Eidul-Adha is one of the major Islamic festivals. Muslims all over the world are celebrating the festival of sacrifice, one of the most important holidays in Islam. Eidul-Adha celebrations start after the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, by Muslims worldwide. Eidul-Adha, the biggest Islamic festival is celebrated to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his son Ishmael. Muslims around the world observe this event with great priorities and religious devotion. Everyone in the Muslim community is expected to dress in their finest clothing to perform the Eid prayer. Well-off Muslim devotees sacrifice their best domestic animals, usually sheep, cows, goats, and even camels, as a reenactment of Ibrahim’s sacrifice.
The Eid has been originated from the holy Qur’an. It is one of the festivals that Muslims celebrate worldwide to commemorate God’s forgiveness of Ibrahim when he promised to sacrifice his own son Ishmael as commanded by Allah. Although Ibrahim was ready to sacrifice his dearest for Allah’s sake; he could not just go and drag his son to the place of sacrifice without his consent. Ishmael had to be consulted as to whether he was willing to give up his life as the fulfillment of God’s command. However, Ishmael showed no objection to the will of Allah. Muslims celebrate Eidul-Adha as it marks the end of the Pilgrimage or Hajj period; annually millions of Muslims make a trip to Mecca. Every year, Muslims trace their journey to the Holy Land of Mecca in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj Rituals. Muslims must perform the Hajj at least once in their lifetime. After the Hajj is performed, the men are given the title “hajji” and the women “hajjah”. Eidul-Adha is celebrated with big fervor in the Muslim-dominated country though it varies a bit in different countries.
Eidul-Adha is celebrated with big fervor in the Muslim-dominated Middle East countries. This festival of sacrifice is major public holidays in Islamic countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and other Arab countries. Like Eidul-Fitr, Eidul-Adha also begins with a short prayer followed by a speech (Khutba) In Mecca, the Khutba is delivered from Mount Arafat. EidulAdha is more commonly known as Eid el-Kibr in Egypt. The day starts off the same; Eid Prayers followed by a sermon which is then followed by family gatherings and a huge feast. The people of Egypt donate Qurbani meat very generously. The wealthy, as well as numerous charity organizations, give Qurbani meat and other food necessities to all those in need in order to honor the Sunna of Prophet Ibrahim.
Europe and America
Muslims living in Western and European countries no doubt miss the Eid festivities back home but that doesn’t dampen their spirits nor their celebrations. Muslims living in these regions usually skip breakfast and go straight for Eid prayers. After the prayers and sermon, they have a huge feast with family and friends. Due to the increasingly active work lifestyle of these countries and the fact these are predominantly non-Muslim regions, it is also very common to see people going straight to work or school after Eid and they celebrate as a family over the weekend.
In South Asia, especially in Muslim religious countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan EidulAdha is celebrated with so much excitement. In the weeks building up to EidUl-Adha, Muslim families save to purchase either goats or cattle which are to be slaughtered on the big day. On the day of the celebration, these animals are typically carted to town squares and local mosques where the families who purchased the animals gather. After they arrive, and the correct prayers and rituals are performed, one by one the animals are slaughtered, skinned and butchered. But instead of wasting the animals by disposing of them, Muslims are required to adhere to a certain rule in which a third of the meat belongs to the family that bought the animal, another third belongs to family friends and kin, and the last third belongs to the poor and needy. Families start gathering together during the day and at night, they have a nice family dinner. They exchange gifts and some lucky children even get some spending money!
It doesn’t matter which part of the world you live in, the Eid prayer, the concluding sermon, and the sacrifice are the same for everyone. Everything afterward varies according to region, culture, and even geography. May Allah enable us to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha with our loved ones. Ameen! We, at Muslim Aid, would like to wish all Muslim brothers and sisters a glorious and happy Eid-Ul-Adha!