Background And Purpose of Eid-ul-Adha Celebration

Muslims throughout the country will today join others worldwide to celebrate the annual Eid-ul Adha, the festival of sacrifice on the Islamic calendar. The annual celebration commemorates sacrifice and remembers the Prophet Abraham and his obedience and willingness to serve God.

It was narrated in several Islamic books that Abraham was asked by Allah to sacrifice his only son, Ismail (Isaac in the Christian and Jewish traditions of the story). Once Allah saw Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only son, He (Allah) then asked him to sacrifice a lamb instead. Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on the 10th day of Dhu-l-hijah, the last month of the Islamic year, following the completion of the course of Haji, the holy pilgrimage to Mecca. The celebration is, therefore, very important for all Muslims because it is said to have the merits of the five daily prayers and the Friday prayers called Juma’ah .

Muslims use the occasion of Eid-Ul-Adha to pray to Allah and to glorify His name for His grace and favours. Followers of Islam usually remember the deceased by praying for their souls to rest in peace. The needy and vulnerable in society are shown sympathy and consolation. It is characteristic of the celebration for Muslims to wear their best and attend Salatul-Eid (Eid Prayers) in the morning, after which they socialise by visiting one another’s house to enjoy festive meals prepared for the occasion.

The meat from the sacrifice is mostly given to others and this symbolises the willingness of an individual to give up things that are of benefit to them or close to their hearts. It also symbolises one’s willingness to share in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need, while recognising that all blessings come from Allah.


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