Eid Al-Adha: Your questions answered!

Rumana Shaikh's picture
Rumana Shaikh

Most people who live in Qatar or any other Muslim country for that matter, are aware of the two Muslim holidays—Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. However, the significance of the two celebrations and the history behind them is unknown to many. Since we’re in the last ten days of Dhul-Hijjah, and the second Eid is just around the corner, we’re here to answer some of the basic questions anyone might have about Eid Al-Adha. 

You’re probably wondering—another Eid? Didn’t we JUST have one? Yup! But this one is slightly different. Eid Al-Fitr, the one that happened a few months ago was the celebration at the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan. Eid Al-Adha—literally, meaning Feast of the Sacrifice—however, is a celebration that takes place during the time of the Holy Pilgrimage—Hajj. Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, which means it is obligatory for every adult Muslim to make this pilgrimage at least once in their life if they are physically and financially capable of doing so. Hajj is typically performed from the 8th to the 12th of Dhul-Hijjah, which is the last month of the Islamic calendar. Eid Al-Adha takes place during this period, on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah (September 1, this year).

The first nine days before Eid in the month of Dhul-Hijjah are considered extremely holy. It is believed to be a great time for Muslims who are not performing Hajj to fast (voluntarily). Good deeds during this time are given a much higher reward, and the day before Eid, also known as the day of Arafah (pilgrims gather at the Plain of Arafah on this day) is a day on which several Muslims choose to fast and is often a holiday in Muslim countries. Muslims believe that fasting on this day expiates sins from the past and the coming year. It is not, however, permissible to fast on the day of either of the two Eids and for three days after Eid Al-Adha. During these first few days of the month, it is also recommended to recite the takbeer (Allahuakbar) and Laa-ilaaha-illallah continuously, whenever one remembers. 

Both Hajj and Eid Al-Adha have a religious and historical meaning, due to which Muslims all over the world continue to practice them. This second, larger Eid is traced back to the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his willingness to sacrifice his son, Ismail (AS) at the command of Allah. Before he could go through with the sacrifice, Allah ordered his son to be replaced with a sheep. The sheep was then sacrificed instead of Ismail (AS). This is why Muslims sacrifice cattle, goat, sheep, cows or camels on Eid Al-Adha, following in the footsteps of Ibrahim (AS). 

While those who are away performing Hajj continue with the rites and rituals of the pilgrimage, those at home celebrate this Eid by attending the Eid prayer early in the morning. This prayer also takes place on Eid Al-Fitr. Once the prayer is done, Muslims wish each other a happy Eid and go on to eat the meat of the sacrificed animal. It is recommended to keep some of the meat from the sacrifice for the home and distribute the rest among the poor. 

These first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah and Eid Al-Adha are a time of performing good deeds, remembering Allah and celebrating with our families and loved ones. May you all have a blessed Eid Al-Adha and may Allah accept all of our worship and remembrance. Eid Mubarak in advance! 

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