What is Eid Al-Adha?
Eid Al-Adha, also known as the Big Eid, is celebrated by many Muslims across the globe. It’s a time to reconnect with the Muslim faith and is a symbol of hope for many.
Eid Al-Adha is typically celebrated the day after the Holy Hajj pilgrimage that many Muslims take during this time of year. Eid Al-Adha usually falls on the tenth day, in the final month of the Islamic Lunar calendar, also known as Dhu al-Hijjah.
What is the teaching behind Eid Al-Adha?
Eid Al-Adha is celebrated to remember and commemorate Prophet Ibrahim – devotion to his faith and Allah. Many Muslims believe that Allah tested Prophet Ibrahim to see his commitment and willingness towards his faith.
Prophet Ibrahim was commanded by Allah to sacrifice that of which he loves most, in this case it was his son. It is believed that the devil tried to steer Prophet Ibrahim away from his task, so he threw stones at the devil, which drove the devil away.
This is a ritual that still takes place on the Holy pilgrimage to Hajj, in which Muslims throw stones as a final ritual, also known as the Great Jamara. Seven stones are thrown towards this wall to keep the devil away from leading people astray.
Seeing Prophet Ibrahims commitment, Allah then placed a ram in the place of his son instead, therefore his son remained unharmed. It was a test to see if Prophet Ibrahim was really committed to the path of spirituality and if he would really obey the command Allah had given him.
That is why Eid Al-Adha is known as the Festival of Sacrifice. It highlights the important sacrifices many Muslims make during their day to day. From giving charity, to sharing a smile with another person, Eid teaches us to be at peace and sacrifice little things that lead us towards selflessness and awareness of one’s being.
One way of marking this special occasion is ‘Qurbani’, also known as ‘sacrifice’ where many Muslims choose to sacrifice an animal (usually a goat, sheep, cow or lamb) and often, this is given to family, friends and charity or is cooked for the evening meal with family and friends. This day of celebration is further marked by the congregation of prayer, which usually takes place on the morning of Eid.