About this site | Join our Book Club | About the Author  
Culture of IRAN
LeftMenu
RightMenu
Enter Your Email Address: 
Culture of Iran
 
Culture of IRAN   Culture of IRAN
 
 
 
Home » National Celebrations of Iran » Id-i Ghorban (the Festival of Sacrifice) and Hajj
 
Culture of Iran Culture of Iran
 
PERSIAN CUISINE
Id-i Ghorban (the Festival of Sacrifice) and Hajj
Partition

On the tenth day, each pilgrim slaughters a sheep remembering Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son at Allah’s command. Finally the pilgrims will take back a small vessel filled with water from the nearby well, Zamzam. The well is part of the story of Abraham and his two sons. The Muslims believe that sometimes in the second millennium BC, Abraham left his home city Ur (Ur of Chaldees in the Bible) for Palestine. His aged wife Sarah appeared to be barren and encouraged Abraham to wed a slave called Hagar. She bore him a son called Ishmael. Later on Sarah gave birth to her own son Isaac. There was friction between the wives and the children. Abraham took Hagar and Ishmael to the valley of Mecca. He left them there with some provisions and went back to Sarah. They ran out of water and Hagar became desperate. She ran helplessly between the two mounds looking for water and Zamzam suddenly appeared at God’s will when Ishmael rubbed his heel through the sand. The well attracted other settlers. Abraham eventually went back and built the house of Ka’bah with Ishmael. Some Muslims believe that Hagar is actually buried in the house of ka’bah. She is believed to be the mother of all Arab people. The Quranic version is similar to the Old Testament account of the story.

For the faithful Hajj is a journey toward God. It is the merging of the individual with the community. The ones who finish the pilgrimage are called Hajji. Anyone who dies during the process will be regarded as a martyr for the faith. The universality of the faith brings Muslims from every corner of the planet—all dressed alike and performing the same acts while praying and expressing submission and obedience to the almighty. Every pilgrim must start with a niyyat (good intention), the circling around the house is called tawaf and running between the two mounds is called sa’y. The lesser Hajj ends here while the proper Hajj continues.

After the stoning of Satan and sacrificing the animal, people will stay behind for a few days, normally three days to contemplate, meditate, discuss the experience, exchange views with others and shop. Many Muslims still sacrifice a sheep on this day even if they are not at Hajj and will give part of the meat with or without other food items like rice to the needy. The rest will be consumed with friends and relatives believing that the family will be blessed by such actions. In the past people finishing the pilgrim and returning home safely had great prestige and were addressed as hajji or hajjieh khanom; meaning lady hajji. Upon their return, people would visit them, congratulate them and at times sheep or lamb was slaughtered upon their arrival. They would be regarded as blessed and were treated with great respect.

At the present, the Saudi government strictly regulates all pilgrimages to Mecca. There are specific tours that are licensed by the Saudi authorities. Unless one manages to get a special permit, all pilgrims must join one of these tours. Travel agencies dealing with the Muslim population in North America operate these tours. They are present in all the major cities and many Muslim oriented sites on the Internet advertise them regularly.

Partition

Recommended Readings:

  • Ira M. Lapidus (Foreword), Francis Robinson (Editor). The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Islamic World. Cambridge University Press, 1996.
  • John L. Esposito. The Oxford History of Islam. Oxford University Press, 1999.
« previous page
 
Culture of Iran Culture of Iran
 
 
   
 
Culture of IRAN   Culture of IRAN
 
Culture of IRAN   Culture of IRAN
 
Copyrights 2006 Cultureofiran.com Site By:
 
Culture of IRAN   Culture of IRAN