In Saudi Arabia, the Hajj is under way as yesterday pilgrims climbed Mount Arafat as part of the five days of rituals that trace the steps of the Prophet Muhammad (AP). Today marks the beginning of Eid al-Adha, the Festival of the Sacrifice that commemorates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son. (Washington Post). Yesterday the White House issued this statement from President Obama sending Eid greetings:
Michelle and I extend our greetings for a happy Eid-ul-Adha to Muslims worldwide and wish safe travels to those performing Hajj. This year, nearly three million pilgrims from more than 160 countries - including the United States - have gathered in Mecca and neighboring sites to perform the Hajj rituals and stand together in prayer.
On Eid, Muslims around the world will commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, and distribute food to those less fortunate - a reminder of the shared values and the common roots of three of the world's major religions.
On behalf of the American people, we extend our best wishes during this Hajj season – Eid Mubarak and Hajj Mabrour.