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November 27, 2009

Eid al-Adha and the Hajj, 2009

Today, November 27th, marks the beginning of 2009's Eid al-Adha, the Muslim "Festival of Sacrifice", commemorating the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son to God. Muslims around the world will celebrate by slaughtering animals to commemorate God's gift of a ram to substitute for Abraham's son, distributing the meat amongst family, friends and the poor. Eid al-Adha also takes place immediately after the Hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca that is a pillar of Islamic Faith. Some 2.5 million Muslim faithful from all over the world descended on Mecca this year, many encountering an unusual occurance: heavy flooding due to recent torrential rains. Collected below are photographs from this year's Hajj and observance of Eid al-Adha. (38 photos total)

A Muslim pilgrim prays near where the Hiraa cave is located, at the top of Noor Mountain on the outskirts of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009. According to tradition, Islam's Prophet Mohammed received his first message to preach Islam while he was praying in the cave. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Muslim pilgrims pray on atop Noor Mountain in the holy city of Mecca before the start of the annual hajj pilgrimage, on November 23, 2009. (MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images) #

The illuminated Grand Mosque is seen from the top of Noor Mountain where the Hiraa cave is located, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) #

Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba inside the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca after morning prayers, before the start of this year's hajj pilgrimage November 24, 2009. (REUTERS/Caren Firouz) #

Muslim pilgrims pray inside the Grand mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) #

Muslim pilgrims pray outside Namira mosque in Arafat near Mecca ,Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009. (AP Photo/ Saudi Press Agency) #

An Indian pilgrim lies in the cardiac care unit at the Nour hospital in the holy city of Mecca on November 24, 2009. The Saudi Kingdom provides free medical care to pilgrims who become ill during their pilgrimage. (REUTERS/Caren Firouz) #

A young Muslim boy runs during Eid al-Adha celebration at a mosque in Klang, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, Nov. 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin) #

A mother adjusts her daughter's headscarf before a prayer on the occasion of Eid al-Adha at Jakarta's largest mosque, the Istiqlal on November 27, 2009 in Indonesia. (REUTERS/Supri) #

A Kashmiri sells delicacies ahead of the Eid al-Adha festival, in Srinagar, India, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan) #

Sacrificial sheep wait to be sold in an animal market set for the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice in Amman, Jordan on Wednesday Nov. 25, 2009, ahead of Eid Al Adha holiday. (AP Photo/Mohammad Abu Ghosh) #

The Emir of Kano, Nigera, Ado Bayero (center), surrounded by his traditional palace guards, rides on a horse after prayers to mark the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha in Kano, Nigeria on November 27, 2009. (REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic) #

A man rides a motorbike with his children after prayers to mark the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha in Kano, Nigeria on November 27, 2009. (REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye) #

A man is silhouetted along with his camels after they were brought to an animal market to be sold in Lahore, Pakistan on November 24, 2009, ahead of the Islamic Eid al-Adha celebrations. (REUTERS/Mohsin Raza) #

A herd of sheep, colored for identification, stand for sale at a wholesale cattle market, ahead of Eid al-Adha festival in Amritsar, India, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

Muslim pilgrims run for cover as heavy rain streams down a road in the holy city of Mecca on November 25, 2009. An estimated 2.5 million Muslims have converged on Mecca for the annual hajj pilgrimage, as workers toil round the clock to complete construction projects designed to avoid deadly stampedes. (MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Muslim man looks at the raising of the dome on the metallic roof structure of the Strasbourg Grand Mosque in Strasbourg, France on November 27, 2009. (FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images) #

Indonesian women pray on the first day of the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha in Jakarta on November 27, 2009. (ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images) #

Muslim pilgrims gather at Mount Arafat, southeast of the Saudi city of Mecca on November 26, 2009. (MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Palestinian pilgrim holds prayer beads against a fence as they wait to pass from Gaza through the Rafah border crossing to Egypt for the upcoming Eid al-Adha festival, in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba) #

A Muslim pilgrim prays on Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat outside the holy city of Mecca November 26, 2009. (REUTERS/Caren Firouz) #

Muslims pray during Eid al-Adha celebrations in Wuzhong, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China on November 27, 2009. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

Muslims pray during Eid al-Adha celebrations on a street in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 27, 2009. (REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed) #

Muslim men pray during the Eid al-Adha (Kurban Bairam) festival of sacrifice holiday in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on November 27, 2009. (VYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images) #

Ivorian Muslims pray in front of the Fitya mosque of the popular Abobo district of Abidjan, Ivory Coast on November 27, 2009. (SIA KAMBOU/AFP/Getty Images) #

A girl watches Muslims prepare meat after sheep were slaughtered during Eid al-Adha Feast of Sacrifice in Johor Bahru, Malaysia on November 27, 2009. (REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad) #

The Prophet Mohammed Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Medina on November 12, 2009. Islam's Prophet Mohammed is buried in Medina's landmark mosque, which is Islam's second holiest shrine after Mecca. (MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images) #

Saudi special forces display some of their skills and equipment during a ceremony as they prepare for the influx people to participate in the Hajj, in Arafat 15 kms outside of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009. (AP Photo/Issa Mohammad) #

A helicopter hovers over Namira Mosque at Mount Arafat, southeast of the Saudi holy city of Mecca, on November 26, 2009. (MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images) #

Muslim pilgrims on their way to throw pebbles at a stone pillar representing the devil, during the Hajj pilgrim in Mina near Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Friday, Nov. 27, 2009. The last stage of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, the symbolic stoning of the devil, began on Friday. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) #

Muslim pilgrim throw pebbles at a stone pillar representing the devil, during the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Friday, Nov. 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) #

Passengers travel atop a train as it heads for Jamalpur from Dhaka, Bangladesh on November 27, 2009. Millions of residents in Dhaka are travelling home from the capital city to celebrate the Eid al-Adha holiday on Saturday. (REUTERS/Andrew Biraj) #

Customers are seen, reflected in the eye of a buffalo, as they bargain with the seller at a market ahead of Eid al-Adha festival in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009. (AP Photo/Pavel Rahman) #

A cow lies on the ground, slaughtered for the celebrations of the first day of the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha in the Rhodope Mountains village of Ribnovo, Bulgaria, some 210 km south of Sofia. (NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man is silhouetted outside a mosque on the first day of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, in town of Obilic, near Kosovo's capital Pristina November 27, 2009. (REUTERS/Hazir Reka) #

Syrians look at stacks of sweets displayed in preparation to celebrate Eid al-Adha at Al-Midan market in downtown Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009. (AP Photo/ Bassem Tellawi) #

Muslim pilgrims touch the Jabal al-Rahma pillar on Mount Mercy, on the Plain of Arafat near Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) #

The sun rises over a mosque in Cairo on the first day of Eid al-Adha, November 27, 2009. (REUTERS/Tarek Mostafa) #

 
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