What is Eid Al Adha
Eid Al Adha is one of the two major festivals in Islam, celebrated on the 10th of Zul Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Eid Al Adha, or the ‘festival of sacrifice’, marks the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son out of faith in Allah. The festival is celebrated by the 1.6 billion Muslims across the globe.
When is it celebrated
The celebration of Eid Al Adha is subjected to the appearance of the moon which is why its observance varies from country to country. The process of the moon sighting begins on the 29th day of Dul Qaadah. If the moon is sighted on the 29th, the next day is declared as the first day of Zul Hijjah and the Eid is celebrated on the 10th of the month.
How is it observed
Eid Al Adha is observed by the Muslims as “days of remembrance” of the willingness to submit to Allah’s commands – Prophet Ibrahim was willing to sacrifice his son as per the orders of his Lord. He was then intervened by angel Jibreel to stop. In commemoration of the event, Muslims sacrifice animals and divide it into three parts – the family retains one-third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends, and neighbours; and the remaining third is given to the poor and needy. Eid sacrifice may take place until sunset on the 13th of Zul Hijjah.
Eid Al Adha celebrations also coincide with the Haj pilgrimage and for the pilgrims, the celebration begins after the descent of the Haj pilgrims from the Mount Arafat on the 9th of Zul Hijjah.
Why do Muslims Sacrifice Animals?
Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) was being tested by God (the Merciful) for his loyalty. He was commanded by God to slaughter his son Hazrat Ismail (A.S) as obedience to the Mighty Lord. Abraham (A.S) didn’t hesitate a bit and took his little boy to show the height of his Love for Allah. The moment he placed the knife on his neck, the boy was replaced with a sheep (or its kind) because what God intended was to test the inner purity of Abraham (A.S) in obeying the commandments of the great Lord and not to harm his little boy. Since then Muslims all over the world sacrifice a Halal animal to revive the spirit of what happened that day and distribute the meat amongst the needy, poor and their loved ones. All this is done just to remind Muslims that they must obey the orders of their Lord, even if they have to sacrifice their most beloved being to Him. This Eid is therefore called “Feast of Sacrifice’”
How is it celebrated
The mode of celebrating Eid Al Adha is essentially the same across the world.
The day begins with Eid prayer which follows the regular morning prayer. Eid prayer is obligatory for men and women to be performed in congregation. It is held in mosques and large grounds also called as Eidgah. Eid greetings are exchanged between friends, family and strangers too. The celebrations of Eid Al Adha can last up to three days. It is customary to wear new clothes, prepare a variety of dishes. In many Asian countries, elders give eidia (money) to children as a goodwill. Muslims visit their friends and relatives to exchange Eid greetings.
I wish this Eid brings peace, success and tranquility in your lives and fulfill all your dearest dreams