Blessings for Eid al-Adha
|Official name||عيد الأضحى|
|Observed by||Muslims and Druze|
|Observances||Eid prayers, animal sacrifice, charity, social gatherings, festive meals, gift-giving|
|Begins||10 Dhu al-Hijjah|
|Ends||12 or 13 Dhu al-Hijjah|
|Date||10 Dhu al-Hijjah|
|2018 date||21 August|
|2019 date||11 August|
|Related to||Hajj; Eid al-Fitr|
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Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى, translit. ʿīd al-ʾaḍḥā, lit. 'Feast of the Sacrifice', [ʕiːd ælˈʔɑdˤħæː]), also called the "Festival of Sacrifice", is the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year (the other being Eid al-Fitr), and considered the holier of the two. It honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command. Before Abraham could sacrifice his son, God provided a male goat to sacrifice instead. In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts: one third of the share is given to the poor and needy; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the remaining third is retained by the family.
In the Islamic lunar calendar, Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah. In the international (Gregorian) calendar, the dates vary from year to year drifting approximately 11 days earlier each year. Eid al-Adha is the latter of the two Eid holidays, the former being Eid al-Fitr. The word "Eid" appears once in Al-Ma'ida, the fifth sura of the Quran, with the meaning "solemn festival".
Eid al-Adha has had other names outside the Muslim world. The name is often simply translated into the local language, such as English Feast of the Sacrifice, German Opferfest, Dutch Offerfeest, Romanian Sărbătoarea Sacrificiului, and Hungarian Áldozati ünnep. In Spanish it is known as Fiesta del Cordero or Fiesta del Borrego (both meaning "festival of the lamb"). It is also known as Id ul Baqarah in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East, as Eid è Qurbon in Iran, Kurban Bayramı ("the Holiday of Sacrifice") in Turkey, Bakara Eid in Trinidad, Qorbani Eid (কোরবানী ঈদ) in Bangladesh, Eid el-Kebir in Morocco, Tfaska Tamoqqart in the Berber language of Jerba, Iduladha or Qurban in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, Bakri Idh ("Goat Eid") in parts of Pakistan and India and Tabaski or Tobaski in Senegal and West Africa  (most probably borrowed from the Serer language — an ancient Serer religious festival).
The following names are used as other names of Eid al-Adha:
- ʿīd al-aḍḥā / ʿīd ul-aḍḥā means "sacrifice feast"  is used in Urdu, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, and Austronesian languages such as Malay and Indonesian.
- Eid al-Kabir means "the Greater Eid" (the "Lesser Eid" being Eid al-Fitr)  is used in Yemen, Syria, and North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt). Translations of "Big Eid" or "Greater Eid" are used in Pashto (لوی اختر Loy Axtar), Kashmiri (Baed Eid), Urdu and Hindi (Baṛī Īd), Bengali (বড় ঈদ Boro Id), Tamil (Peru Nāl, "Great Day") and Malayalam (Bali Perunnal, "Great Day of Sacrifice").
- "Bakr-Eid" that word of Bakr referred to al-Baqara (in Arabic) means "The Cow". Bakr-Eid is used in Urdu and Hindi language. Also, the translation of Bakr-Eid as Id ul Baqarah is used in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East
- Qurbon Hayiti (Kurban Eid) is used in Uzbekistan
- "Hajj celebration day" (in local language: Lebaran Haji) is used in Malaysian and Indonesian, in the Philippines
The root of sacrifice is dhabih which means tear, cut, rend, or slit. Its technical meaning is referred to as slaughtering or sacrificing of special animals in a spectacular manner.
One of the main trials of Abraham's life was to face the command of God to sacrifice his dearest possession, his son. The son is not named in the Quran, but Muslims believe it to be Ishmael, whereas it is mentioned as Isaac in the Bible. Upon hearing this command, Abraham prepared to submit to will of God. During this preparation, Shaitan (the Devil) tempted Abraham and his family by trying to dissuade them from carrying out God's commandment, and Abraham drove Satan away by throwing pebbles at him. In commemoration of their rejection of Satan, stones are thrown at symbolic pillars during the Stoning of the Devil during Hajj rites.
When Abraham attempted to cut his throat on mount Arafat, he was astonished to see that his son was unharmed and instead, he found a ram  which was slaughtered. Abraham had passed the test by his willingness to carry out God's command.
100 "O my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)!"
101 So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear.
102 Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: "O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!" (The son) said: "O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me if Allah so wills one practicing Patience and Constancy!"
