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.
‘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]
[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.”