Eid al-Adha

An Islamic celebration also known as the Feast of Sacrifice

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What is Eid al-Adha?

Eid al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice is celebrated by Muslims around the 10th to the 13th of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah. Along with commemorating Ibrahim's willingness, this holiday marks the completion of the hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Eid al-Adha is known as the Feast of Sacrifice because during the holiday, the tradition of sacrificing an animal for food such as a sheep, goat and cow is an act of thanksgiving for God's mercy.

Origin

Eid al-Adha is celebrated by Muslims to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim (also known as Abraham in the Hebrew Bible), to follow Allah's command of sacrificing his son, Ishmael. Ibrahim is the first of the three biblical patriarchs who is worshipped by three of the world's great monotheistic religions known as Islam, Christianity and Judaism. This annual festival celebrates this historical event that occurred thousands of years ago around the time of Ibrahim. For Ibrahim's devotion and willingness to sacrifice his son, Allah gave him a lamb to sacrifice instead of his son, Ishmael.
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A photo of the patriarch Ibrahim

Eid Al Adha Prayer 1428/2007

Festivities

During this celebration, many festivities occur in Muslim communities. This is a time marked by special prayers at the mosque. Muslims wear their new clothes and attend the Eid prayer services at the mosque. The prayer can be performed any time after the sun has risen and before midday on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah which is the last month of the Islamic calendar. Before attending the prayer, Muslims are required to perform some preparation rituals which include wearing new clothes, paying extra care to personal cleanliness and reciting the Salat al-Fajr, the pre-sunrise prayer. Some of them hold lectures on aspects of Islam and Islamic history. Many people visit their family and friends, exchange greetings and gifts and make donations to the poor and needy. One of the main aspects of his holiday is sacrificing either a cow, lamb, sheep or goat usually. The meat is then distributed into thirds given to one's friends, family and the poor. The animals that are slaughtered have to meet certain quality standards or else the sacrifice will be considered unacceptable. There is a specific age an animal should be. Eid al-Adha follows one of the Five Pillars of Islam known as Hajj where Muslims are required to make a pilgrimage to The Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Kaaba is the most sacred place in Islam. In Islam, Muslims pray five times a day directly towards The Kaaba. All mosques mark the direction of this holy site inside. All Muslims hope to engage in Hajj or the annual pilgrimage to The Kaaba once in their life if they are able to.
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Significance

On this day, an animal is slaughtered which symbolizes the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son to God. The significance behind sharing the animal with friends, family and the poor is charity is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. These Five Pillars are the basic tenets of the religion and represents an important aspect in Muslim's lives. Furthermore, during this time, Muslims are encouraged to participate in activities that aid the poor and strengthen the lives of the community members.
Eid Al-Adha 2012 Celebration: Animal Sacrifice

Eid al-Adha 2015

Tuesday, Sep. 22nd, 5pm

Around the World

Eid al-Adha will take place this year on Tuesday, September 22nd in the evening.
More Info

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Works Cited

Eid-al-Adha in Canada. (n.d.). Retrieved June 8, 2015, from http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/canada/eid-al-adha


Eid Al-Adha - Islam Holidays Eid Al Adha. (n.d.). Retrieved June 5, 2015, from http://www.religionfacts.com/islam/holidays/eid-al-adha


Eid-al-Adha 2014: Prayers, Sacrifice and Charity Traditions. (2014, October 2). Retrieved June 5, 2015, from http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/eid-al-adha-2014-traditions-prayers-sacrifice-charity-1468303


Khan Academy. (n.d.). Retrieved June 5, 2015, from https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/art-islam/beginners-guide-islamic/a/the-kaaba


Perform Hajj - What is Hajj - Pilgrimage to Mecca? (n.d.). Retrieved June 6, 2015, from http://www.performhajj.com/what_is_hajj.php