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The significance Eid-Ul-Adha

Art and Culture

The significance Eid-Ul-Adha

Eid-Ul-Adha (a.k.a. the Feast of Sacrifice or Day of Sacrifice) is observed after the Hajj -- the annual pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca) in Saudi Arabia.

By Admin 16th Aug, 2012 09:48 pm

The Feast Of Sacrifice in Islam

Overview:

Eid-Ul-Adha (a.k.a. the Feast of Sacrifice or Day of Sacrifice) is observed after the Hajj -- the annual pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca) in Saudi Arabia.

A duty of each Muslim, as described in the Five Pillars of Islam, is to go on Hajj at least once once during their lifetime, unless they are prevented by finances or ill health. "The Hajj consists of several ceremonies, meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, and to commemorate the trials of prophet Abraham and his family...The pilgrimage also enables Muslims from all around the world, of different colors, languages, races, and ethnicities, to come together in a spirit of universal brotherhood and sisterhood to worship the One God together." 1

It is the second of the two major Muslim holy days. The other is Eid-ul-Fitr which follows Ramadan -- a lunar month of partial fasting.

When is it celebrated?

Eid-Ul-Adha is observed after the conclusion of the Hajj. The first day of this celebration is held on the 10th day of Duhl-Hijja, which is the last month of the Muslim year. In most areas, the Feast of Sacrifice is celebrated over several days. 2

Islamic months begin at sunset on the day when the lunar crescent appears after the new moon, and can be sighted by the unaided eye . "Visibility depends on a large number of factors including weather condition, the altitude of the moon at sunset, the closeness of the moon to the sun at sunset, the interval between sunset and moonset, atmospheric pollution, the quality of the eyesight of the observer, use of optical aids etc." 3 As a result, although the phases of the moon can be predicted accurately, the moon's visibility at a given place on Earth cannot be estimated in advance. Thus, the feast day has always been celebrated on different days in various areas of the world.

Because the date of the Feast of Sacrifice is determined by a lunar calendar, it is observed about 11 days earlier each year. According to the Gregorian calendar.

Its significance:

"The celebration of Eid-Ul-Adha is in commemoration of the command give by Allah to Prophet Abraham (may Allah be pleased with him) to sacrifice his first born son Ishmael to Him. The fulfilment of this noble command of Allah by Abraham signifies his faith in Allah...."

Its activities:

According to the website theeid.com, Eid-Ul-Adha is a day of remembrance. Even in the most joyful times, the Muslim makes a fresh start of the day by a session of congregational prayers to Allah in an open space. Muslims use the occasion to pray to Allah and to glorify His name to demonstrate the remembrance of His grace and favours. Muslims also remember the deceased by praying for their souls to rest in peace. The needy and vulnerable in society are also remembered by showing them sympathy and consolation.

Muslims around the world celebrate this feast of commitment, obedience and self-sacrifice to Allah. They wear their nicest clothing and attend Salatul-Eid (Eid Prayer) in the morning. This is followed by a short sermon, after which everyone socializes. Next, people visit each other's homes and partake in festive meals with special dishes, beverages, and desserts. Children receive gifts and sweets on this happy occasion. In addition, like the pilgrims in Makkah (Mecca), the Muslims, who can afford to do so, offer domestic animals, usually sheep, as a symbol of Ibrahim's sacrifice.

Some of the meat is given to the poor -- often one third. The rest is shared among the family, relatives and friends.
In addition, Eid-Ul-Adha is a time when Muslims pray for forgiveness from God and strength of faith. They, in turn, forgive others, releasing any feelings of enmity or ill feeling towards others. 2 Many Muslims exchange greeting cards at this time.

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