What is ‘Eid ul Adha?

I don’t assume that everyone who reads this site actually knows all the terms (often in Arabic) or names and meanings of the various celebrations that Muslims partake in; some Muslims themselves may even be looking for clarification, and although I am absolutely not a scholar, there are some things like ‘Eid ul Adha that are basic enough for any regular Muslim like myself to know and understand enough to explain it to others, which is what I’d like to do here.

tagine with lamb shank

‘Eid ul-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) is a wonderful time for Muslims. It commemorates the obedience of Prophet Abraham (upon him be peace) to Allah (God) where he and son were tested by the command to sacrifice Ismael, and passed the test which actually saved his son, who was replaced by a ram.

Prophet Muhammad (prayers of God upon him and peace) continued this tradition of obedience and conveyed to us to divide the Udhiya (sacrificed camel, cattle, lamb or goat) into thirds.  One-third of the sacrifice is designated for the poor, one-third for the owner, and one-third to give away as gifts. [i]

‘Eid ul Adha is a three-day celebration observed after the Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah).  It begins on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijja (Islamic month) for Muslims worldwide, regardless of cultural background or location. In the West, however, many Muslim communities will host gatherings and parties on the weekend immediately following the day of ‘Eid since ‘Eid ul Adha is not typically recognized as a three-day holiday exempting them from work or school. For more information about the Hajj, please refer to this page.

 

Read the rest of my article about gift-giving to neighbors on ‘Eid, published on The Silver Envelope website here.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to know about ‘Eid ul Adha or other Islamic celebrations?

 


[i] Imam Ahmad said: “We go along with the hadeeth of ‘Abd-Allaah (ibn ‘Abbaas – may Allah be pleased with them both): ‘He should eat one third himself, feed one third to whomever he wants, and give one third in charity.”

 

One comment

  1. Beautifully explained, MA.

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