Eid-al-Adha is a religious festival celebrated across the Muslim world in the last month of the Muslim calendar. It follows the completion of Hajj - one of the five pillars of Islam. During this time, Muslims from different parts of the world pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is a time of celebration, unity, gratitude, and devotion to Allah. In this article, we walk you through what Eid-al-Adha means, when it is celebrated, and its significance.
What is Eid-al-Adha?
Eid-al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, is the second major festival after Eid-al-Fitr. It commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to Allah. However, just as Prophet Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, Allah provided a ram to be sacrificed instead.
Eid al-Adha marks the end of the Hajj. Pilgrims who perform Hajj join in the festivities and celebrations upon their return. The Pilgrim is packed with religious rituals that hold spiritual meaning.
The central ritual of Eid-al-Adha is the sacrifice of an animal, typically a goat, sheep, cow, or camel. The meat from the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts: one-third is retained by the family, one-third is given to relatives and friends, and one-third is donated to the less fortunate.
The day begins with a sermon followed by congregational prayers. Muslims gather in mosques and prayer grounds to perform the special Eid prayer. It is a time of communal worship, reflection, and gratitude. Muslims then engage in Islamic ritual sacrifice, visit family and friends, and exchange greetings & meals.
When Is Eid-al-Adha in 2023?
The day of Eid-al-Adha depends on the sighting of the moon of Dhul Hijjah. Eid-al-Adha is celebrated on the third day of Hajj or the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah. The celebration continues for three days. This year it falls on the 28th of June, 2023, for Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and other Arab states, along with UK, US, and Canada.
On the other hand, Muslims in India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, the Sultanate of Brunei, and other South Asian nations will celebrate Eid-ul-Adha on June 29th, 2023.
Significance of Eid-al-Adha
The story of Prophet Ibrahim about being commanded by God to sacrifice his son is the origin of the ritual sacrifice.
Obedience and Submission to Allah: Eid al-Adha commemorates the story of Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son to obey God. It serves as a reminder of the importance of submitting to God's will and following His commands.
Test of Faith: The story of Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son demonstrates the strength of his faith and trust in God. Eid al-Adha symbolizes unwavering faith and the desire to make sacrifices in the name of God.
Mercy and Redemption: In the story, as Prophet Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, God provided a ram as a substitute, highlighting His mercy and compassion. Eid al-Adha serves as a reminder of God's benevolence and the concept of redemption and forgiveness.
Reflection and Remembrance: Eid al-Adha allows Muslims to reflect on their commitment to faith, their relationship with God, and the lessons derived from the story of Prophet Ibrahim. It serves as a time for spiritual contemplation and self-improvement.
The Humanitarian Benefit: The distribution of meat among different segments of society sparks the spirit of serving all humanity.
Equality and Unity: Performing Hajj signifies and reminds Muslims that no matter which nation they belong to, being a Muslim is above and beyond any caste, color, or creed. And everyone is treated equally in front of Allah. And the ranks are based on an individual’s level of faith.
Eid-al-Adha is a time of celebration, reflection, strengthening the bonds within families and communities, and spiritual rejuvenation.
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