Eid ul-Adha
Overview
 
Eid al-Adha or "Festival of Sacrifice" or "Greater Eid" is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Abraham
Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

 (Ibrahim) to sacrifice
Sacrifice
Sacrifice is the offering of food, objects or the lives of animals or people to God or the gods as an act of propitiation or worship.While sacrifice often implies ritual killing, the term offering can be used for bloodless sacrifices of cereal food or artifacts...

 his son Ishmael
Ishmael
Ishmael is a figure in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, and was Abraham's first born child according to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Ishmael was born of Abraham's marriage to Sarah's handmaiden Hagar...

 (Isma'il) as an act of obedience to God
God in Islam
In Islamic theology, God is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the universe. Islam puts a heavy emphasis on the conceptualization of God as strictly singular . God is unique and inherently One , all-merciful and omnipotent. According to the Islamic...

, before God intervened to provide him with a sheep— to sacrifice instead.

Eid al-Adha is the latter of two Eid
Muslim holidays
There are two main holidays in Islam, Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. The way that holidays are recognized can vary across cultures, as well as across sects of Islam, Sunni and Shia. Muslim holidays generally follow the lunar calendar, and thus move each year relative to the solar calendar. The...

 festivals celebrated by Muslims, whose basis comes from Sura
Sura
A sura is a division of the Qur'an, often referred to as a chapter. The term chapter is sometimes avoided, as the suras are of unequal length; the shortest sura has only three ayat while the longest contains 286 ayat...

 2 (Al-Baqara
Al-Baqara
Sura al-Baqarah is the second and longest chapter of the Qur'an. It is a Medinan sura and comprises 286 verses, including the single longest verse in the Qur'an...

) Ayah
Ayah
Ayah or Aayah is the Arabic word for sign or proof:"These are the Ayat of Allah, which We recite to you with truth...

 196 in the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

.
Encyclopedia
Eid al-Adha or "Festival of Sacrifice" or "Greater Eid" is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Abraham
Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

 (Ibrahim) to sacrifice
Sacrifice
Sacrifice is the offering of food, objects or the lives of animals or people to God or the gods as an act of propitiation or worship.While sacrifice often implies ritual killing, the term offering can be used for bloodless sacrifices of cereal food or artifacts...

 his son Ishmael
Ishmael
Ishmael is a figure in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, and was Abraham's first born child according to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Ishmael was born of Abraham's marriage to Sarah's handmaiden Hagar...

 (Isma'il) as an act of obedience to God
God in Islam
In Islamic theology, God is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the universe. Islam puts a heavy emphasis on the conceptualization of God as strictly singular . God is unique and inherently One , all-merciful and omnipotent. According to the Islamic...

, before God intervened to provide him with a sheep— to sacrifice instead.

Eid al-Adha is the latter of two Eid
Muslim holidays
There are two main holidays in Islam, Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. The way that holidays are recognized can vary across cultures, as well as across sects of Islam, Sunni and Shia. Muslim holidays generally follow the lunar calendar, and thus move each year relative to the solar calendar. The...

 festivals celebrated by Muslims, whose basis comes from Sura
Sura
A sura is a division of the Qur'an, often referred to as a chapter. The term chapter is sometimes avoided, as the suras are of unequal length; the shortest sura has only three ayat while the longest contains 286 ayat...

 2 (Al-Baqara
Al-Baqara
Sura al-Baqarah is the second and longest chapter of the Qur'an. It is a Medinan sura and comprises 286 verses, including the single longest verse in the Qur'an...

) Ayah
Ayah
Ayah or Aayah is the Arabic word for sign or proof:"These are the Ayat of Allah, which We recite to you with truth...

 196 in the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

. Like Eid ul-Fitr
Eid ul-Fitr
Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Fitr, Id-ul-Fitr, or Id al-Fitr , often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting . Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity," while Fiṭr means "breaking the fast"...

, Eid al-Adha begins with a Sunnah
Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

 prayer of two Raka'ah
Raka'ah
Rakaʿah are the prescribed movements and words followed by Muslims during salah .After turning to God in mind and ritual cleansing , the worshipper will stand quietly while reciting the first verses of the Qur'an. The second part of the rak'ah involves bowing low with hands on knees, as if...

