Islam is the second-largest and as well as the fastest-growing religion in the world. It is one of the three monotheistic religions that roots its origin with Abraham(others are Judaism & Christianity). Eids are the highest religious festivals that Muslims(who follows the religion of Islam) observes. These are the most significant and enjoyable days of the year for the Muslim community. There are two Eids in a year and Eid ul-Adha (Eid al-Adha or Eid al-Adha) or Feast of the Sacrifice is one of them. Every Muslims celebrate the day with various rituals and great dignity.
What Is Eid ul-Adha
Eid ul-Adha is one of the two big festivals of Muslims and sometimes this Eid or festival is remark as the Big-Eid. Eid follows the Islamic calendar which considers the migration of Prophet Muhammad to Madinah as the first day. It is a lunar calendar which means it follows the cycles of the moon. That’s why the Eid festival rotates each year backward and can take place in any season of the year.
Eid ul-Adha can be held on the 10th, 11th, and 12th day of Zu al-Hijjah (12th month of the Islamic calendar). But typically this Eid takes place on the 10th of Zu al-Hijjah. The other days can be used for natural disasters and any other unfortunate reasons.
The history of Eid ul-Adha goes back to the Prophet Ibrahim (also known as Abraham in Judaism & Christianity) and the scarification story.
According to Muslim theology, Prophet Ibrahim was commanded to sacrifice his dearest things in the name of Allah (Arabic term for The God) which was his adult son Ishmael. So prophet Ibrahim obeyed the command and proceed to fulfill that. Ishmael heard everything about the command and said” Oh Father, If Allah (The God) commanded you, then you must fulfill your duty” He then took his son Ishmael to Mount Moria to slaughter Ishmael by beheading him as an act of obedience to Allah (The God). But Allah (The God) just wanted to sees the loyalty of His chosen ones. When Prophet Ibrahim Proceed to sacrifice Ishmael, Allah commanded an angel and the angel swapped a ram with Ishmael and thus Prophet Ibrahim slaughtered a ram instead of his own son. Allah pleased with the loyalty of Prophet Ibrahim and blessed him in many ways.
This is a remarkable and memorable story for Muslims and that’s why they celebrate Eid al-Adha by praying and sacrificing animals.
Mandatories and Rituals of Eid al-Adha
Several common rituals are done by Muslims all around the world. These are considered mandatory or best-to-do on the day for a Muslim. These are some of the events and rituals which are done on the day throughout the Muslim world.
Eid prayer heart of the day! Eid prayers are not a part of the daily five-time prayers and prayer-postures are also differ from daily prayers. It is a two Rakat prayer(salah) and has twelve Takbir(s) in total (seven in the first Rakah and five in the second Rakah). Then there is a short sermon (known as khutbah) is given by the prayer leader(Imam). The prayer ends by greeting one another, inviting others in the house for food, offering charities to the poor.
Eid prayer is normally held in the mosque or open grounds that are suitable for praying. According to the most Muslim school of thought, Eid prayer is Wajib(mandatory) for every adult and healthy Muslim. Eid prayer time is between sunrise to the midday prayer(Zuhr). Women are allowed to pray Eid prayer under the imam but they cannot pray in mixture with men and must be in a separate area.
Qurbani or the sacrifice is the second main obligatory of Eid ul-Adha(Eid ul-Adha). It is obligatory for every financially abled person whose finance fulfill the Islamic criteria of income. Generally healthy and halal(permissible in Islam) four-legged animals are sacrificed. Camels, cows, rams, goats, sheep, etc. are some popular animals that are sacrificed on that day. The slaughtering is done by cutting the throat and main nerves with any sharp cutting objects. It is compulsory to slaught the animal fast and clean way. Also, one must well-treat the animal until the sacrifice and should not misbehave with it in any circumstances.
After sacrificing the animal, it comes time for diving and distributing meats. Meats are usually divided into three equal parts. One part goes to neighbors and relatives, the second part is meant for giving to the needy person or families and the remaining one share is for the own family. Then the meats are divided into sub-parts and distributed among neighbors, relatives, friends, poor, etc. In almost all Muslim world, someone from the person’s house distributes the meats in the same Eid day.
Cutting meats into small chucks, scaling, and distributing them are pretty lengthy processes and very tiresome works as well. But all of these are part of the amusement of Eid ul-Adha and Muslims enjoy it.
Sweets can be found in almost every home during Eid. Sweets was a favorite food of Prophet Muhammad and since then eating sweet foods in Eids became Sunnah(deeds of Prophet Muhammad). Almost every healthy Muslim of the world tries to eat some sweet foods or desserts at their breakfast on Eid day.
Though this is not mandatory on Eid ul-Adha, the day is meant to be fun for all. That’s why whether the family is rich or poor, every Muslim family tries to prepare some delicious foods and invite neighbors, relatives, or friends for food. Since the day involves lots of meats, non-veg food items are commonly seen in Muslim houses on this day and almost every house offer meat related food.
Charities ware always been a part of Muslim tradition and obligation since the very first periods of Islam. Charity to the less fortunate is always been a major part of Islam. Muslims seem much more charitable in the days before Eid so the needy peoples also can celebrate Eid with joy and blessings. This is considered a holy responsibility for Muslims.
How Muslims Celebrates This Day
Muslims celebrate Eid ul-Adha in the most decorated and festive ways they can afford. The day starts with taking a nice bath. Then every Muslim man, woman and especially children wear festive and beautiful dresses. According to most Muslim sections, the Muslims who are healthy and is going to sacrifice animal cannot eat any food before the sacrifice. So they go to the praying ground or mosque for Eid prayer. On the way to the mosque, Muslims loudly give the Takbir (Saying the phrase “The God is Greatest” in Arabic). Then the Eid salat or prayer takes place and the whole praying period including the khutbah (sermon) ends within two hours. After that, Muslims greet one another by handshaking, hugging, smiling, and inviting others at home.
Soon after that, Muslims start the Qurbani or animal sacrifice. Then they become busy cutting, scaling, and distributing meats. On the other hand, children remain in their festive mood. They play, stroll around, or visits neighbors and relatives. After complete meat distribution, Muslims then eat foods, wear clean cloth, and start visiting with one another or goes to other’s house to have a great gossip-time.
Moral of This Day
According to Islamic scholars, Eid al-Adha has many religious and ethical morals. The primary concept of the day is to remember the scarification of Ishmael by Prophet Ibrahim that inspires every Muslim to hold their faith in Allah no matter what happens. The Eid prayer gathering is way larger than daily five time prayers. It gives the opportunity to meet with others and learn about their conditions. Charity makes a great bridge between the rich and the needy persons and helps to balance the economy of the society. The animal sacrifice symbolizes that Muslims will remain strong in their faith even they have to sacrifice their loved and dear things. Meat distribution helps their less fortunate neighbors or relatives or the other needy peoples to enjoy the day in the exact same way thus other Muslims are enjoying.
Eid ul-Adha is a great day for every Muslim. It is a beneficial day for every aspect of social and religious views. Moreover, it is an enjoyable day for every Muslim whether he or she is rich or poor and has great religious benefits for fulfilling duties as a Muslim.