Today American Muslims will mark the end of the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, or Hajj, with communal prayers and celebrations at locations around the country. The prayers and the holiday that follows are called Eid ul-Adha or "festival of the sacrifice." According to Islamic tradition,
Eid ul-Adha also commemorates Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael at God's command. The holiday is celebrated with the prayers, small gifts for children, distribution of meat to the needy, and social gatherings. During this holiday, Muslims exchange the greeting "Eid Mubarak" or "blessed Eid." Each year, some two million Muslims, including thousands of M
uslim Americans, go on Hajj.