 (units) followed by a sermon (khuṭbah).

The word "Eid" appears in Sura al-Mai'da ("The Table Spread," Chapter 5) of the Qur'an, meaning 'solemn festival'.

Eid al-Adha is celebrated annually on the 10th day of the 12th and the last Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah
Dhu al-Hijjah
Dhu al-Ḥijjah is the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar.This is a very sacred month in the Islamic calendar, marking the end of the year. It is in this month in which the Hajj takes place....

  of the lunar Islamic calendar
Islamic calendar
The Hijri calendar , also known as the Muslim calendar or Islamic calendar , is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to date events in many Muslim countries , and used by Muslims everywhere to determine the proper day on which to celebrate Islamic...

. Eid al-Adha celebrations start after the Hajj
Hajj
The Hajj is the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so...

, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 by Muslims worldwide, descend from Mount Arafat
Mount Arafat
Mount Arafat or Mount Arafah is a granite hill east of Mecca. It is also known as the Mount of Mercy . The hill is the place Muslims believe the Islamic prophet Muhammad stood and delivered the Farewell Sermon to the Muslims who had accompanied him for the Hajj towards the end of his life...

. The date is approximately 70 days (2 Months & 10 days) after the end of the month of Ramadan
Ramadan (calendar month)
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and the month in which the Quran was revealed.Ramadan is the holiest of months in the Islamic calendar, and fasting in this month is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month is spent by Muslims fasting during the daylight hours from dawn to...

, i.e. Eid-ul-Fitr. Ritual observance of the holiday lasts until sunset of the 13th day of Dhu al-Hijjah.

Other names

The Arabic term "Festival of Sacrifice", ‘Eid ul-’Aḍḥā is borrowed into Indic languages
Indo-Aryan languages
The Indo-Aryan languages constitutes a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, itself a branch of the Indo-European language family...

 such as Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

, Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

, Gujarati
Gujarati language
Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language, and part of the greater Indo-European language family. It is derived from a language called Old Gujarati which is the ancestor language of the modern Gujarati and Rajasthani languages...

 and Bengali
Bengali language
Bengali or Bangla is an eastern Indo-Aryan language. It is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises present day Bangladesh, the Indian state of West Bengal, and parts of the Indian states of Tripura and Assam. It is written with the Bengali script...

 and Austronesian languages
Austronesian languages
The Austronesian languages are a language family widely dispersed throughout the islands of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, with a few members spoken on continental Asia that are spoken by about 386 million people. It is on par with Indo-European, Niger-Congo, Afroasiatic and Uralic as one of the...

 such as Malay
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

 and Indonesian
Indonesian language
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau Islands dialect of Malay, an Austronesian language which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries....

 (the last often spelling it as Idul Adha or Iduladha).

Another Semitic word for "sacrifice" is the Arabic Qurbān , which is used in Dari Persian
Dari (Persian)
Dari or Fārsī-ye Darī in historical terms refers to the Persian court language of the Sassanids. In contemporary usage, the term refers to the dialects of modern Persian language spoken in Afghanistan, and hence known as Afghan Persian in some Western sources. It is the term officially recognized...

 and Standard Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 as Eyde Ghorbân عید قربان, and in Tajik Persian
Tajik language
Tajik, Tajik Persian, or Tajiki, is a variety of modern Persian spoken in Central Asia. Historically Tajiks called their language zabani farsī , meaning Persian language in English; the term zabani tajikī, or Tajik language, was introduced in the 20th century by the Soviets...

 as Иди Қурбон (Idi Qurbon), into Kazakh
Kazakh language
Kazakh is a Turkic language which belongs to the Kipchak branch of the Turkic languages, closely related to Nogai and Karakalpak....

 as Құрбан айт (Qurban ayt), into Uyghur
Uyghur language
Uyghur , formerly known as Eastern Turk, is a Turkic language with 8 to 11 million speakers, spoken primarily by the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of Western China. Significant communities of Uyghur-speakers are located in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and various other...

 as Qurban Heyit, and also into various Indic languages such as Bengali কোরবানির ঈদ Korbanir Id. Other languages combined the Arabic word qurbān with local terms for "festival", as in Kurdish
Kurdish language
Kurdish is a dialect continuum spoken by the Kurds in western Asia. It is part of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian group of Indo-European languages....

