Eid al-Adha: A holiday of sacrifice, loyalty and generosity

Which countries celebrate Eid al-Adha?

Eid al-Adha, also known as the Feast of Sacrifice, is celebrated on the tenth day of the month of Zul Hijjah in the Muslim calendar. This holiday is the final holiday for the Hajj, the holy pilgrimage to Mecca, a city that holds special significance for Muslims. During Eid al-Adha, believers perform the tradition of slaughtering a ram and sacrificing it. On this day, Muslims also remember the exploits of Prophet Ibrahim, who is considered to be the common ancestor of Arabs and Jews.

When is Eid al-Adha celebrated in 2024?

The Eid al-Adha holiday falls on the tenth day of the month of Zul Hijjah and occurs 70 days after Uraza al-Adha. The date is determined by the Muslim lunar calendar, so each year the date of celebration shifts by 11 days relative to the Gregorian calendar. Eid al-Fitr in 2024 falls on the night from 15 to 16 June.

The main celebrations of Eid al-Adha will take place on 16 June, which falls on Sunday. The holiday usually lasts three days, so in 2024 the celebrations will continue until Tuesday, 18 June. In some Islamic countries, the holiday lasts even longer, for several consecutive days. In Saudi Arabia, for example, it lasts for a fortnight.

What is the essence of the Eid al-Adha holiday?

Muhammad Hazrat Baybikov, imam of the Ihsan mosque, emphasised that Eid al-Adha is a holiday of sacrifice and one of the two most important days of the year for Muslims. In Arabic it is called Eid al-Adha, which translates as "Feast of Sacrifice".

On this day, believers remember the story described in Sura 37 of the Koran, which is also mentioned in the Old Testament. According to legend, the Prophet Ibrahim (known as Abraham in Christianity) was visited by the angel Jabrail in a dream. Allah, through him, commanded Ibrahim to sacrifice his son.

Despite his mental anguish, Ibrahim agreed and came to the valley of Mina with his son, who, aware of his fate, offered no resistance. Both treated the ordeal as a test of their loyalty to Allah.

When the moment of sacrifice arrived, Allah made the knife stop cutting and the Prophet was commanded to slaughter the ram instead of his son. For his strong faith, Allah rewarded Ibrahim, and he later had a second son, Ishaq.

Although the Qur'an does not mention the name of the son that Ibrahim was going to sacrifice, Muslim tradition suggests that it was the eldest son, Ismail. While the Christian version says that Abraham sacrificed his second son, called Isaac.

From this legend arose the tradition of sacrifice. This is the main, but not the only ritual of Eid al-Adha.

What is Eid al-Adha?

How do Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha?

Preparation for the holiday begins a month and a half before Eid al-Adha. During this period, Muslims refrain from feasts, haircuts and shaving, and many prepare for pilgrimage.

Eid al-Adha, according to Muhammad-Khazrat Baybikov, represents the end of the hajj - the journey to Mecca. Visiting the holy city is recommended for every Muslim at least once in a lifetime, provided it is possible given health, finances and external circumstances.

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and is performed annually during the first ten days of the month of Zul-Hijjah. The month of Zul-Hijjah itself is named specifically for this rite.

On the eve of the holiday, on the ninth day of Zul Hijjah, Muslims are supposed to be on Mount Arafat. On the day of Eid al-Adha, they go to the Mina Valley, where the symbolic throwing of stones takes place, and then make seven circumambulations around the Kaaba, a cubic structure in the courtyard of the Reserved Mosque in Mecca.

If for some reason a person is unable to make the pilgrimage, he or she stays at home and worships and fasts on this day.

What is fasting in Muslims?

In Islam, fasting is very strict - it involves a complete refusal of food and drink from dawn to sunset. At night, the restrictions are removed, but the religion still does not welcome excesses. In addition, for the period of fasting believers refuse intimate intimacy.

What is the significance of sacrifice on Eid al-Adha?

From the name of the holiday Eid al-Adha it follows that its main rite is a sacrifice in memory of the Prophet Ibrahim. This rite, performed on the tenth day of Zul-Hijjah, involves the sacrifice of a ram, cow or camel, with special rules.

Before starting the process, the name of Allah is recited over the animal. The Qur'an states, "When they are thrown on the ground, eat their meat, and feed the poor and the needy." This shows that Allah does not need the meat or blood of the victim. Sacrifice becomes a manifestation of a Muslim's faith and devotion.

The meaning of Eid al-Adha is an expression of devotion to Allah. While slaughtering an animal, it is important to maintain a state of calm and reverence rather than aggression. Tenderness and compassion for the victim brings Allah's favour according to the teachings of the Quran.

It is also important that the animal does not see the knife, and that it is brought to the place where the ritual is performed with care so as not to cause panic. And, of course, it is strictly forbidden to torture the victim.

By means of sacrifice a Muslim comes closer to Allah Almighty.

Muslims perform sacrifice at their place of residence or at their location during the holiday. It is not necessary to go to Mecca to do it properly.

At the end of the ritual, the meat is distributed to prepare traditional dishes from it. One third should be given to the poor and needy, one third to guests and relatives, and the rest can be left to your family.

Who is sacrificed on Eid al-Adha?

What other traditions are observed on Eid al-Adha?

After sunrise, Muslims gather in the mosque to perform festive namaz, prayer. They come there after performing ritual ablution, dressed in clean and elegant clothes. After the prayer, the believers return home to offer prayers to Allah and then have breakfast before going back to the mosque for the sermon.

Traditionally, it is customary to visit relatives and give gifts on this day. Visiting relatives and having a feast can be continued on the following days. In addition to meat dishes, there are often various sweets on the festive table.

The main obligatory actions on the day of Eid al-Adha include:

  • Performing a complete ritual ablution.
  • Visiting a mosque and participating in the festive prayer.
  • Visiting the cemetery and praying for departed relatives.
  • Sacrificing a ram, cow or camel and preparing festive dishes from it.
  • Serving meat to family, friends and the needy.
  • Setting a festive table and receiving guests.

What should not be done on Eid al-Adha?

In addition to the main mandatory rituals in Eid al-Adha, there are also a number of prohibitions that should be adhered to during this holiday. It is important not only to perform certain actions, but also to observe certain ethical norms.

First of all, it is strictly forbidden to refuse alms and help to the needy, as well as to refrain from swearing and profanity. You should also pay attention to your appearance - it is inadmissible to walk in dirty or unkempt clothes on a festive day.

Heavy physical labour is also forbidden. Eid al-Adha is a time for prayer and dialogue with loved ones, so on this day it is important to pay attention to spiritual practices and spend time with family and friends.


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