Eid al-Adha

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Eid al-Adha
National Eidgah decorated for Eid al-Adha celebration in Bangladesh
Official nameEid al-Adha
Observed by
Commemoration of Abraham (Ibrahim)'s willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience to a command from God

End of the annual Hajj to Mecca
CelebrationsDuring the Eid al-Adha celebration, Muslims greet each other by saying 'Eid Mubarak', which is Arabic for "Blessed Eid".
ObservancesEid prayers, animal slaughter, charity, social gatherings, festive meals, gift-giving
Begins10 Dhu al-Hijja
Ends13 Dhu al-Hijja
Date10 Dhu al-Hijjah
2024 date16 June - 20 June (Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan)[1]
16 June – 18 June (Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan)[2][3][4]
17 June (Indonesia)[5]
18 June - 20 June (United Kingdom, Brunei, Singapore, Japan, Morocco, Malaysia)[6]
2025 date6 June – 10 June [7]
Related toHajj; Eid al-Fitr

Eid al-Adha (/ˌd əl ˈɑːdə/ EED əl AH-də; Arabic: عيد الأضحى, romanizedʿĪd al-ʾAḍḥā, IPA: [ˈʕiːd alˈʔadˤħaː]) or the Feast of Sacrifice is the second of the two main holidays celebrated in Islam (the other being Eid al-Fitr). In Islamic tradition, it honours the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God's command. Depending on the narrative, either Ishmael or Isaac is referred to with the honorific title "Sacrifice of God".[11] However, before Abraham could sacrifice his son in the name of God, and because of his willingness to do so, God provided him with a lamb to sacrifice in his son's place. In commemoration of this intervention, animals such as lambs are sacrificed. The meat of the sacrificed animal is divided into three portions: one part of the meat is consumed by the family that offers the animal, one portion is for friends and relatives, while the rest of the meat is distributed to the poor and the needy. Sweets and gifts are given, and extended family members typically visit and are welcomed.[12] The day is also sometimes called the "Greater Eid" (Arabic: العيد الكبير, romanized: al-ʿĪd al-Kabīr).[13]

In the Islamic lunar calendar, Eid al-Adha falls on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijja and lasts for four days. In the international (Gregorian) calendar, the dates vary from year to year, shifting approximately 11 days earlier each year.

Calligraphic fragment dated to 1729–30 displaying blessings for Eid al-Adha in Arabic


Eid al-Adha is pronounced Eid al-Azha and Eidul Azha, primarily in Iran and influenced by the Persian language like the Indian subcontinent; /ˌd əl ˈɑːdə, - ˈɑːdhɑː/ EED əl AH-də, -⁠ AHD-hah; Arabic: عيد الأضحى, romanizedʿĪd al-ʾAḍḥā, IPA: [ʕiːd al ˈʔadˤħaː].[14]


The Arabic word عيد (ʿīd) means 'festival', 'celebration', 'feast day', or 'holiday'. It itself is a triliteral rootعيد‎ (ʕ-y-d) 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".[15][16] Arthur Jeffery contests this etymology, and believes the term to have been borrowed into Arabic from Syriac, or less likely Targumic Aramaic.[17]

The holiday is called عيد الأضحى (Eid-al-Adha) or العيد الكبير (Eid-al-Kabir) in Arabic.[18] 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 the associated meanings "immolate; offer up; sacrifice; victimize".[19] No occurrence of this root with a meaning related to sacrifice occurs in the Qur'an[15] but in the Hadith literature. Assyrians and other Middle Eastern 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".[16] Arthur Jeffery recognizes the same Semitic root, but believes the sense of the term to have entered Arabic through Aramaic.[17]


One of the main trials of Abraham's life was to receive and obey the command of God to slaughter his beloved son. According to the narrative, Abraham kept having dreams that he was sacrificing his son. Abraham knew that this was a command from God and he told his son, as stated in the Quran,

"Oh son, I keep dreaming that I am slaughtering you". he replied, "Father, do what you are ordered to do."

Abraham prepared to submit to the will of God and to slaughter his son as an act of faith and obedience to God.[20] During the preparation, Iblis (Satan) tempted Abraham and his family by trying to dissuade them from carrying out God's commandment, and Abraham drove Iblis away by throwing pebbles at him. In commemoration of their rejection of Iblis, stones are thrown during Hajj rites at symbolic pillars, symbolising the place at which Iblis tried to dissuade Abraham.[21]

Acknowledging that Abraham was willing to sacrifice what is dear to him, God honoured both Abraham and his son. Angel Gabriel (Jibreel) called Abraham, "O' Ibrahim, you have fulfilled the revelations." and a ram from heaven was offered by Angel Gabriel to prophet Abraham to slaughter instead of his son. Many Muslims celebrate Eid al Adha to commemorate both the devotion of Abraham and the survival of his son Ishmael.[22][23][24]

This story is known as the Akedah in Judaism (Binding of Isaac) and originates in the Torah,[25] the first book of Moses (Genesis, Ch. 22). The Quran refers to the Akedah as follows:[26]

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.

The word "Eid" appears once in Al-Ma'ida, the fifth surah of the Quran, with the meaning "a festival or a feast".[27]

Ritual slaughter[edit]

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.[28][29] However, there is a dissent among Muslim scholars regarding the obligatory nature of this sacrifice. While some scholars, such as Al-Kasani, categorise the sacrifice as obligatory (wāǧib), others regard it only as an "established custom" (sunna mu'akkada).[30] Alternatives such as charitable donations or fasting have been suggested to be permissible by several faqih.[31]


Eid prayer at the Badshahi Mosque, Pakistan

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-Hijja. In the event of a force majeure (e.g. natural disaster), the prayer may be delayed to the 11th of Dhu al-Hijja and then to the 12th of Dhu al-Hijja.[32]

Eid prayers must be offered in congregation. Participation of women in the prayer congregation varies from community to community.[33] 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.[34][35] The salat (prayer) is then followed by the khutbah, or sermon, by the Imam.[36]

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.[37]

Traditions and practices[edit]

Eid cattle traditionally gets decorated in Bangladeshi culture
Cookies of Eid (ma'amoul)

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.[38]

The takbir consists of:[39]

Adults 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.[40] 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.[41] In Pakistan alone, roughly 7.5 million animals are sacrificed on Eid days, costing an estimated $3 billion in 2011 (equivalent to $4.16 billion in 2023).[42][43]

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.[40]

Muslims wear their new or best clothes. People cook special sweets, including ma'amoul (filled shortbread cookies) and samosas. They gather with family and friends.[32]

In the Gregorian calendar[edit]

Conversion of Hijri years 1343 to 1500 to the Gregorian calendar, with first days of al-Muharram (brown), Ramadan (grey) and Shawwal (black) bolded, and Eid al-Adha dotted – in the SVG file, hover over a spot to show its dates and a line to show the month

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.[44][b] 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.[45]

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.[8] 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-Hijja[46] 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.[47]

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
1400 20 October 1980
1401 08 October 1981
1402 27 September 1982
1403 17 September 1983
1404 05 September 1984
1405 26 August 1985
1406 15 August 1986
1407 04 August 1987
1408 25 July 1988
1409 13 July 1989
1410 02 July 1990
1411 22 June 1991
1412 11 June 1992
1413 31 May 1993
1414 20 May 1994
1415 09 May 1995
1416 29 April 1996
1417 17 April 1997
1418 07 April 1998
1419 27 March 1999
1420 16 March 2000
1421 05 March 2001
1422 22 February 2002
1423 11 February 2003
1424 01 February 2004
1425 20 January 2005
1426 10 January 2006
1427 30 December 2006
1428 20 December 2007
1429 08 December 2008
1430 27 November 2009
1431 16 November 2010
1432 06 November 2011
1433 26 October 2012
1434 15 October 2013
1435 05 October 2014
1436 24 September 2015
1437 12 September 2016
1438 01 September 2017
1439 20 August 2018
1440 11 August 2019
1441 31 July 2020
1442 20 July 2021
1443 09 July 2022
1444 28 June 2023
1445 16 June 2024 (calculated)
1446 06 June 2025 (calculated)
1447 26 May 2026 (calculated)
1448 16 May 2027 (calculated)
1449 04 May 2028 (calculated)
1450 23 April 2029 (calculated)
1451 13 April 2030 (calculated)
1452 02 April 2031 (calculated)
1453 21 March 2032 (calculated)
1454 11 March 2033 (calculated)
1455 28 February 2034 (calculated)
1456 17 February 2035 (calculated)
1457 07 February 2036 (calculated)
1458 26 January 2037 (calculated)
1459 16 January 2038 (calculated)
1460 05 January 2039 (calculated)
1461 14 December 2039 (calculated)

Explanatory notes[edit]

  1. ^

    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.[32]

  2. ^ 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, 2007, 2039, 2072, 2104, 2137, 2169, 2202, 2235, 2267 and 2300 (will continue to occur every 32 or 33 years).


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External links[edit]