|Official name||Eid ul-Adha|
Commemoration of Abraham (Ibrahim)'s willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience of a command from God
|Observances||Eid prayers, animal slaughter, charity, social gatherings, festive meals, gift-giving|
|Begins||10 Dhu al-Hijjah|
|Ends||13 Dhu al-Hijjah|
|Date||10 Dhu al-Hijjah|
|2023 date||28 June to 2 July|
|2024 date||16 June to 20 June|
|Related to||Hajj; Eid al-Fitr|
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Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى, romanized: ʿĪd al-ʾAḍḥā, lit. 'Feast of the Sacrifice') is the second and the larger of the two main holidays celebrated in Islam (the other being Eid al-Fitr). It honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of obedience to Allah's command. Before Ibrahim could sacrifice his son, however, Allah provided him with a lamb which he was supposed to kill in his son's place because of his willingness to sacrifice his own son in the name of God. In commemoration of this intervention, animals are ritually sacrificed. Part of their meat is consumed by the family which offers the animal, while the rest of the meat is distributed to the poor and the needy. Sweets and gifts are given, and extended family members are typically visited and welcomed. The day is also sometimes called the Greater Eid.
In the Islamic lunar calendar, Eid al-Adha falls on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah and lasts for four days. In the international (Gregorian) calendar, the dates vary from year to year, shifting approximately 11 days earlier each year.
Eid al-Adha is also pronounced Eid al-Azha and Eidul Azha, primarily in Iran and regions influenced by the Persian language like the Indian subcontinent; / , - / EED əl AH-də, - AHD-hah; Arabic: عيد الأضحى, romanized: ʿĪd al-ʾAḍḥā, IPA: [ʕiːd al ˈʔadˤħaː].
The Arabic word عيد (ʿīd) means 'festival', 'celebration', 'feast day', or 'holiday'. It itself is a triliteral root عيد with associated root meanings of "to go back, to rescind, to accrue, to be accustomed, habits, to repeat, to be experienced; appointed time or place, anniversary, feast day". Arthur Jeffery contests this etymology, and believes the term to have been borrowed into Arabic from Syriac, or less likely Targumic Aramaic.
The holiday is called عيد الأضحى (Eid-ul-Adha) or العيد الكبير (Eid-ul-Kabir) in Arabic. The words أضحى (aḍḥā) and قربان (qurbān) are synonymous in meaning 'sacrifice' (animal sacrifice), 'offering' or 'oblation'. The first word comes from the triliteral root ضحى (ḍaḥḥā) with associated meanings of "immolate ; offer up ; sacrifice ; victimize". No occurrence of this root with a meaning related to sacrifice occurs in the Qur'an but in the Hadith literature. Arab Christians use the term to mean the Eucharistic host. The second word derives from the triliteral root قرب (qaraba) with associated meanings of "closeness, proximity... to moderate; kinship...; to hurry; ...to seek, to seek water sources...; scabbard, sheath; small boat; sacrifice". Arthur Jeffery recognizes the same Semitic root, but believes the sense of the term to have entered Arabic through Aramaic. The word is still used by Aramaic Christians for the Communion service, see Eucharist above. Compare Hebrew korban קָרבן (qorbān).
One of the main trials of Ibrahim's life was to face the command of Allah by killing his beloved son. According to the new narrative, Ibrahim kept having nightmares that he was sacrificing his son Ismail son of Hajar. Ibrahim knew that this was a command from Allah and he told his son, as stated in the Quran, "Oh son, I keep dreaming that I am slaughtering you". Ismail replied, "Father, do what you are ordered to do." Ibrahim prepared to submit to the will of Allah and to slaughter his son as an act of faith and obedience to Allah. During the preparation, Shaytaan tempted Ibrahim and his family by trying to dissuade them from carrying out Allah's commandment, and Ibrahim drove Satan away by throwing pebbles at him. In commemoration of their rejection of Satan, stones are thrown during Hajj rites at symbolic pillars, symbolising the place at which Satan tried to dissuade Ibrahim
Acknowledging that Ibrahim was willing to sacrifice what is dear to him, Allah the Almighty honoured both Ibrahim and Ismail. Angel Jibreel called Ibrahim "O' Ibrahim, you have fulfilled the revelations." and a lamb from heaven was offered by Angel Jibreel to prophet Ibrahim to slaughter instead of Ismail. Muslims worldwide celebrate Eid al Adha to commemorate both the devotion of Ibrahim and the survival of Ismail.