 (Cejna Qurbanê), Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

 (Kurbaneyy Akhtar), Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

 (古尔邦节 Gúěrbāng Jié), Malay and Indonesian (Hari Raya Korban, Qurbani), and Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

 (Kurban Bayramı).Azeri
Azerbaijani language
Azerbaijani or Azeri or Torki is a language belonging to the Turkic language family, spoken in southwestern Asia by the Azerbaijani people, primarily in Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran...

 (Qurban Bayramı), Tatar
Tatar language
The Tatar language , or more specifically Kazan Tatar, is a Turkic language spoken by the Tatars of historical Kazan Khanate, including modern Tatarstan and Bashkiria...

 (Qorban Bäyräme), Bosnian
Bosnian language
Bosnian is a South Slavic language, spoken by Bosniaks. As a standardized form of the Shtokavian dialect, it is one of the three official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina....

 (Kurban bajram), Albanian
Albanian language
Albanian is an Indo-European language spoken by approximately 7.6 million people, primarily in Albania and Kosovo but also in other areas of the Balkans in which there is an Albanian population, including western Macedonia, southern Montenegro, southern Serbia and northwestern Greece...

(Bajramin e Kurbanit) Croatian
Croatian language
Croatian is the collective name for the standard language and dialects spoken by Croats, principally in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbian province of Vojvodina and other neighbouring countries...

 (Kurban-bajram), Serbian
Serbian language
Serbian is a form of Serbo-Croatian, a South Slavic language, spoken by Serbs in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and neighbouring countries....

 (Курбан бајрам), Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 (Курбан-байрам), (Eid Kurbani Wari) in Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

.

Eid al-Kabir, "the Greater Eid" (the "Lesser Eid" being Eid ul-Fitr), is used in Yemen, Syria, and North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

 (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt). The term was borrowed directly into French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 as Aïd el-Kebir. Translations of "Big Eid" or "Greater Eid" are used in Pashto لوی اختر Loy Akhtar, Kashmiri
Kashmiri language
Kashmiri is a language from the Dardic sub-group and it is spoken primarily in the Kashmir Valley, in Jammu and Kashmir. There are approximately 5,554,496 speakers in Jammu and Kashmir, according to the Census of 2001. Most of the 105,000 speakers or so in Pakistan are émigrés from the Kashmir...

 Baed Eid, Hindi and Urdu Baṛā Īd, Malayalam Bali Perunnal, and Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

 Peru Nāl.

Another name refers to the fact that the holiday occurs after the culmination of the Hajj (حج), or pilgrimage to Mecca (Makka). Such names are used in Malay and Indonesian (Hari Raya Haji "Hajj celebration day", Lebaran Haji), and in Tamil Hajji Peru Nāl.

In Urdu-speaking areas, the festival is also called بقرعید Baqra Īd or Baqrī Īd, stemming either from the Arabic baqarah "heifer" or the Urdu word baqrī for "goat", as cows and goats are among the traditionally sacrificed animals. That term was also borrowed into other languages, such as Tamil Bakr Eid Peru Nāl.

Other local names include 宰牲节 Zǎishēng Jié ("Slaughter-livestock Festival") in Chinese, Tfaska Tamoqqart in the Berber language
Berber languages
The Berber languages are a family of languages indigenous to North Africa, spoken from Siwa Oasis in Egypt to Morocco , and south to the countries of the Sahara Desert...

 of Djerba
Djerba
Djerba , also transliterated as Jerba or Jarbah, is, at 514 km², the largest island of North Africa, located in the Gulf of Gabes, off the coast of Tunisia.-Description:...

, Tabaski or Tobaski in West African languages
Niger–Congo languages
The Niger–Congo languages constitute one of the world's major language families, and Africa's largest in terms of geographical area, number of speakers, and number of distinct languages. They may constitute the world's largest language family in terms of distinct languages, although this question...

, Babbar Sallah in Nigerian languages
Languages of Nigeria
The number of languages currently estimated and catalogued in Nigeria is 521. This number includes 510 living languages, two second languages without native speakers and 9 extinct languages. In some areas of Nigeria, ethnic groups speak more than one language...

