Muslims all over the world consider Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha as the two most sacred festivals. While Eid al-Fitr or Ramadan Eid marks the end of the fasting month, Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah and is considered holier of the two. Both of these festivals are called “Festival of Breaking the Fast” and “Festival of Sacrifice” respectively.
What does Eid al-Adha mean?
Eid al-Adh means the Feast of Sacrifice where Muslims usually sacrifice a sheep and ritually divide it into three parts. The three shares are given to the poor and needy, to the relatives and one is kept at home.
History of Eid al-Adha
Popularly known as Bakrid in India, Eid al-Adha is observed on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah i.e.
the last month of the Islamic calendar. The day honors the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son
Ismael as an act of obedience to God’s (Allah) command.
Ibrahim’s ultimate trial in life was to sacrifice his beloved son Ismael in a bid to obey God’s command.
He kept having recurring dreams of sacrificing his son and understood it as God’s command. When he told his son about God’s command, Ismael who was equally devoted to Allah urged him to do as he is ordered. Ibrahim prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice of slaughtering his son all the while Shaytaan (the Devil) tried to dissuade him from doing so. Ibrahim in order to drive Shaytaan away threw pebbles at him. However, before Ibrahim could perform the supreme sacrifice, God provided a lamb to sacrifice instead. Acknowledging Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his most beloved son, the God Almighty honored both father and son.
What is the Significance of Eid al-Adha?
Eid al-Adha is celebrated to hail the pure unwavering devotion of Ibrahim and Ismael for Allah. The purpose of sacrifice however is to not shed blood but to sacrifice something beloved in order to show devotion to Allah. Therefore, Muslims across the world sacrifice a goat/sheep or any other beloved animal. Eid al-Adha also obligates them to divide the meat into three equivalent parts- for the family- for relatives- and of the poor and needy. Eid al-Adha spreads a clear message of devotion and kindness.
This year Eid al-Adha is predicted to fall on the 1st August of the Gregorian calendar.
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