100 My Lord! Bless me with righteous offspring.”
101 So We gave him good news of a forbearing son.
102 Then when the boy reached the age to work with him, Abraham said, “O my dear son! I have seen in a dream that I ˹must˺ sacrifice you. So tell me what you think.” He replied, “O my dear father! Do as you are commanded. Allah willing, you will find me steadfast.”
103 Then when they submitted ˹to Allah’s Will˺, and Abraham laid him on the side of his forehead ˹for sacrifice˺,
104 We called out to him, “O Abraham!
105 You have already fulfilled the vision.” Indeed, this is how We reward the good-doers.
106 That was truly a revealing test.
107 And We ransomed his son with a great sacrifice,
108 and blessed Abraham ˹with honourable mention˺ among later generations:
109 “Peace be upon Abraham.”
110 This is how We reward the good-doers.
111 He was truly one of Our faithful servants.
112 We ˹later˺ gave him good news of Isaac—a prophet, and one of the righteous.
Slaughter on Eid al-Adha
The tradition for Eid al-Adha involves slaughtering an animal and sharing the meat in three equal parts – for family, for relatives and friends, and for poor people. The goal is to make sure every Muslim gets to eat meat.
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 tenth 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 Shia 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 another (Eid Mubarak), give gifts and visit one another. Many Muslims also take this opportunity to invite their friends, neighbours, co-workers and classmates to their Eid festivities to better acquaint them about Islam and Muslim culture.
Traditions and practices
During Eid ul-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 الله أكبر
Allāhu akbar, 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 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 sacrificed on Eid days, costing over $2 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.
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 Gregorian dates in 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 calendar 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 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|
|1421||5 March 2001|
|1422||22 February 2002|
|1423||11 February 2003|
|1424||1 February 2004|
|1425||20 January 2005|
|1426||30 December 2006|
|1427||20 December 2007|
|1428||8 December 2008|
|1429||27 November 2009|
|1430||16 November 2010|
|1431||6 November 2011|
|1432||26 October 2012|
|1433||14 October 2013|
|1434||5 October 2014|
|1435||24 September 2015|
|1436||12 September 2016|
|1437||2 September 2017|
|1438||20 August 2018|
|1439||11 August 2019|
|1440||31 July 2020|
|1441||20 July 2021|
|1442||9 July 2022|
|1443||28 June 2023 (calculated)|
|1444||16 June 2024 (calculated)|
|1445||6 June 2025 (calculated)|
|1446||26 May 2026 (calculated)|
|1447||16 May 2027 (calculated)|
|1448||4 May 2028 (calculated)|
|1449||23 April 2029 (calculated)|
|1450||13 April 2030 (calculated)|
|1451||2 April 2031 (calculated)|
|1452||21 March 2032 (calculated)|
|1453||11 March 2033 (calculated)|
|1454||28 February 2034 (calculated)|
|1455||17 February 2035 (calculated)|
|1456||7 February 2036 (calculated)|
|1457||26 January 2037 (calculated)|
|1458||16 January 2038 (calculated )|
Translation: Allah is the greatest, 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.
Because the Hijri year differs by about 11 days from the AD year, Eid al-Adha can occur twice a year, in the year 1029, 1062, 1094, 1127, 1159, 1192, 1224, 1257, 1290, 1322, 1355, 1387, 1420, 1452, 1485, 1518, 1550, 1583, 1615, 1648, 1681, 1713, 1746, 1778, 1811, 1844, 1876, 1909, 1941, 1974, 2006, 2039, 2072, 2104, 2137, 2169, 2202, 2235, 2267 and 2300. (will continue to occur every 32 or 33 years).
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Simply, Eid al-Adha is considered the holier of the two religious holidays and so it is referred to as 'Big Eid' whilst Eid al Fitr can be known as 'Lesser Eid'. Eid al-Kabir means 'Greater Eid' and is used in Yemen, Syria, and North Africa, whilst other translations of 'Large Eid' are used in Pashto, Kashmiri, Urdu and Hindi. This distinction is also known in the Arab world, but by calling 'Bari Eid' bari, this Eid is already disadvantaged. It is the 'other Eid'. 'Bari Eid', or Eid-ul-Azha, has the advantage of having two major rituals, as both have the prayer, but it alone has a sacrifice. 'Bari Eid' brings all Muslims together in celebrating Hajj, which is itself a reminder of the Abrahamic sacrifice, while 'Choti Eid' commemorates solely the end of the fasting of Ramazan.
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