, and ciida gawraca in Somali
Somali language
The Somali language is a member of the East Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Its nearest relatives are Afar and Oromo. Somali is the best documented of the Cushitic languages, with academic studies beginning before 1900....

.

Eid-al-Adha has had other names outside the Muslim world. The name is often simply translated into the local language, such as English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 Festival of Sacrifice, German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 Opferfest, Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 Offerfeest, Romanian
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

 Sărbătoarea Sacrificiului and Hungarian
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

 Áldozati ünnep. In Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

, it is known as the Fiesta del Cordero, the Festival of the Lamb.

Origin

According to Islamic tradition, approximately four thousand years ago, the valley of Mecca
Mecca
Mecca is a city in the Hijaz and the capital of Makkah province in Saudi Arabia. The city is located inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of above sea level...

 (in what is now Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

) was a dry, rocky and uninhabited place. Abraham
Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

 ('Ibraheem in Arabic) was instructed to bring his Egyptian wife Hajra (Hāǧar) and Ishmael
Ishmael
Ishmael is a figure in the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, and was Abraham's first born child according to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Ishmael was born of Abraham's marriage to Sarah's handmaiden Hagar...

, his only child at the time (Ismā'īl), to Arabia
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 from the land of Canaan
Canaan
Canaan is a historical region roughly corresponding to modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan...

 by God's command.

As Abraham was preparing for his return journey back to Canaan, Hajar asked him, "Did Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

 (God) order you to leave us here? or are you leaving us here to die." Abraham turned around to face his wife. He was so sad that he couldn't say anything. He pointed to the sky showing that God commanded him to do so. Hajar said, "Then Allah will not waste us; you can go". Though Abraham had left a large quantity of food and water with Hajar and Ishmael, the supplies quickly ran out, and within a few days the two began to feel the pangs of hunger and dehydration.

Hajar ran up and down between two hills called Al-Safa and Al-Marwah
Al-Safa and Al-Marwah
Al-Safa and Al-Marwah are two small mountains now located in the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia between which Muslims travel back and forth seven times during the ritual pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah.-History:...

 seven times, in her desperate quest for water. Exhausted, she finally collapsed beside her baby Ishmael and prayed to God for deliverance. Miraculously, a spring of water gushed forth from the earth at the feet of baby Ishmael. Other accounts have the angel
Angel
Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...

 Gabriel
Gabriel
In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is an Archangel who typically serves as a messenger to humans from God.He first appears in the Book of Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel's visions. In the Gospel of Luke Gabriel foretells the births of both John the Baptist and of Jesus...

 (Jibrail) striking the earth and causing the spring to flow in abundance. With this secure water supply, known as the Zamzam Well
Zamzam Well
The Well of Zamzam is a well located within the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, east of the Kaaba, the holiest place in Islam...

, they were not only able to provide for their own needs, but were also able to trade water with passing nomads for food and supplies.

Years later, Abraham was instructed by God to return from Canaan to build a place of worship adjacent to Hagar's well (the Zamzam Well). Abraham and Ishmael constructed a stone and mortar structure —known as the Kaaba
Kaaba
The Kaaba is a cuboid-shaped building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is the most sacred site in Islam. The Qur'an states that the Kaaba was constructed by Abraham, or Ibraheem, in Arabic, and his son Ishmael, or Ismaeel, as said in Arabic, after he had settled in Arabia. The building has a mosque...

— which was to be the gathering place for all who wished to strengthen their faith in God. As the years passed, Ishmael was blessed with Prophethood
Prophethood
Prophethood is the word used to reference the institution by which God sends emissaries, or prophets, to guide mankind. Use of the word is almost always theological.-Islam:...

 (Nubuwwah
Nubuwwah
In Islam, Nubuwwah means "Prophethood" and denotes that God has appointed perfect Prophets and Messengers to teach mankind Gods religion. Nubuwwah is among the five Shi'a Roots of Religion....

) and gave the nomads of the desert his message of submission to God. After many centuries, Mecca became a thriving desert city and a major center for trade, thanks to its reliable water source, the well of Zamzam.

