Introduction to Eid al-Adha

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Every religion in the world has some of its special celebrations and festivities which are unique to it. Muslims have two major such celebrations. These are Eid al-Adha and Eid-ul-Fitr. The former is also regarded as Bakra-Eid or, Eid Qurban, and is considered to be holier of the two. Eid al-Adha translates to the ‘Feast of the Sacrifice’, as the name suggests the festival includes a ritual of sacrifice.

It is in honour of Prophet Ibrahim’s (Abraham) willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command; but before he could do it, God provided him with a lamb instead, marking his absolute obedience to his lord. Reminiscent of that, followers of Islam all over the world celebrate this holy festival with an animal sacrifice, usually a sheep or, goat. Though, the intention is not bloodshed; instead it’s about sacrificing something the devotees of Islam love and care for, showing their faith in the almighty. Hence, a significant portion of the sacrificed animal’s meat is given to the poor.


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The origin and purpose of Eid al-Adha

The origin of the occasion can be found in one of the trials of Ibrahim’s life, where he was ordered by God to sacrifice his beloved son Ishmael. The incidents and conversations can be found in the Holy Quran, where Ishmael wholeheartedly agreed to be slaughtered by his father, as it was an order by God himself. Hence, they prepared to submit to the will of God as an act of faith and obedience.

Acknowledging Ibrahim’s obedience, willingness, and fulfilment of the revelations, God almighty blessed and honoured both Ibrahim and Ishmael. A lamb was sent from heaven by the hands of Angel Jibreel (Gabriel) to be slaughtered instead. Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid al-Adha to commemorate this holy event.

The purpose of this Eid is not about shedding of blood just for the sake of satisfying Allah. Instead, it’s about sacrificing something devotees truly love and care for to show their devotion to the almighty. It is also necessary that the meat of the sacrificed animal is shared among people, as it is considered holy.

It is divided into three equivalent portions – for family, for relatives and friends, and very important for poor and needy people. It is clear that the intention of the celebration is not bloodshed, rather it’s about faith, kindness, and equality. It is thought that the meat will not reach Allah, nor will the blood, but what reaches Him is the faith and devotion of his believers.

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    Celebrations of Eid al-Adha

    Muslims worldwide offer the Eid al-Adha prayers (namaz) at the mosque. This prayer is offered at any time after sunrise and till sunset. The Eid prayers must be offered in the congregation; the participation of women in the prayers varies from one community to another. The Eid prayer consists of two rakats (raka’ah) with seven takbirs in the first Rakat and five in the second Rakat. Though, the offering of the prayers differs a bit for the Shia Muslims.

    Men, women, and children dress their finest to offer Eid prayers and in performing the rituals. Besides the prayers and sacrifice, people meet and greet each other with immense love and kindness. Any communal barriers do not limit the festival; devotees invite their friends, relatives, and their near and dear ones on this day of celebration.

    Both the Eids are celebrated in various parts of India with pomp and splendour; it is no less than a festive season. Various delicious cuisines are prepared especially for this celebration such as Biriyani, Sheer Khurma, Sewaiyan, Nihari, Halim, Phirni, Shahi Tukda, etc. are some of the most popular delicacies.


    Hence, we can conclude that the festival of Eid al-Adha may be centred on religious beliefs and sacrifice; it is, more importantly, an occasion of holiness, devotion, and preaching, practising love and kindness. It brings people of various cultures and communities together and rejoices in the spirit of love and mutual respect. Both the Eids are celebrated with utmost joy, love, and enthusiasm all over India, which only goes onto justify India’s reputation as a secular, united nation and also strengthens the spirit of brotherhood among the citizens.

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