Eid Ul Adha London, the Festival of Sacrifice, is a key date in the Muslim calendar and will be celebrated this Thursday (July 30, 2020).
It is the celebration of Ibrahim (Abraham) agreeing to sacrifice his son Ishmael under Allah/God’s orders, which was then interrupted by God.
When is Eid al-Adha?
Eid al-Adha is celebrated on the 10th day of Dhū al-Hijjah, the twelfth and final month of the Islamic calendar.
It lasts for four days. The first day of Eid al-Adha marks the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah.
Due to Islam traditionally using the lunar calendar the date does shift and it’s not officially on until there’s a clear enough sky showing the crescent of a new moon.
This means that there is also a day-long variation between countries depending on where they are in the world.
In the UK Eid al-Adha 2020 will begin on the evening of Thursday, July 30, and end on the evening of Monday, August 3.
How is it celebrated?
Eid usually starts with Muslims going to the Mosque for prayers in new finery.
As the name would suggest, over the weekend there is usually the sacrifice of a sheep, goat, camel or cow. The act is called Qurbani.
In the period around Eid al-Adha, many Muslims travel to Mecca and the surrounding area in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage, which is one of the five pillars of Islam.
It is a public holiday in traditionally or majority Muslim countries like Indonesia or the United Arab Emirates, but it isn’t in more historically Christian countries like the UK.
In the UK the animal is slaughtered in a slaughterhouse, but in other countries it is often done as part of a public ritual.
It is a time that is spent visiting family and friends, usually involving a big meal and some partying. Kids often get presents too.
The meat is shared equally between family, friends and the poor and unlike Eid al-Fitr, the meals made are predominantly savoury.
It is a time when they visit family and friends. Muslims will also give money to charity so the less fortunate are also able to celebrate.
Why are there two Eids?
There are two Eids, which makes things a bit confusing for those not brought up in Islam.
Firstly, Eid means feast, so they’re both family gatherings and a good excuse for a party.
Eid al-Fitr is celebrated at the end of Ramadan, this year in late May, to celebrate the end of fasting.
Eid al-Fitr is often referred to as the sweet feast as Muslims will tend to put a greater emphasis on puddings.
Eid al-Adha is the one that’s coming up at the end of July and is the holier of the two feasts.
It coincides with the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is around two months after Eid al-Fitr.
It is deemed the savoury or salty feast as there is a surplus of meat from the sacrifice of the cattle that gets shared around everyone.
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When is Eid al-Fitr 2020 and how is it different to Eid al-Adha?
What is the story behind Eid al-Adha?
Eid al-Adha sees the sacrifices made as a symbolic act to mimic the near-sacrifice of Ibrahim (Abraham) who agreed to sacrifice his son Ishmael when Allah/God asked him to in repeated dreams.
Ibrahim leads Ishmael to Mount Arafat, tied up his son and stuck a blindfold on so he wouldn’t have to watch him suffer.
The story goes that Allah replaced Ibrahim with a sheep as Ibrahim blindly flung the knife at his son. Other variations include an angel stepping in at the last moment and giving him a sheep or goat.
This is the same story from the Old Testament of Abraham and Isaac.
Eid ul Adha 2020 or Bakra Eid 2020 is expected to be celebrated on Friday, 31 July, 2020. This is the tentative date as the actual date is contingent on the sighting of the moon of Dhul Hijjah, 1441, the 12th and last month of Islamic Calendar.
What is Eid al Adha?
Eid ul Adha is a festival celebrated among Muslims all over the world in remembrance of the sacrifice that Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) made out of his strong faith in Allah.
Ibrahim (AS) showed a willingness to sacrifice his son Prophet Ismail (A.S.) but his son was replaced with a lamb by Allah. Allah was so pleased with Ibrahim’s (A.S.) submission to Him that He made this demonstration of sacrifice and faith a permanent part of a Muslim’s life. This event is mentioned in Quran – Surah As-Saffat (37:102).
Hence, every year on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid ul Azha. On this day, Muslims slaughter a lamb, sheep, goat or a camel to honor the sacrifice of Ibrahim (AS).
Both Eid ul Fitr and Eid Al-Adha have great significance in Islam as the same is evident from the following Hadith of Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.):
“Allah has given you better than those feasts (festivals of non-believers): the ‘Eid-ul-Adha’ and ‘Eid-ul-Fitr.’”
Fasting on Eid al-Adha and Eid ul-Fitr are strictly forbidden as the same is obvious from the following Hadith of our beloved Prophet (S.A.W.):
“No fasting is permissible on the two days of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha.”
(Sahih Bukhari: 1995)
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First 10 days of Dhul Hijjah
Dhul Hijjah is one of the four sacred months of Islamic Calendar and first 10 days of this month are the days which are selected by Allah as the best days of the year.
(Surah At Taubah 9:36)
(Sahih Bukhari: 3197)
(Surah Al-Fajr 89:1-2)
1- There are many Hadiths and Quranic Ayahs show great emphasis on doing good deeds during these blessed days. Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.) said:
“No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first ten days of Dhul Hijja).’”
(Sahih Bukhari: 969)
2- Rituals of Hajj are started during the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah (from 8th to 13th).
3- Fasting on the day of Arafah (9th Dhul Hijjah) is a confirmed Sunnah of our beloved prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) but only for those who are not performing Hajj. Fasting on this day is a forgiveness for two years. (Ibn Majah: 1731)
4- Eid al Adha is celebrated during these 10 days (10th Dhul Hijjah) and animals are sacrificed on these day (10th to 13th).