One of the main trials of Abraham's life was to face the command of God to devote his dearest possession, his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to God's will
Will of God
The will of God or divine will refers to the concept of God as having a plan for humanity, and as such desires to see such a plan fulfilled...

. During this preparation, Satan
Satan
Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

 (Shaitan
Devil (Islam)
In Islam, the Devil is known as or . According to the Qurʾān, God created Iblis out of "smokeless fire or from the pure flame of fire" and created man out of clay...

) tempted Abraham and his family by trying to dissuade them from carrying out God's commandment, and Ibrahim drove Satan away by throwing pebbles at him. In commemoration of their rejection of Satan, stones are thrown at symbolic pillars
Stoning of the Devil
Stoning of the Devil or stoning of the jamarat is part of the annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Muslim pilgrims fling pebbles at three walls called jamarat in the city of Mina just east of Mecca. It is one of a series of ritual acts that must be performed in...

 signifying Satan during the Hajj rites.
When Ishmael was about 13 (Ibrahim being 99), Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

 (God) decided to test their faith in public. Abraham had a recurring dream, in which God was commanding him to offer his son as a sacrifice – an unimaginable act – sacrificing his son, which God had granted him after many years of deep prayer. Abraham knew that the dreams of the prophets were divinely inspired, and one of the ways in which God communicated with his prophets. When the intent of the dreams became clear to him, Abraham decided to fulfill God's command and offer Ishmael for sacrifice.

Although Abraham was ready to sacrifice his dearest for Allah's sake, he could not just go and drag his son to the place of sacrifice without his consent. Isma'el had to be consulted as to whether he was willing to give up his life as fulfillment to God's command. This consultation would be a major test of Isma'el's maturity in faith, love and commitment for Allah, willingness to obey his father and sacrifice his own life for the sake of Allah.

Abraham presented the matter to his son and asked for his opinion about the dreams of slaughtering him. Ishmael did not show any hesitation or reservation even for a moment. He said, "Father, do what you have been commanded. You will find me, Insha'Allah (God willing), to be very patient." His mature response, his deep insight into the nature of his father’s dreams, his commitment to Allah, and ultimately his willingness to sacrifice his own life for the sake of Allah were all unprecedented.

When both father and son had shown their perfect obedience to Allah and they had practically demonstrated their willingness to sacrifice their most precious possessions for His sake — Abraham by laying down his son for sacrifice and Ishmael by lying patiently under the knife – Allah called out to them stating that his sincere intentions had been accepted, and that he need not carry out the killing of Ishmael. Instead, Abraham was told to replace his son with a goat to sacrifice instead. Allah also told them that they had passed the test imposed upon them by his willingness to carry out God's command.

This is mentioned in the Qur'an as follows:

"O my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)!" So We gave him the good news of a boy, possessing forbearance. And when (his son) was old enough to walk and work with him, (Abraham) said: O my dear son, I see in vision that I offer you in sacrifice: Now see what is your view!" (The son) said: "O my father! Do what you are commanded; if Allah wills, you will find me one practising patience and steadfastness!" So when they both submitted and he threw him down upon his forehead, We called out to him saying: O Ibraheem! You have indeed fulfilled the vision; surely thus do We reward those who do good. Most surely this was a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice. And We perpetuated (praise) to him among the later generations. "Peace and salutation to Abraham!" Thus indeed do We reward those who do right. Surely he was one of Our believing servants.

As a reward for this sacrifice, Allah then granted Abraham the good news of the birth of his second son, Is-haaq (Isaac):

And We gave him the good news of Is-haaq, a prophet from among the righteous.

Abraham had shown that his love for God superseded all others: that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dearest to him in submission to God's command. Muslims commemorate this ultimate act of sacrifice every year during Eid al-Adha.

The Sunnah of Eid al-Adha

In keeping with the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

, Muslims are encouraged to prepare themselves for the occasion of Eid. Below is a list of things Muslims are recommended to do in preparation for the Eid al-Adha festival:
  1. Make wudu (ablution) and offer Salat al-Fajr (the pre-sunrise prayer).
  2. Prepare for personal cleanliness - take care of details of clothing, etc.
  3. Dress up, putting on new or best clothes available.

