Eid al-Adha is an Islamic celebration to observe the compliance and willingness of Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) to obey Allah’s (God’s) command to sacrifice his son Ishmael.
This commemoration is as an act of obedience to God’s directive, before God then interfered, through his angel Jibra’il and tells him that his sacrifice has already been accepted. The meat from the sacrificed animal is ideal to be divided into three parts. The family keeps one third of the share; another third is allocated to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the remaining third is allotted to the less fortunate and deprived.
In the lunar-based Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah and lasts for four days. In the worldwide (Gregorian) calendar, the dates change from year to year, changing roughly 11 days earlier every year.
Eid al-Adha is the latter of the two Eid holidays, the former being Eid al-Fitr. The basis for the celebration comes from the 196th ayah (verse) of Al-Baqara, the second sura of the Quran. The word Eid occurs once in Al-Ma’ida, the fifth sura of the Quran, which means solemn festival.
Like Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha starts with a Sunnah prayer of two rakats after that by a sermon (khutbah). Eid al-Adha celebrations begin after the descent of the Hujjaj, the pilgrims carrying out the Hajj, from Mount Arafat, a hill east of Mecca. Eid sacrifice may take place until dusk on the 13th day of Dhu al-Hijjah.
The days of Eid have been recognized in the Hadith as days of remembrance.
Ibrahim had shown that his love for God outmoded all others – that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dearest to him in compliance to God’s commandment.
Muslims memorialize this supreme act of sacrifice every year during Eid al-Adha.
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