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President Biden said on Saturday that he and first lady Jill Biden wished “a joyous holiday” to Muslims in the United States and around the world who are observing the holiday of Eid al-Adha.
“Jill and I send our warmest greetings to Muslims across the United States and around the world celebrating Eid al-Adha. The Eid traditions and Hajj rituals that commemorate the devotion of Abraham and his son to God are an opportunity for Muslims to renew their faith, and a reminder of the common roots of the world’s great Abrahamic religions,” Biden said in a statement.
“And the act of sharing the sacrifice with those less fortunate in service of God mirrors our common commitment to work together to meet the challenges of our world today.”
Biden also touted the progress that the U.S. and the rest of the world has made in battling the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that Muslims would be able to make the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
“It’s a symbol of the progress we have made in fighting this pandemic and of all work we must still do to strengthen our recovery,” the president said.
Eid al-Adha, known as the “Feast of Sacrifice,” honors a story told in the Quran of how Ibrahim demonstrates his obedience to God by his willingness to kill his son, Ismail. In the story, God ultimately stops Ibrahim from killing his son by offering him a ram to use instead.
The holiday features slaughtering livestock, meat from which is then shared amongst the poor, friends and family. It also features the hajj trek to the holy city of Mecca, which takes place each year and which Muslims are supposed to complete at least one time.