Salat al-Eid (Eid prayer)

The scholars differed concerning the ruling on Eid prayers. There are three scholarly points of view:

1 – That Eid prayer is Sunnah mu’akkadah (recommended). This is the view of Imam Maalik and Imam al-Shaafa’i.

2 – That it is a Fard Kifaya (communal obligation). This is the view of Imam Ahmad.

3 – That it is Wajib on all Muslim men (a duty for each Muslim and is obligatory for men); those who do not do it with no excuse are sinning thereby. This is the view of Imam Abu Haneefah, and was also narrated from Imam Ahmad. Among those who favoured this view were Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and al-Shawkaani.

Eid prayer must be offered in congregation. It consists of two Raka'ah
Raka'ah
Rakaʿah are the prescribed movements and words followed by Muslims during salah .After turning to God in mind and ritual cleansing , the worshipper will stand quietly while reciting the first verses of the Qur'an. The second part of the rak'ah involves bowing low with hands on knees, as if...

 (units) with seven Takbir
Takbir
The Takbīr or Tekbir is the Arabic term for the phrase ' . It is usually translated "God is [the] Greatest," or "God is Great". It is a common Islamic Arabic expression...

s in the first Raka'ah and five Takbirs in the second Raka'ah. For Sunni Muslims, Salat al-Eid differs from the five daily canonical prayers in that no adhan
Adhan
The adhān is the Islamic call to prayer, recited by the muezzin at prescribed times of the day. The root of the word is meaning "to permit"; another derivative of this word is , meaning "ear"....

 (Call to Prayer) or iqama
Iqama
The word iqamah or ikamet refers to the second call to Islamic Prayer, given immediately before the prayer begins. Generally speaking, the iqamah is given more quickly and in a more monotone fashion, as compared to the adhan, as it is addressed to those already in the mosque rather than a...

 (call) is pronounced for the two Eid prayers. However, Shi'ite Muslims may begin Salat al-Eid with adhan
Adhan
The adhān is the Islamic call to prayer, recited by the muezzin at prescribed times of the day. The root of the word is meaning "to permit"; another derivative of this word is , meaning "ear"....

 (Call to Prayer)—with a third repetition of the line "Hayya ala salah" ("Come to prayer")—and iqama
Iqama
The word iqamah or ikamet refers to the second call to Islamic Prayer, given immediately before the prayer begins. Generally speaking, the iqamah is given more quickly and in a more monotone fashion, as compared to the adhan, as it is addressed to those already in the mosque rather than a...

 (call). The Salaat (prayer) is then followed by the Khutbah, or sermon, by the Imam
Imam
An imam is an Islamic leadership position, often the worship leader of a mosque and the Muslim community. Similar to spiritual leaders, the imam is the one who leads Islamic worship services. More often, the community turns to the mosque imam if they have a religious question...

.

At the conclusion of the prayers and sermon, the Muslims embrace and exchange greetings with one other (Eid Mubarak
Eid Mubarak
Eid Mubarak is a traditional Muslim greeting reserved for use on the festivals of Eid ul-Adha and Eid ul-Fitr. The phrase translates into English as "blessed festival", and can be paraphrased as "may you enjoy a blessed festival" Muslims wish each other Eid Mubarak after performing the Eid prayer...

), give gifts (Eidi) to children, and visit one another. Many Muslims also take this opportunity to invite their non-Muslims friends, neighbours, co-workers and classmates to their Eid festivities to better acquaint them about Islam and Muslim culture.

The Takbir and other rituals

The Takbir
Takbir
The Takbīr or Tekbir is the Arabic term for the phrase ' . It is usually translated "God is [the] Greatest," or "God is Great". It is a common Islamic Arabic expression...

is recited from the dawn of the tenth of Dhu al-Hijjah to the thirteenth, and consists of:
Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar الله أكبر الله أكبر الله أكبر
lā ilāha illā Allāh لا إله إلا الله
Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar الله أكبر الله أكبر
wa li-illāhil-hamd ولله الحمد

Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest,
There is no deity but Allah
Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest
and to Allah goes all praise


Variation
Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar الله أكبر الله أكبر
lā ilāha illā Allāh لا إله إلا الله
wa Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar والله أكبر الله أكبر
wa li-illāhil-ḥamd ولله الحمد
Alḥamdulillāh `alā mā hadānā, wa lahul-shukru `ala mā awlānā الحمد لله على ما هدانا و له الشكر على ما اولانا

Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest,
There is no deity but Allah
and Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest
and to Allah goes all praise, (We) sing the praises of Allah because He has shown us the Right Path. (We) gratefully thank Him because He takes care of us and looks after our interests.


