CAIRO - As world Muslims gear up for `Eid Al-Adha celebrations, Canadian Muslim Ghada Al-Shurafa and her three children are highly excited about Tuesday's `Eid carnival in Waterloo.
"We all come together to receive the blessing of the festival," Ghada Al-Shurafa, Kitchener dentist, told the Record on Sunday, October 13.
Celebrating `Eid without her husband, Rabih Alkhatib, who has travelled to Makkah to perform hajj, the mother of three was keen on sharing festivities with her larger Muslim family in Waterloo.
The Waterloo-chapter of the Muslim Association of Canada is holding a free and open `Eid celebration at Bingemans.
Planned on Tuesday from 9 am to 6 pm, it was expected to draw around three thousand participants.
`Eid Al-Adha morning prayers are scheduled to be held at 8 am at Kitchener Mosque on Victoria Street.
The event is scheduled to offer various children activities including; pony rides, petting zoo, face painting, mini golf and henna.
Muslims make around 1.9 percent of Canada's 32.8 million population, and Islam is the number one non-Christian faith in the North American country.
A recent survey has showed the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian.
"Feast of Sacrifice" or` Eid Al-Adha is one of the two most important Islamic celebrations, together with `Eid Al-Fitr.
After special prayers to mark the day, Muslims offer unhiyah, a ritual that reminds of the great act of sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim and his son Isma`eel were willing to make for the sake of God
Festivities and merriment then start with visits to the homes of friends and relatives.
Traditionally, everyone wears new clothes for `Eid, and the children look forward to gifts and the traditional `ediya (cash).
During `Eid days, families and friends exchange visits to express well wishes and children, wearing new clothes bought especially for `Eid, enjoy going out in parks and open fields.
For Canadian Muslims, `Eid Al-Adha would be complete by sharing it with poor and needy families.
We must show our willingness to sacrifice for others by giving back what we love to the community, Al-Shurafa said.
The Muslim mother added that her family donates two-thirds of Udhiya to the needy.
She added that local halal stores help donate the meat to about 100 Muslim needy families.
`Eid festivities, including giving udhiya meat to the poor, also showed the true message of Islam.
A financially-able Muslim sacrifices a single sheep or goat or shares six others in sacrificing a camel or cow as an act of worship during the four-day `Eid Al-Adha.
The ritual commemorates Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail to Allah as an act of obedience and submission.
The Udhiyah meat should be divided in three equal parts, one each for one's own family, friends and the poor.
It is permissible that someone in another country could perform the sacrifice on one's behalf.