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Eid-Ul-Adha: The Feast of Sacrifice and Its Significance in Islam

06 February 2024

Eid-ul-Adha is also known as “the greatest Eid”. The day of Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on the 10th of Dhu-al-Hijjah. In the Islamic religion, Muslims tend to celebrate two festivals of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. The latter represents Hazrat Ibrahim's (A.S) determination to sacrifice His son Hazrat Ismail (A.S) in devotion to Almighty Allah. Since Eid means “to celebrate” and Adha means “to sacrifice”, Eid-ul-Adha is also regarded as the Feast of Sacrifice, during which Muslims slaughter a domestic animal such as a cow, sheep, goat, or camel on any of the three days of Eid-ul-Adha to show their obedience towards Allah Almighty. It is mentioned in Tirmidhi that the Allah's Messenger (?) said:

In the blessed month of Zil Hajj, Muslims from all across the globe who are physically and financially able travel to Makah in order to undertake the sacred pilgrimage Hajj. As Eid-ul-Adha is a part of one of the Hajj rituals and Hajj cannot be marked completed without it. We all are aware that Hajj is the final tenet of Islam and that it is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for any Muslim who is economically solvent.

Why Are Muslims So Enthusiastic About This Festival?

In the Quran, Allah detailed Ibrahim's narrative in reference to Eid. Ibrahim (A.S) requested that Allah bless him with a virtuous son. Allah (SWT) ultimately granted his request, and a kid was born. Ismail (A.S) is the name Ibrahim (A.S) gave to his son. This little baby would grow up to become Allah's prophet.

The event happened when Ibrahim (A.S) was growing older. He only had Hazrat Ismail (A.S), the righteous son. Ibrahim (A.S) had a dream one night in which Allah told him that he had to sacrifice Ismail (A.S). Ibrahim (A.S) took great pleasure in following Allah’s command since he was a prophet and knew the value and worth of dreams. Ismail (A.S) was ready, knowing that everything was in Allah's plan. Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S) really loved and his only son but still he was ready to sacrifice for the sake of Allah Almighty. Therefore, he planned to carry out the deed. As Ibrahim (A.S) began to perform the task and carry out Allah's order, Allah reached out to him and declared that he had completed the vision. This was the trial of the Prophet Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S) that he will follow Allah’s command or not. He was successful in his trial. According to the Quran, Allah (SWT) rewards those who do righteousness. Because of Ibrahim's (A.S) readiness to make a sacrifice, Allah substituted his son with a ram. Then Allah (SWT) blessed Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S) with another kid whom He named Ishaq, he was also the Prophet of Allah Almighty. This incident is clearly mentioned in the verses of the Quran as:

To show their reverence towards Allah (SWT), Muslims tend to sacrifice an animal on this day of the Islamic calendar. The day of Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated with full zeal and zest among the Muslims of the world in remembrance of this special event.

Sunnah and Custom of This Festival

The very first activity that Muslims must perform on Eid-ul-Adha is “Ghusl”. This Sunnah deed is referenced in many Hadith and is strongly advised. Muslims can consume anything like a date after and before the prayer on Eid-ul-Fitr. But, it is recommended to refrain from consuming on the day of Eid-ul-Adha. This is done so that Muslims can eat from the sacrifice's meal. Muslims who are willing and are financially capable are allowed to take part in this festival. When Muslims go for Eid prayer, they must say Takbir and congratulate one another. Muslims must greet each other peacefully saying Eid Mubarak, this is a way of showing love and brotherhood towards each other.

The prayer of Eid-ul-Adha comprises of two Raka’t and a Khutbah (sermon). In a Hadith it was narrated that ‘Ali said:

After that Muslims come back to their homes in order to conduct the sacrifice of the animal. Furthermore, Muslims can engage in a variety of activities like visiting relatives, friends, and neighbors, and others. They can relish delicious and halal meals and drinks, as well as participate in adequate recreational activities.

How A Person Can Offer a Sacrifice?

Muslims who want to make a sacrifice on Eid-ul-Adha face various limitations. They must not cut any of their hair, nails, or skin in the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah. If a person commits any of these sins, he must repent and seek Allah's mercy. Although, if a person possesses any medical problem or a significant cause to engage in any of the above-specified acts, it is permitted.

The Qurbani or Sacrifice

This is the most important element of the Eid-ul-Adha celebration. It's one of Islam's most important rites, and it contributes to society immensely. Muslims may offer any of the listed animals in this sacrifice. It includes Camel, cattle, sheep, and goats.

In Islam, the sacrifice is a verified Sunnah. Anyone that is able to participate must do so. A sacrifice can be made for oneself and one's family. It is a widespread misunderstanding that sacrifice can only be made on account of one individual. People can generally undertake repeated sacrifices for family members. This is acceptable, but it is not mandatory.

Cows and camels are the only creatures that can be subdivided into seven pieces apiece, but the smaller animals are only appropriate with one person's offering.

Conditions to Perform Sacrifice

Here are some of the conditions for those who are willing to sacrifice an animal:

  • Camel, cattle, sheep, and goats are the only permitted animals.
  • It should have arrived at the age when it is considered a healthy and mature animal.
  • It must be free of flaws like damaged eyes, diseases, disability, or malnourishment.
  • The person performing the sacrifice has to be the animal's legitimate owner.
  • Nobody else should have any claim on the animal.
  • We must carry out the slaughter at the appropriate moment which begins after the Eid prayer on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah and ends at nightfall on the 13th of Dhul Hijjah.

Who Is Eligible to Get Qurbani Meat?

A sacrificial animal's meat should be equally divided into three sections:

  1. One portion goes to the individual who gave the animal.
  2. One portion will be distributed to family, friends, or neighbors.
  3. One portion will be distributed to the poor people either Muslim or Non-Muslim.

Have A Blessed Eid

It is evident Eid-ul-Adha is a period when Muslims commemorate Ibrahim's sacrifice (A.S). Abandoning something significant as one's own kid, for the cause of Allah isn't something that everybody is capable of doing. His deeds always encourage us to strive to obey Allah regardless of the circumstances. There is no reason for us not to obey Him. Furthermore, we should keep in mind that we do not know what's good for ourselves and what’s not. We should have faith in Allah since he is All-Knowing. Celebrate a happy and blessed Eid-ul-Adha this year, as it is approaching soon. Always greet others with kindness and love. Help poor people as they are more worthy of your kindness and meat as well.

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