While you may know plenty about Christian holiday since they are a part of American culture, you probably don't have a clear understanding of the major Muslim holidays and why they are important to their culture. Let's take some time to look at Muslim holidays and see what we can learn about them.
You have probably heard about Ramadan, the month of fasting that is observed by a large percentage of Muslim culture. Ramadan is a fast that is observed during the daylight hours of the day which includes food and water. There is also the provision of zakat, a charity contribution to friends and neighbors that are in need. Eid Al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan and is also known as the Feast of Sacrifice. It is a time of reconciliation as well as a day where fasting is forbidden. In America, Muslims from many different countries and cultures will gather to celebrate the Muslim holiday today.
Of the two Islamic holidays, Eid Al-Adha is the holier of the two holy days. It is also known as the Sacrifice Feast. This holiday remembers the time when Ibrahim, also known as Abraham took his son Isaac to the mountain as the sacrifice that showed how willing Ibrahim was to obey the commands of God. In commemoration of the time that God provided Ibrahim with another sacrifice instead of Isaac, modern Muslims will sacrifice an animal and divide it into three separate parts. These part are then divided and two of those parts are given away. One part is given to the needy, and the other part that isn't eaten by the family is given to relatives or friends. This holiday is an important part of the understanding of the Muslim people who also revere Ibrahim or Abraham as an important person in their religion.
While you may not observe the Muslim faith, it is still possible to make a connection with a Muslim American and participate in the observances. It may not suit you to fast for a month or to sacrifice an animal, but you can still talk to your Muslim friends and see how you can help them or join them in their celebrations. You may find that you will enjoy these observances in your own life.