Variation:
Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar الله أكبر الله أكبر الله أكبر
lā ilāha illā Allāh لا إله إلا الله
Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar الله أكبر الله أكبر
wa li-illāhil-ḥamd ولله الحمد
Allāhu akbar kabīra, wal ḥamdu lillāhi kathīra, wa subḥāna Allāhi bukratan wa aṣīlā الله أكبر كبيرا والحمد لله كثيرا وسبحان الله بكرة وأصيلا
lā ilāha illā Allāh waḥdah(i) لا اله إلا الله وحده
Ṣadaqa wa`dah, wa naṣara abdah, wa 'a`azza jundahu wa ḥazama al-aḥzaba waḥdah صدق وعده ونصر عبده وأعز جنده وهزم الأحزاب وحده
lā ilāha illā Allāh لا إله إلا الله
walā na`budu illā iyyāh ولا نعبد إلا إياه
Mukhliṣīn lahu ud-dīn wa law kariha al kāfirūn مخلصين له الدين ولو كره الكافرون
Allāhumma ṣallī `alā Sayyidinā Muḥammad, wa `alā āla Sayyidinā Muḥammad, wa `alā aṣḥabi Sayyidinā Muḥammad, wa `alā anṣāri Sayyidinā Muḥammad, wa `alā azwāji Sayyidinā Muḥammad, wa `alā ḏurriyyati Sayyidinā Muḥammadin wa sallim taslīman kathīra اللهم صل على سيدنا محمد وعلى آل سيدنا محمد وعلى أصحاب سيدنا محمد وعلى أنصار سيدنا محمد وعلى أزواج سيدنا محمد وعلى ذرية سيدنا محمد وسلم تسليما كثيرا

Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest,
There is no deity but Allah
Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest
and to Allah goes all praise
Allah is the Greatest, all Praise is due to Him, And Glory to Allah, eventide and in the morning
There is no god, but Allah the Unique
He has fulfilled His Promise, and made Victorious His worshipper, and made Mighty His soldiers and defeated the confederates
There is no deity but Allah
He alone we worship
With sincere and exclusive devotion, even though the infidels hate it
O Allah, have Mercy on our Prophet Muhammad, and on the family
Ahl al-Bayt
Ahl al-Bayt is an Arabic phrase literally meaning People of the House, or family of the House. The phrase "ahl al-bayt" was used in Arabia before the advent of Islam to refer to one's clan, and would be adopted by the ruling family of a tribe. Within the Islamic tradition, the term refers to the...

 of our Prophet Muhammad, and on the Companions
Sahaba
In Islam, the ' were the companions, disciples, scribes and family of the Islamic prophet...

 of our Prophet Muhammad, and on the Helpers
Ansar (Islam)
Ansar is an Islamic term that literally means "helpers" and denotes the Medinan citizens that helped Muhammad and the Muhajirun on the arrival to the city after the migration to Medina...

 of our Prophet Muhammad, and on the wives of our Prophet Muhammad, and on the offspring of our Prophet Muhammad, and bestow upon them much peace
.

Eid Prayer is Wajib, not a fard kafaya.

Traditions and practices

Men, women, and children are expected to dress in their finest clothing to perform Eid prayer
Eid Prayer
The Eid prayer was prescribed in the first year after the hijra. It is Wajib and Muhammad always performed these prayers.-Procedure:...

