This is how Eid al-Adha 2017 is being celebrated around the world
Millions of Muslims around the world are gathering to celebrating the second Eid event of the year.
Worshippers came together in their hundreds and even thousands to mark the start of Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice.
Around 5,500 people attended Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre in Birmingham for prayer sessions on Friday, September 1, as the first day of the Eid festivities began.
Images from around the world show prayers taking place in countries including Italy, France, Kosovo, Russia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kenya.
Eid al-Adha is known by various names across the globe.
In Russia, it’s called Kurban Bairam, and in Turkey it’s the similar Kurban Bayrami. Both mean ‘the Holiday of the Sacrifice.’
Yemen, Syria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Algeria use the term Eid al-Kabir, while Id ul Baqarah is the phrase in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and some other parts of the Middle East.
Worhsippers in Iran call it Eid e Qurbon, while in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Trinidid it’s known as Baquarah Eid.
Senegal and West Africa’s name for the same celebrations is Tabaski or Tobaski.
However it’s known, the event is the second and more holy of the two main Muslim holidays each year. The first is mainly called Eid al-Fitr, the second Eid al-Adha.
Eid al-Adha commemorates Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah – and thus his devotion – and also marks the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
In 2017, more than 1.7 million pilgrims converged on Mecca in Saudi Arabia to mark the start of the Hajj.
Many begin by circling the cube-shaped Kaaba – Islam’s holiest site – and performing a series of rites that trace the footsteps of the prophet Mohammed.
Muslims believe the rites also trace the footsteps of the prophets Ibrahim and Ismail – the equivalent of Abraham and Ishmael in Christian and Jewish texts.
The Kaaba represents the metaphorical house of God and the oneness of God in Islam.
Observant Muslims around the world face the Kaaba during the five daily prayers.
The Hajj is required of all Muslims once in a lifetime. The physically demanding journey tests pilgrims’ patience as they withstand long waits and thick crowds on their path to achieving spiritual purification and repentance.
Egyptian pilgrim Ahmed Ali, on his first Hajj, said he was grateful to be in Mecca.
“It’s an indescribable feeling, a spiritual feeling. Thanks to God, I feel great,” he said.
A 104-year-old Indonesian woman is among those performing the Hajj this year, according to Saudi authorities.
Ibu Mariah Marghani Mohammed is joining more than 220,000 pilgrims from Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country.
The journey of the five-day-long pilgrimage begins for many when they depart from their countries dressed in “ihram”.
For men, that entails wearing only terrycloth, seamless white garments meant to represent unity among Muslims and equality before God.
Women wear loose clothing, cover their hair and forgo makeup and nail polish to achieve a state of humility and spiritual purity.
After prayers in Mecca, pilgrims will head to an area called Mount Arafat on Thursday where the prophet Mohammed delivered his final sermon.
From there, pilgrims will head to an area called Muzdalifa, picking up pebbles along the way for a symbolic stoning of the devil and a casting away of sins that takes place in the Mina valley for three days.