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Eid ul Adha - عيد الأضحى

EID UL ADHA At the end of the Hajj (annual pilgrimage to Mecca), Muslims throughout the world celebrate the holiday of Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice) as a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim's (PBUH) willingness to sacrifice his son for God. In 2012, Eid al-Adha will begin on Saturday 27th October, 2012 (according to the sight of the moon for the month of Dhu al-Hijjah), and will last for three days. Pakistan Holidays Calendar

Muslim pilgrims attend Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque during the annual haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca October 19, 2012. The Arafat Day, when millions of Muslim pilgrims will stand in prayer on the mount of Arafat near Mecca at the peak of the annual pilgrimage, will be held on October 25 and Eid Al-Adha or the feast of sacrifice will be held on October 26, according to an official announcement on Tuesday. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
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Eid-ul-Adha 2012 in Pakistan and four days holidays

The bakra Eid will be celebrated in Pakistan on the Saturday 27th of October. The government has announced four holidays from October 26 to 29 in connection with Eid-ul Azha. It was notified for general information that 26th, 27th, 28th & 29th October, 2012 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday) will be public holidays on occasion of the Eid-ul-Azha.

What is Eid ul-Adha »

Eid ul-Adha also known as "Festival of Sacrifice" or "Greater Eid" is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Hazrat Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Hazrat Ismael as an act of obedience to God, but instead was able to sacrifice a ram (by God's command). In traditional or agrarian settings, each family would sacrifice a domestic animal, such as a cow, sheep, goat, or camel, by slaughter. The meat would then be divided into three equal parts to be distributed to others. The family eats one third, another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbours, and the other third is given to the poor & needy as a gift.

Eid ul-Adha is celebrated annually on the 10th day of the 12th and the last Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah of the lunar Islamic calendar. Eid ul-Adha celebrations start after the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide, descend from Mount Arafat. The date is approximately 70 days (2 Months & 10 days) after the end of the month of Ramadan. Ritual observance of the holiday lasts until sunset of the 13th day of Dhu al-Hijjah.

What does Eid al-Adha commemorate »

During the Hajj, Muslims remember and commemorate the trials and triumphs of the Prophet Abraham. The Qur'an describes Abraham as follows:

"Surely Abraham was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He was grateful for Our bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in this world, and in the next he will most surely be among the righteous." (Qur'an 16:120-121)

One of Abraham's main trials was to face the command of Allah to kill his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah's will. When he was all prepared to do it, Allah revealed to him that his "sacrifice" had already been fulfilled. He had shown that his love for his Lord superceded all others, that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dear to him in order to submit to God.

Why do Muslims sacrifice an animal on this day? »

During the celebration of Eid al-Adha, Muslims commemorate and remember Abraham's trials, by themselves slaughtering an animal such as a sheep, camel, or goat. This action is very often misunderstood by those outside the faith.

Allah has given us power over animals and allowed us to eat meat, but only if we pronounce His name at the solemn act of taking life. Muslims slaughter animals in the same way throughout the year. By saying the name of Allah at the time of slaughter, we are reminded that life is sacred.

The meat from the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the poor. The act symbolizes our willingness to give up things that are of benefit to us or close to our hearts, in order to follow Allah's commands. It also symbolizes our willingness to give up some of our own bounties, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need. We recognize that all blessings come from Allah, and we should open our hearts and share with others.

It is very important to understand that the sacrifice itself, as practiced by Muslims, has nothing to do with atoning for our sins or using the blood to wash ourselves from sin. This is a misunderstanding by those of previous generations: "It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him." (Qur'an 22:37)

The symbolism is in the attitude - a willingness to make sacrifices in our lives in order to stay on the Straight Path. Each of us makes small sacrifices, giving up things that are fun or important to us. A true Muslim, one who submits his or herself completely to the Lord, is willing to follow Allah's commands completely and obediently. It is this strength of heart, purity in faith, and willing obedience that our Lord desires from us.

What else do Muslims do to celebrate the holiday? »

On the first morning of Eid al-Adha, Muslims around the world attend morning prayers at their local mosques. Prayers are followed by visits with family and friends, and the exchange of greetings and gifts. At some point, members of the family will visit a local farm or otherwise will make arrangements for the slaughter of an animal. The meat is distributed during the days of the holiday or shortly thereafter.

General rituals and Tradition »
Men, women, and children are expected to dress in their finest clothing to perform Eid prayer in a large congregation is an open waqf field called Eidgah or mosque. Those Muslims who can afford, i.e Malik-e-Nisaab; sacrifice their best domestic animals (usually cow, but also camels, sheep, ram, and goats) as a symbol of Abraham's sacrifice. The sacrificed animals, called uḍiyyah (in Arabic), have to meet certain age and quality standards or else the animal is considered an unacceptable sacrifice. Generally, sacrificial animals must be at least one year of age.

The regular charitable practices of the Muslim community are demonstrated during Eid al-Adha by the concerted effort to see that no impoverished person is left without sacrificial food during these days.

During Eid al-Adha, distributing meat amongst the people, chanting Takbir out loud before the Eid prayer on the first day, and after prayers throughout the three days of Eid are considered essential parts of the festival. In some countries, families that do not own livestock can make a contribution to a charity that will provide meat to those who are in need.

Sunnah of Eid-ul-Adha »

Keeping with the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (saw), Muslims are encouraged to prepare themselves for the occasion of Eid. Below is a list of things Muslims should do in preparation for Eid:

  • Wake up early.
  • Offer Salat al-Fajr.
  • Prepare for personal cleanliness, take care of details of clothing, etc.
  • Take a Ghusl (bath) after Fajr.
  • Brush teeth with miswak.
  • Dress up, putting on best clothes available, whether new or cleaned old ones.
  • Use perfume or attar (men only).
  • Have breakfast on Eid al-Zuha before leaving for prayer ground (Eidgah). One can take breakfast after Salaat also or after sacrifice if he is offering a sacrifice.
  • Go to prayer ground (Eidgah) early.
  • Offer Salaat-al-Eid in congregation in an open place except when whether is not permitting like rain, snow, etc.
  • Use two separate route to and from the prayer ground.
  • Recite the following Takbir which starts from Mughrib on the 9th Dhu al-hijah and last until the Asr on the 12th Dhu al-ilhijah:

Allaho-Akber, Allaho-Akber. La ila-ha ill-lal-lah. Allaho-Akber, Allaho-Akber. Wa-lilahill hamd.

(Allah is great, Allah is great. There is no god but Allah. Allah is great, Allah is great. And all praises are for Allah).

Salat al-Eid »
Salat al-Eid is Wajib (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory). It consists of two Raka'ah (units) with six additional Takbirs. It must be offered in congregation. The Salat is followed by the Khutbah. The Khutbah is part of the worship and listening to it is Wajib. During the Khutbah, the Imam reminds the community about its responsibilities and obligations towards Allah, fellow Muslims and the fellow human beings. The Imam encourages the Muslims to do good and ward off evil. The feelings of sacrifice and struggle for Allah are aroused in the community.

At the conclusion of the Salaat the Muslims convey greetings to each other (Eid Mubarak), give reasonable gifts (Eidi) to the youngsters and visit each other at their homes. Muslims also take this opportunity to invite their non-Muslims neighbors, co-workers, classmates and business acquaintances to Eid festivities to expose them to Islam and Muslim culture

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