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The Feast Of The Sacrifice

The biblical story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience to God has its corresponding ritual in the Islamic faith in the Fiesta del Cordero, the celebratory slaughter of a ram, a sheep or a lamb. This rite marks the most important date of the Muslim calendar at the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, two lunar months plus ten days after the end of Ramadan. It is known as Eid al-Kabir, the Great Feast, or Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice. Yesterday was this year’s festive date when 700,000 Muslims in all of Spain celebrated the start of a three-day celebration, as did some 18,000 followers of the prophet in Mallorca and some 1,400, here in Felanitx. According to the Qur’an, Ibrahim (Abraham) had an ax raised over his son when a voice from heaven told him to stop. He was allowed to sacrifice a ram instead. Many Muslim families reenacted this show of faith yesterday by sacrificing an animal, using a portion of it for the family feast and donating one-third to the less well-off as an act of charity.

Some history books tell us that during the 11th and 12th centuries, Mallorca might have seen a period of peace and prosperity with the three main religions of the time, Judaism, Christianity and Islam all living happily side by side. I do not know if such accounts are accurate but, it is quite obvious that in our day and age, religious tolerance in Mallorca is at a low. I received an unpleasant e-mail in my in-box a few days ago, attacking the Muslim faith, and I observe a subtle form of racism in the way many Mallorcans treat the local Moroccan population.

The photo was chosen from my archive. It was taken near Pollença, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: February 24th, 2010. The time was 13:09:17.

4 replies »

  1. I find the observation (or question you raise) about racism very timely. Crises, economic or otherwise, often bring out underlying latent issues. Living with the fear of the ‘other’ can make us defensive and react. I have lived in Mallorca 2 years, found nothing but a welcome, but am also very privileged not to come from with a culture that is viewed as too alien. So appreciated the sentiments in this blog.
    On a side note we (my wife and I) have followed your blog almost the 2 years of being here. So informative and educational. Thanks.

  2. I am muslim and moving to mallorca soon … what I have read frightens me a bit.
    Thank you for this blog. It is of a great help to have enough landmarks to face the unknown.

    • There’s no need to be frightened. Mallorca is a nice and peaceful place, safe and friendly. You’ll like it here. Insha’Allah.

      • Thank you for your reply.
        Insha’Allah, I hope things will be alright … If I may ask and if it is not energy consuming for you, Could you guide me where to find rooms for rent for students outside the campus… I mean if you have any idea about the most suitable neighborhood where I can stay? or those to avoid…
        Thank you in advance.

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November 2010


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