Eid al Adha

Festival of the Sacrifice

What is Eid al Adha or, the "Festival of the Sacrifice"?

Eid al Adha celebrates the prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son, Ismaeel, when he was instructed to do so by God in a divine dream. However Ibrahim was initially hesitant, and so consulted Ismaeel, who said to him, "O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills one practising Patience and Constancy!" Abraham and Ismaeel, proceeded with the sacrifice, but as the knife moved, Abraham found his son replaced with a ram. And thus Abraham had proved the test and shown that he submitted to God in the utmost.

How the Day Goes

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Is the Eid prayer different? If so how does it go?

The Eid prayer is a prayer that is specifically performed on the days of Eid in addition to the other 5 mandatory prayers. Scholars differ in opinion on whether the Eid prayer is mandatory or highly recommended. The Eid prayer is two units, rakah, long, and differs in some ways from regular prayer.


1. In the first rakah

  • After the imam has said, Allahu Akbar, the action which is called 'takbir' raise your hands and follow
  • There will be two more takbirs, for a total of three before the recitation. Follow each by raising your hands and then placing them at your side. After the third, hold them at your chest.
  • The rest of the rakah proceeds in the same way as regular Muslim prayer.


2. In the second rakah

  • The beginning of the prayer will proceed normally, however before going into 'sujood' or bowing, there will be three more takbirs. Follow them as before.
  • The rest of the rakah proceeds like regular Muslim prayer.


After the prayer is over, there is a short sermon given by the imam, which many scholars consider obligatory.

What happens to the slaughtered animal?

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The meat of the slaughtered animal is divided into three portions.
  • One section is kept for the family
  • The second section goes to relatives, friends and neighbors
  • The third section goes to the poor and the needy


The divisions are 'Sunnah,' meaning that they are not obligatory, and were are the preferred practice according to the Prophetic tradition.

How do people celebrate?

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People often eat foods prepared from the portion of the slaughtered animal, meaning that the main dish served on Eid al Adha is a meat dish, and is always fresh. Another Eid tradition in South East Asia, is Vermicelli.
All in all, the 'Festival of the Sacrifice,' is a reminder of the depth of sacrifice. People in Western nations often criticize Eid al Adha, for the numerous animals sacrificed, and the methods involved in halal slaughter. However, on Eid al Adha, the individual must remember where this food comes from.
Huda. "Eid Al-Adha." Aboutreligion. About.com, n.d. Web. 09 June 2015.


"How to Perform Eid Ul Adha Prayer." Eidul Adha. SoundVision, n.d. Web.