We live in a world where people have different religions, cultures, and beliefs. They all are great and unique in their aspects. One of the main religions followed by people around the world is Islam. Islam is the second most followed religion in the world. 24% of the total world population follows Islam. People who follow Islam are called Muslims. Several festivals are celebrated throughout the year by Muslims.
One of the most important festivals is Eid al-Adha. It is also known as the greater eid. Some other names for Eid al-Adha are Eid al-Azha and Bakrid.
Introduction of Eid al-Adha
As we know, there are two Eids celebrated by the Muslims: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Eid al-Fitr is celebrated on the completion of the holy month of Ramadan. Eid al-Adha, which is called the Greater Eid, is celebrated on completion of the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Eid al-Adha means festival of sacrifice. Muslims commemorate it on the tenth day of the 12th month of the Islamic calendar.
The event honours the sacrifice of the Prophet Ibrahim. In celebration of this event, animals are sacrificed ritually. The meat of the animal is then distributed to the poor and relatives. It is said that meat should have three parts, one is for the family, the second is for the poor, and the third is for the relatives. Eid al-Adha is a three-day celebration; few countries even celebrate it for four days.
History of Eid al-Adha
Eid al-Adha has a very interesting story behind its celebration. As known by the scholars, it is the story of the sacrifice and devotion of Prophet Ibrahim.
Prophet Ibrahim saw in dreams that he had to sacrifice his son Ismail. He kept having these dreams. He then realized these are the revelations by Allah himself. He then told his son, as written in Quran, "Oh son, I keep dreaming that I am slaughtering you," to which Ismail replied, "Father, do what you are ordered to do." Prophet Ibrahim was obedient and faithful to his Lord. He can not refuse to obey his Lord. It was the hardest thing for him to do. He then decided to sacrifice his son Ismail to follow Allah's order. During the preparation of sacrifice, Shaytaan kept discouraging Prophet Ibrahim to not follow Allah's order. Each time Shaytaan tries to distract him, he throws a pebble at Shaytaan. This way, he threw 7 pebbles at Shaytaan. That became a ritual as now during hajj pilgrims throw pebble seven times on symbolic pillars Stoning of the Devil.
When the preparation was done, then Prophet Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son. At the last moment, Allah replaces Ismail with a lamb. Lamb got sacrificed instead of Prophet Ibrahim's son. Allah recognizes the fact that Ibrahim was willing to sacrifice his son and was faithful to him. Angel Jibreel told Prophet Ibrahim, "O' Ibrahim, you have fulfilled the revelations" and after this lamb was sacrificed by the Prophet. For this reason, Eid al-Adha is celebrated by Muslims all over the world to remember the faith and devotion of Prophet Ibrahim.
The name of this story is Akedah. Akedah is referred to in the Quran as follows:
100 "O my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)!"
101 So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear.
102 Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: "O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!" (The son) said: "O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me if Allah (God) so wills one practising Patience and Constancy!"
103 So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),
104 We called out to him, "O Abraham!
105 "Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!" – thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
106 For this was obviously a trial–
107 And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice:
108 And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times:
109 "Peace and salutation to Abraham!"
110 Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
111 For he was one of our believing Servants.
112 And We gave him the good news of Isaac – a prophet – one of the Righteous.
— Quran, sura 37 (Aṣ-Ṣāffāt), āyāt 100–112
Significance of Eid al-Adha
Eid al-Adha is one of the significant festivals in Islam. It signifies the value of sacrifice and faith. It teaches us to stay devoted to our Lord. It also teaches us to be strong and believe our Lord. Prophet Ibrahim's son Ismail knew he was going to be sacrificed, yet he encourages his father to follow the orders of Allah. Eid al-Adha also inspires Muslims to share their fortune with the less fortunate ones. The poor also have the right to the one part of the sacrificed animal's meat.
How is Eid al-Adha celebrated?
Eid al-Adha is also known as Greater Eid. The celebration includes offering Eid namaz, sacrificing the animal, preparing delicious food, and visiting relatives' houses.
Muslims gather in mosques or Idhgahs to offer Eid al-Adha namaz. It is sunnah to offer Eid namaz in idgahs. Sunnah is something that is preferred by Prophet Muhammad. People walk from their houses to the idgahs. It is also advised by the scholars to chant Takbir while walking to the idgah. The Takbir is:
Allāhu akbar, allāhu akbar, allāhu akbar
lā ilāha illā-llāh
allāhu akbar, allāhu akbar
It simply praises Allah. On the day of Eid al-Adha, people wear new kurta pyjamas and wear Itr. Itr is a perfume that contains no alcohol. Eid namaz is offered in the morning. It should be performed before the zuhr time.
Eid prayer consists of only two rakahs. After the namaz is done, then a khutbah or sermon is given by the Imam. Khutba consists of teachings from the Quran. Imam presents instructions on how to properly do a Qurbani. After khutba is finished, Muslims exchange wishes by hugging each other.
In Eid, al-Adha people visit each other's houses and wish each other a happy Eid. Muslims invite their non-Muslim colleagues, friends to their houses to celebrate the festival together.
Eid al-Adha means festival of sacrifice. After Muslims offer their Eid namaz, they sacrifice cattle or a goat. It is advisable to sacrifice at least one animal if you can afford it. Qurbani is done according to the ritual. After the Qurbani, meat is distributed to the relatives and the poor. The family who sacrifices the animal is also supposed to keep one part of the meat.
Dishes prepared on Eid al-Adha
Islamic culture is famous for its delicious dishes. Many delicious dishes are prepared during Eid al-Adha, like biryani, sheer khurma.
Biryani is made of rice and meat. It is very tasty, and it is very famous in the Indian subcontinent. Sheer khurma is another very delightful dish. Sheer Korma is the signature dish of Eid. It is a creamy sweet dish made during both the Eid festival.
Where is Eid al-Adha celebrated?
Eid al-Adha is celebrated all across the world. Some of the countries where it is celebrated with grandeur are:
Eid al-Adha is an important festival in India. It is celebrated for three consecutive days. People visit their relatives and exchange wishes. Muslims wear new clothes, and women apply henna in their hands and feet.
Muslims in turkey start their celebration of Eid al-Adha three days before the festival. On the first two days, Muslims dress up in new clothes and visit their friends and relatives. On the day of Eid, they go to mosques to offer Eid prayer. The celebration ends with people going to the cemetery to visit their loved ones who passed away.
Eid al-Adha is celebrated for two days in UAE. On the first day, Muslims visit their relatives, and the second day is spent at the mosques to offer Eid prayer.
Eid al-Adha 2022 Date
Eid al-Adha 2022 will be celebrated from 9th July to 13th July.
Interesting Facts About Eid Al-Adha
- The ritual of sacrifice of an animal on Eid al-Adha is symbolic rather than literal.
- The animal should be old enough and healthy to be sacrificed.
- The distribution of meat is done according to the rule of third.
- It is sunnah to take different roads while returning home from mosques. It means you should take the different roads which you took while going to the mosque.
- The hajj season ends with Eid al-Adha.