Eid-al-Adha

Saskatoon's Muslim faithful gather at Credit Union Centre for prayers celebrating Eid-al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice.

An estimated 3,500 members of the Muslim faith gathered at Credit Union Centre this morning for prayers.  They're part of a celebration that begins in Saskatchewan today.

Eid-al-Adha is known as the festival of sacrifice.

It commemorates Ibrahim, known to Christians and Jews as Abraham.  Just as he was about to sacrifice his only son to God, he was given a ram to sacrifice instead.

"And that's why in his honour we celebrate this event," said Sharam Raza, one of the participants. 

"We have to sacrifice a goat or a camel or whatever it is," said Sohel Jhani, another participant.  "It's meant to tell ourselves that we have to be on the right path."

Prayers and sacrifice are followed by visiting, eating and donations to the poor.

"Of course it's sharing," said Areeb Faruqi, who helped organize the event.  "When we do sacrifice a lamb or goat or cow the whole purpose is to share with families, friends and most importantly to the needy."

The festival runs three days.