Eid Mubarak to all Muslim’s celebrating across the world! As we approach another important festival in the Muslim calendar referred to as ‘Eid al-Adha’ – I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you more about it.

 

What is Eid al-Adha?

Eid al-Adha (‘Festival of Sacrifice’) is one of the most important festivals in the Muslim calendar. The festival remembers the prophet Ibrahim’s (Abraham) willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael when Allah (God) ordered him to, in order to prove his faith.

 

What happens during Eid al-Adha?

During the festival, families that can afford to sacrifice a ritually acceptable animal (sheep, goat, camel or cow) also known as a ‘Qurbani’ (sacrifice) do so and then divide the meat equally among themselves, the poor, friends and neighbours.

Eid al-Adha begins with morning prayers followed by an opportunity to visit family and friends, eat together and exchange gifts/food.

It’s a tradition to wear new clothes and on the way to the mosque, to eat something sweet, such as a date, and recite a short prayer, called a ‘takbeer’. Before Eid prayers, every Muslim is obliged to make a donation to charity called ‘Zakat’ to help feed the poor and enable them to celebrate as well.

 

What is the difference between Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha?

The Islamic calendar follows the 12-month lunar calendar which means the dates of both Eids change each year, but Eid al-Adha is always a little over two months after Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan (fasting), whilst Eid al-Adha is the festival of sacrifice and remembrance.

On both Eids, many Muslims will go to special prayers at their local mosque and have a day of celebrations with family and friends.

 

When is Eid al-Adha celebrated?

Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha on the last day of the ‘Hajj’. The Hajj is a pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia. It occurs every year and is one of the five pillars of Islam – the other pillars are fasting, faith, prayer and giving charity.

All Muslims who are fit and able to travel should make the visit to Makkah at least once in their lives.