Hi. I’m Hadi (hah-dee). Welcome to Sana’a (sah-nah). In this part of the city, buildings are 500 years old. The Great Mosque is even older. Some say it was built while the Prophet Muhammad was still alive. My family lives in a newer neighborhood, but Father and I came here to the cattle market. We are buying a sheep for Eid al-Adha (eed al-ahd-ah), the Feast of Sacrifice.
During this three-day holiday, schools and businesses are closed and many people travel to see relatives. My mom and older sister are home preparing special holiday cookies, nuts, and raisins for our guest of honor – my uncle Ali (ah-lee). We will celebrate his return from a successful pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. This religious journey is one of the important parts of the Islamic faith. I hope to go when I grow up. Muslims believe that those who perform the pilgrimage properly are freed from all their sins.
On the first morning of the Feast of Sacrifice, we dress up in new clothes and go to the mosque for prayers. In the afternoon, Father and our neighbors will kill a sheep. By doing this, we join with Muslims around the world to remember the Prophet Abraham’s act of obedience to God. When Abraham offered his first-born son to God, God gave Abraham a ram to sacrifice instead.
This holiday is also a time for sharing. After Mother cooks the meat from the sheep, we give some to our neighbors and some to the poor. On the second day of Eid, my relatives will come to our house to exchange holiday cards, good wishes, and gifts.
Teaching Time: 15 minutes
Materials: graham crackers, white frosting, plastic knife
Make a house like the northern Yemeni houses in the story using graham crackers and frosting. Use the frosting as a glue to hold the graham crackers together as you build your house. Decorate your graham cracker walls and windows with white frosting.
- Yemeni Muslims work hard throughout the year to be acceptable to God. Pray that many will learn of Jesus’ work on their behalf and accept God’s forgiveness and grace.
- In Yemen, believers who leave their Muslim faith face family rejection and severe persecution. Pray for God to encourage these believers and give them boldness to share their faith with others.