Eid al-Adha History
Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى) commemorates Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice everything for God, including his son, Ismael. God became impressed with Abraham's sincerity, and gave him a ram to sacrifice instead. For that reason, Muslims who can afford to do so also sacrifice an animal on any one of the three days of Eid al-Adha. A third of the meat is kept, a third is shared with family members, and a third is given away to needy people.
Eid al-Adha is a time of sacrifice for Muslims. It is the day after Arafah (9th of Dhul-Hijjah on the Islamic calendar). It begins on the 10th of the month and lasts for three days. This is the second main annual festival in Islam (the other being: Eidul Fitr).
Eid al-Adha Facts
- Unlike regular prayers, prayers for Eid al-Adha takes place in any large, open field. There Muslims from many mosques congregate together. Usually, mosques collaborate together to find a field that is convenient for everyone to go to. In the United States, Eid prayers often occur in parks.
- Festivities begin with a prayer service, followed by a brief sermon on the morning of the first day. During the prayer, Muslims recite verses from the Quran, lead by an Imam, prostrate to God, and send their peace to Muhammad and Abraham.
- Since this festival occurs immediately after the Day of Arafah, many of those who go to pilgrimage celebrate it in Mina (Saudi Arabia), where thousands of animals are slaughtered for sacrifice.
- It is customary for Muslims perform a ritual body washing shower, called "ghusl," before walking to the place of prayers. This is in accordance with the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad.
Eid al-Adha Top Events and Things to Do
- Often, a large party is thrown by Muslims on one of the three days of Eid al-Adha. Meat from slaughtered animals is served.
- It is customary for Muslim men who have lost loved ones visit graveyards on Eid al-Adha.
- It is Islamic tradition to wear your most beautiful clothes on the first day of Eid al-Adha. A few days before Eid al-Adha, Muslims shop for their new Eid clothes. Merchants in Islamic countries often hold their biggest sales before Eid al-Adha.