103 So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),
104 We called out to him "O Abraham!
105 "Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!" – thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
106 For this was obviously a trial–
107 And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice:
108 And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times:
109 "Peace and salutation to Abraham!"
110 Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
111 For he was one of our believing Servants.
112 And We gave him the good news of Isaac – a prophet – one of the Righteous.
Abraham had shown that his love for God superseded all others: that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dearest to him in submission to God's command. Muslims commemorate this ultimate act of sacrifice every year during Eid al-Adha. While Abraham was prepared to make an ultimate sacrifice, God ultimately prevents the sacrifice, additionally signifying that one should never sacrifice a human life, especially not in the name of God.
Devotees offer the Eid al-Adha prayers at the mosque. The Eid al-Adha prayer is performed any time after the sun completely rises up to just before the entering of Zuhr time, on the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah. In the event of a force majeure (e.g. natural disaster), the prayer may be delayed to the 11th of Dhu al-Hijjah and then to the 12th of Dhu al-Hijjah.
Eid prayers must be offered in congregation. Participation of women in the prayer congregation varies from community to community. It consists of two rakats (units) with seven takbirs in the first Raka'ah and five Takbirs in the second Raka'ah. For Sunni Muslims, Salat al-Eid differs from the five daily canonical prayers in that no adhan (call to prayer) or iqama (call) is pronounced for the two Eid prayers. The salat (prayer) is then followed by the khutbah, or sermon, by the Imam.
At the conclusion of the prayers and sermon, Muslims embrace and exchange greetings with one other (Eid Mubarak), give gifts and visit one another. Many Muslims also take this opportunity to invite their non-Muslim friends, neighbours, co-workers and classmates to their Eid festivities to better acquaint them about Islam and Muslim culture.
Traditions and practices
During Eid al-Adha, distributing meat amongst the people, chanting the takbir out loud before the Eid prayers on the first day and after prayers throughout the four days of Eid, are considered essential parts of this important Islamic festival.
The takbir consists of:
الله أكبر الله أكبر
Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar
Men, women, and children are expected to dress in their finest clothing to perform Eid prayer in a large congregation in an open waqf ("stopping") field called Eidgah or mosque. Affluent Muslims who can afford it sacrifice their best halal domestic animals (usually a cow, but can also be a camel, goat, sheep, or ram depending on the region) as a symbol of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his only son. The sacrificed animals, called aḍḥiya (Arabic: أضحية), known also by the Perso-Arabic term qurbāni, have to meet certain age and quality standards or else the animal is considered an unacceptable sacrifice. In Pakistan alone nearly ten million animals are slaughtered on Eid days costing over US$2.0 billion.
The meat from the sacrificed animal is preferred to be divided into three parts. The family retains one-third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends, and neighbors; and the remaining third is given to the poor and needy. Though the division is purely optional wherein either all the meat may be kept with oneself or may be given away to poor or needy, the preferred method as per sunnah of Muhammad is dividing it into three parts.
Muslims wear their new or best clothes. Women cook special sweets. They gather with family and friends.
Eid al-Adha in the Gregorian calendar
While Eid al-Adha is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. The lunar calendar is approximately eleven days shorter than the solar calendar. Each year, Eid al-Adha (like other Islamic holidays) falls on one of about two to four different Gregorian dates in different parts of the world, because the boundary of crescent visibility is different from the International Date Line.
The following list shows the official dates of Eid al-Adha for Saudi Arabia as announced by the Supreme Judicial Council. Future dates are estimated according to the Umm al-Qura calendar of Saudi Arabia. The Umm al-Qura is just a guide for planning purposes and not the absolute determinant or fixer of dates. Confirmations of actual dates by moon sighting are applied on the 29th day of the lunar month prior to Dhu al-Hijjah to announce the specific dates for both Hajj rituals and the subsequent Eid festival. The three days after the listed date are also part of the festival. The time before the listed date the pilgrims visit the Mount Arafat and descend from it after sunrise of the listed day.
In many countries, the start of any lunar Hijri month varies based on the observation of new moon by local religious authorities, so the exact day of celebration varies by locality.
|Islamic year||Gregorian date|
|1437||12 September 2016|
|1438||1 September 2017|
|1439||21 August 2018|
|1440||11 August 2019 (calculated)|
|1441||31 July 2020 (calculated)|
Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest,
There is no god but Allah
Allah is greatest, Allah is greatest
and to Allah goes all praise.
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