Eid ul Adah (Feast of Sacrifice) is one of the two major festivals in Islamic calendar and celebrated by all Muslims. The feast is in honour of Prophet Ibrahim (the father of the three monotheist religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam) and his submission to and love of Allah (God) will to sacrifice his son Ismael.
The festival occurs on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of Islamic calendar and is preceded by the Hajj to mark the sacrifice of Ibrahim. Allah accepted Ibrahim and his Son’s obedience and provided a lamb to be sacrificed.
In commemoration of this intervention, Muslims sacrifice animals ritually and the meat is shared in three equal parts family, friend and relatives and the poor and needy. Gifts and sweets are exchanged and friends and relatives are visited.
The story is narrated in the Quran as follows:
100 "O my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)!"
101 So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear.
102 Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: "O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!" (The son) said: "O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me if Allah (God) so wills one practicing Patience and Constancy!"
103 So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),
104 We called out to him "O Abraham!
105 "Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!" – thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
106 For this was obviously a trial–
107 And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice:
108 And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times:
109 "Peace and salutation to Abraham!"
110 Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
111 For he was one of our believing Servants.
112 And We gave him the good news of Isaac – a prophet – one of the Righteous.
Quran, sura 37 100–112
The Hajj is followed next day by Eid and the festivities last for four days.
On the first day of Eid, everyone dresses in their best clothes and prayers are given in the mosque and everyone greets each other.
The prayer is followed by the animal sacrifice by those who can afford to do so and the meat is distributed as per religious guidelines. Special meals are cooked and eaten together.
Before and after the Eid prayer as part of worship over the four days of festivities the following prayer is recommended to be said as much as possible and translates as follows:
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.
Eid Mubarak to all from me.
Dr Zafar Iqbal, member of the Muslim faith.
Date: Monday 19th July 2021