Today is Eid Al Adha! Do You Know What This Is?
Information provided by Muslim Aid:
There are two key Eid’s (Celebration Festivals) in Islam: Eid-ul-Fitr, which signifies the completion of the Holy Month of Ramadan; and Eid-Al-Adha, the greater Eid, which follows the completion of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, at the time of Qurbani (sacrifice).
Although Eid-ul-Adha has no direct relation to the Hajj Pilgrimage, it is a day after the completion of Hajj.
The day of Eid-Al-Adha falls on the tenth day in the final (twelfth) month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar; Dhu-al-Hijjah. The day that celebrations fall on is dependent on a legitimate sighting of the moon, following the completion of the annual Holy Pilgrimage of Hajj – which is an obligation for all Muslims who fit specific criteria, one of the important Five Pillars of Islam.
The celebration of Eid-Al-Adha is to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion to Allah SWT and his readiness to sacrifice his son, Ishmael. At the very point of sacrifice, Allah SWT replaced Ismail with a ram, which was to be slaughtered in place of his son. This command from Allah SWT was a test of Abraham’s willingness and commitment to obey the Lord’s command, without question. Therefore, Eid-Al-Adha means the Festival of Sacrifice.
Depending on the country, the celebrations of Eid-Al-Adha can last anywhere between two and four days. The act of Qurbani is carried out following the Eid Salaah (Eid Prayers), which are performed in congregation at the nearest Mosque on the morning of Eid.
The act of Qurbani consists of slaughtering an animal as a sacrifice to mark this occasion in remembrance of Prophet Abraham’s sacrifice for the Lord. This is also known as Udhiya. The days of animal sacrifice total three days, from the 10th to the 12th of Dhu-al-Hijjah.
The sacrificial animal must be a sheep, lamb, goat, cow, bull, or camel; the sheep, lamb, or goat consist of one Qurbani share, whereas a bull, cow, or camel consists of seven shares per animal. The animal must be in good health and over a certain age in order to be slaughtered, in a “halal” friendly, Islamic way.
The Qurbani meat can then be divided into three equal portions per share; one-third is for you and your family, one-third is for friends, and the final third is to be donated to those in need.
Traditionally, the day is spent celebrating with family, friends, and loved ones, often wearing new or best attire and giving gifts.