Muslims in Iran and across the globe are celebrating Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), an important festival on the Islamic calendar which marks the climax of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
During the festivities, which fell on Friday this year, Muslims pay tribute to Prophet Ibrahim’s submission to the divine order of sacrificing his son.
Trying to perform the act of ultimate abnegation, Ibrahim, however, was sent a sheep through Archangel Gabriel to sacrifice instead.
Ibrahim’s obedience thus helped him pass the supreme test of subservience to God, and has been serving as an ageless model for the Muslim faithful.
The devotees celebrate the annual occasion by saying prayers, sacrificing livestock and serving the meat to the needy.
In Iran, the Eid al-Adha prayers were led by Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani, Tehran’s interim Friday prayers leader, with massive throngs of worshipers in attendance.
The rituals constitute a high point in the Hajj rituals, which have been underway in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, since Wednesday.
An estimated two million Muslims have reached the holy city, to observe the pilgrimage — itself a mandatory religious duty and a display of Muslim unity – which is to last until Monday.
On Friday, the pilgrims moved on to Mina before sunrise for the ritual of the symbolic “Stoning of the Devil.”