Religious similarity

In The museum of innocence the book by Orhan Pamuk which I am reading at the moment there is a chapter about the Muslim feast of the sacrifice or Eid al-Adha. When Muslims celebrate Allah showing mercy on Ibrahim after he was about to sacrifice his only son Ishmail as Allah had ordered him to do. A Ram appears and Ishmail is spared because Allah knows Ibrahim is loyal to Him.

This is of course the exact same story as the one from the Old Testament. And once again I realized I know next to nothing about Islam. I recently read Zeitoun by Dave Eggers in which I was repeatedly reminded that Christianity and Islam are very similar, as is Judaism. I knew this already, but I didn’t know how they were similar, which stories were the same and which religions celebrate what.

Now I know this particular similarity at least. One of the benefits of reading fiction is that you learn common religious references which give the reader a basic understanding of shared values.

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