5- Days of Tashriq starts on 9th of Dhul Hijjah (9th to 13th) and these are days of eating and drinking. During the days of Tashriq, it is necessary for every Muslim (male or female, whether praying in congregation or alone) to say the Takbir (Takbirs of Tashriq) immediately after each obligatory (fard) prayer from the Fajr Prayer on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah to the Asr Prayer on the 13th of Dhul Hijjah. Thus, these Takbirs last 5 days, and 23 prayers.
Celebration of Eid al Adha
Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al Adha for two to four days (depending on the country). However, there are some Sunnah which every Muslim should follow while celebrating this great festival.
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Sunnahs of Eid al Adha and Eid Prayer
1- Wake up early in the morning.
2- Clean the teeth with Miswak or a brush.
3- Take a bath.
4- You should wear your best clothes on this day.
5- Apply Perfume.
6- Not to eat before the Eid prayer.
7- To recite the Takhir of Tashriq in a loud voice while going for Eid prayer.
اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ ، اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ، اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ، لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ ، وَاللهُ أَكْبَرُ، اَللهُ أَكْبَرُ، وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْدُ
Allaahu akbar, Allaahu akbar, Allahu akbar laa ilaaha ill-Allaah, wa Allaahu akbar, Allaah akbar, wa Lillaah il-hamd
(Allah is Most Great, Allaah is most Great, Allah is most Great there is no god but Allaah, Allaah is Most great, Allaah is most great, and to Allaah be praise)
(Irwa Al Ghalil: 3 / 125)
8- Listening to Sermon (Khutbah) after offering Eid Prayer. (An-Nasai: 1517)
9- Use different ways while going to mosque and returning after offering Eid Prayer. (Sahih Bukhari: 986)
The scholars differed concerning the ruling on Eid prayers. However, all Muslim should attend prayers of both Eids as most scholars, on the basis of strong evidences, is of opinion that it is Wajib (obligation). Apart from prayer, the Eid sermon (after Eid Prayer) has also been made an integral part of this gathering and the prayer.
1- The time for Eid Prayer begins from the time the sun is three meters above the horizon until the sun reaches its meridian. However, it is better to offer the prayer in the early hours after the sunrise. (Abu Dawud: 1135)
2- Eid Prayer is performed without any ‘Iqmah’ or ‘Athan’. [Sahih Muslim: 885 (b)]
3- Eid prayer consists of two Rak’at (Two Unit Prayer) during which Tabkeer (Allah-u-Akbar) is pronounce seven times. (Abu Dawud: 1149)
4- Rest of the Eid prayer is same as other prayer offered daily.
5- After completing the prayer, it is Sunnah (some scholars say that it is Wajib) to listen the Sermon (Khutbah) after Eid Prayer. So one should stay for Imam’s sermon to end after completing the Eid Prayer.
After listening the sermon, Muslims congratulate each other with greetings such as ‘Eid Mubarak’, ‘Happy Eid, and عيد مبارك etc. However, the most common Eid Greeting Muslims like to wish their friends and fellow Muslims is ‘Eid Mubarak’.
Sacrifice of Animal
Sacrifice of animal or Qurbani on the day of Eid al Adha is a confirmed Sunnah of not only Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) but also of our beloved Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W.). However, some Scholars are of the opinion that is ‘Wajib’ (obligatory).
Sacrifice of cattle is a great worship of Allah and this brings the person offering sacrifice close of Allah.
Abu Hurairah (R.A.) reported that Prophet (S.A.W.) said:
“Whoever can afford it [sacrifice], but does not offer a sacrifice, let him not come near our prayer place.”
(Ibn Majah: 3123)
Hadith clearly mentions the importance of sacrifice and it is also a warning for those Muslims who have means to offer a sacrifice on Eid ul Adha but don’t perform this great Sunnah due to some lame excuses or some other worldly-reasons.
Rules of Sacrifice
Anyone who intends to do the slaughter an animal on Eid al-Adha has to follow certain rules which are given below:
1- Sacrifice of an animal for Eid al Adha can only be done during the specified dates i-e After Eid Prayer (10th of Dhul Hijjah) and before sunset of 13th Dhul Hijjah. Whoever do not follow these dates then his sacrifice is not valid. (Sahih Bukhari: 5545 and Sahih Muslim: 1141)
2- The animal to be sacrificed has to be one of the cattle approved by the Shariah, which are; Camels, Cattle, Sheep and Goat. (Surah Hajj 22:34 and Surah Al-Anaam 6:143)
3- A sheep or goat is used as a single offering and is sufficient for one household whereas camel or cow can be shared by seven people. [Sahih Muslim: 1318(a) and 1961(a)]
4- Animal to be sacrificed has to be an adult and should have reached the age stipulated in Shariah.
- Goat, either male or female, of at least one year of age.
- Sheep, either male or female, of at least six months of age.
- Cow, ox, buffalo of at least two years of age.
- Camel, male or female, of at least five years of age.
5- Animal has to be a healthy one and should be free from obvious defect. (Saheeh Al-Jami: 886)
6- Person offering sacrifice should have only one intention i-e sacrificing in the name of Allah and also the animal to be sacrificed is in his full possession (it is not stolen or taken by force or in joint procession or held in pledge).
7- A person who intends to offer sacrifice should not remove any hair, nail or skin from the sunset on the last day of Dhul Qadah until the sacrifice is done on the day of Eid. (Ibn Majah: 3150)
8- Person should slaughter the animal with his own hands in order to fulfill the Sunnah. However, if one is not able to do so then he can appoint someone else to do the same on his behalf but one should witness his slaughter / sacrifice. (Sahih Bukhari: 5554)
9- Mention the name of Allah and recite Takbeer (Bismillah, Allahu Akbar) at the time of slaughtering the animal. (Sahih Bukhari: 5558)
10- