Feast of Sacrifice Eid ul-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى) occurs on the tenth day of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijja. It is one of two Eid festivals that Muslims celebrate. Eid ul-Adha is celebrated by Muslims worldwide as a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son for God.
The story behind Eid ul-Adha
Muslims believe that God revealed in a dream to Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Isma’il. Ibrahim and Isma’il set off to Mina for the sacrifice. As they went, the devil attempted to persuade Ibrahim to disobey God and not to sacrifice his beloved son. But Ibrahim stayed true to God, and drove the devil away. As Ibrahim prepared to sacrifice his son, God stopped him and gave him a sheep to sacrifice instead.
Observing Eid ul-Adha
It is celebrated on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja (ذو الحجة) of the lunar Islamic calendar, after Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. This happens to be approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan.
While Eid ul-Fitr is considered to be one day, Eid ul-Adha is supposed to be four days, with the prayer being on the first day. On this day, men, women, and children are expected to dress in their finest clothing. Muslims who can afford to sacrifice domestic animals, usually sheep, as a symbol of Ibrahim's sacrifice; this sacrifice is called "Qurbani". The meat is distributed amongst their neighbors, relatives, and the poor and hungry. The charitable instincts of the Muslim community are demonstrated during Eid ul-Adha by the concerted effort to see that no impoverished Muslim is left without sacrificial food during this day. Coming immediately after the Day of Arafat (when Muhammad pronounced the final seal on the religion of Islam), Eid ul-Adha gives concrete realization to what the Muslim community ethic means in practice.
Other names for Eid ul-Adha
It is often referred to as the "Kurban Bayramı" (from Turkish) or "Sacrifice Feast". Eid ul-Adha is also known as Hari Raya Haji/Qurban in Singapore and Malaysia , Hari Raya Idul Adha in Indonesia and Tabaski in West Africa. In the Indian subcontinent it is known as Bakr-Id.
Eid ul-Adha in the Gregorian Calendar
While Eid ul-Adha is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year due to differences between the two calendars, since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. Furthermore, the method used to determine when each Islamic month begins varies from country to country.