Source: Richmond TImes-Dispatch
More than 3,000 Muslims gathered in prayer and fellowship yesterday at The Showplace on Mechanicsville Turnpike to mark Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice.
The festival marks the end of the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
Eid al-Adha commemorates the Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael at God's command. Muslims believe that God favored him and accepted the sacrifice of a ram instead.
Christians and Jews believe that Abraham's son Isaac was to be sacrificed and that God rewarded Abraham for his willingness to submit to God's command.
Muslims celebrate the holiday by saying prayers, giving small gifts to children, meeting with friends and family, and contributing meat to the needy.
At The Showplace in Henrico County, the Muslims took off their shoes, lined up in neat rows facing Mecca, knelt and prayed: "God is great," "There is no God but God" and "Praise be to God."