 (ṣalātu l-`Īdi) in a large congregation is an open waqf
Waqf
A waqf also spelled wakf formally known as wakf-alal-aulad is an inalienable religious endowment in Islamic law, typically denoting a building or plot of land for Muslim religious or charitable purposes. The donated assets are held by a charitable trust...

 field called Eidgah or mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

. Those Muslims who can afford, i.e Malik-e-Nisaab; sacrifice their best domestic animals (usually a cow, but can also be a camel, goat, sheep or ram depending on the region) as a symbol of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his only son. The sacrificed animals, called Uḍhiyyah , have to meet certain age and quality standards or else the animal is considered an unacceptable sacrifice. This tradition accounts for more than 100 million slaughtering of animals in only 2 days of Eid. In Pakistan alone nearly 10 million animals are slaughtered on Eid days costing over US$ 3 billion.

The meat from the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts. The family retains one third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the other third is given to the poor and needy.
The regular charitable practices of the Muslim community are demonstrated during Eid al-Adha by concerted efforts to see that no impoverished person is left without an opportunity to partake in the sacrificial meal during these days.

During Eid al-Adha, distributing meat amongst the people, chanting the 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 this important Islamic 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.

Eid al-Adha in the Gregorian calendar

While Eid al-Adha is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter...

 varies from year to year since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar
Lunar calendar
A lunar calendar is a calendar that is based on cycles of the lunar phase. A common purely lunar calendar is the Islamic calendar or Hijri calendar. A feature of the Islamic calendar is that a year is always 12 months, so the months are not linked with the seasons and drift each solar year by 11 to...

 and the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar
Solar calendar
A solar calendar is a calendar whose dates indicate the position of the earth on its revolution around the sun .-Tropical solar calendars:...

. The lunar calendar is approximately eleven days shorter than the solar calendar. Each year, Eid al-Adha (like other Islamic holidays) falls on one of two different Gregorian dates in different parts of the world, because the boundary of crescent visibility is different from the International Date Line
International Date Line
The International Date Line is a generally north-south imaginary line on the surface of the Earth, passing through the middle of the Pacific Ocean, that designates the place where each calendar day begins...

.

The following list shows the official dates of Eid al-Adha for Saudi Arabia as announced by the Supreme Judicial Council. Future dates are estimated according to the Umm al-Qura calendar of Saudi Arabia. However, it should be noted that the Umm al-Quraa is just guide for planning purposes and not the absolute determinant or fixer of dates. Confirmations of actual dates by moon sighting are applied to announce the specific dates for both Hajj rituals and the subsequent Eid festival. The three days after the listed date are also part of the festival. The time before the listed date the pilgrims visit the Mount Arafat and descend from it after sunrise of the listed day.
Future dates of Eid al-Adha might face correction 10 days before the festivity, in case of deviant lunar sighting in Saudi Arabia for the start of the month Dhul Hijja.
  • 1418 (Islamic Calendar): April 7, 1998
  • 1419 (Islamic Calendar): March 27, 1999
  • 1420 (Islamic Calendar): March 16, 2000
  • 1421 (Islamic Calendar): March 5, 2001
  • 1422 (Islamic Calendar): February 23, 2002
  • 1423 (Islamic Calendar): February 12, 2003
  • 1424 (Islamic Calendar): February 1, 2004
  • 1425 (Islamic Calendar): January 21, 2005
  • 1426 (Islamic Calendar): January 10, 2006
  • 1427 (Islamic Calendar): December 31, 2006
  • 1428 (Islamic Calendar): December 20, 2007
  • 1429 (Islamic Calendar): December 8, 2008
  • 1430 (Islamic Calendar): November 27, 2009
  • 1431 (Islamic Calendar): November 16, 2010
  • 1432 (Islamic Calendar): November 6, 2011
  • 1433 (Islamic Calendar): October 26, 2012 (calculated)
  • 1434 (Islamic Calendar): October 15, 2013 (calculated)
  • 1435 (Islamic Calendar): October 4, 2014 (calculated)
  • 1436 (Islamic Calendar): September 23, 2015 (calculated)
  • 1437 (Islamic Calendar): September 11, 2016 (calculated)
  • 1438 (Islamic Calendar): September 1, 2017 (calculated)
  • 1439 (Islamic Calendar): August 21, 2018 (calculated)
  • 1440 (Islamic Calendar): August 11, 2019 (calculated)
  • 1441 (Islamic Calendar): July 31, 2020 (calculated)
  • 1442 (Islamic Calendar): July 20, 2021 (calculated)

External links

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