What is Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice)..??
At the end of the Hajj (annual pilgrimage to Makkah), Muslims throughout the world celebrate the holy day of Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice). In 2010, Eid al-Adha will begin on approximately November 16th/17th, and will last for three days.
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.
It is celebrated on the 10th of Zul-Hijjah, the last month of Islamic calendar. Because the date of the Feast of Sacrifice is determined by a lunar calendar, it is observed about 11 days earlier each year with respect to the Gregorian calendar. 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."
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.
During the celebration of Eid al-Adha, Muslims commemorate and remember Ibrahim (A.S.)'s trials, by themselves slaughtering an animal such as a sheep, camel, or goat. This action is very often misunderstood by those outside the faith.
What’s The Background of Eid al-Adha..??
During the Hajj, Muslims remember and commemorate the trials and triumphs of the Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.). The Qur'an describes Ibrahim (A.S.) as follows:
"Surely Ibrahim was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He was grateful for Our bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in this world, and in the next he will most surely be among the righteous." (Qur'an 16:120-121)
One of Ibrahim (A.S.)'s main trials was to face the command of Allah to kill his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah's will. When he was all prepared to do it, Allah revealed to him that his "sacrifice" had already been fulfilled. He had shown that his love for his Lord superseded all others, that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dear to him in order to obey Allah (S.W.T).
What’s The Philosophy of Eid al-Adha..??
The symbolism is in the attitude - a willingness to make sacrifices in our lives in order to stay on the Straight Path. Each of us makes small sacrifices, giving up things that are fun or important to us. A true Muslim, one who submits his or herself completely to the Lord, is willing to follow Allah's commands completely and obediently. It is this strength of heart, purity in faith, and willing obedience that our Lord desires from us.
It is very important to understand that the sacrifice itself, as practiced by Muslims, has nothing to do with atoning for our sins or using the blood to wash ourselves from sin. This is a misunderstanding by those of previous generations: "It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him." (Qur'an 22:37)
Allah has given us power over animals and allowed us to eat meat, but only if we pronounce His name at the solemn act of taking life. Muslims slaughter animals in the same way throughout the year. By saying the name of Allah at the time of slaughter, we are reminded that life is sacred.
The meat from the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the poor. The act symbolizes our willingness to give up things that are of benefit to us or close to our hearts, in order to follow Allah's commands. It also symbolizes our willingness to give up some of our own bounties, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need. We recognize that all blessings come from Allah, and we should open our hearts and share with others.
How is Eid al-Adha Celebrated..??
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; the Muslims, who can afford to do so, offer domestic animals as a symbol of Ibrahim's sacrifice.