sharing gifts and food among friends and family members as well as poor people. The sacrificed animal's meat is usually divided into three parts - one part for the family, another for relatives and the final part is for people in need.

To sacrifice an animal, it is important to follow specific Islamic rules in the entire process to ensure that the animal is suitable for sacrifice. It is highly advised that the animal be cut by professionals at a specified location. Muslims may also donate their sacrifice to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or other charitable organizations.

This year, tens of Turkish charities will deliver humanitarian aid on six continents, in about 100 countries to reach the needy.

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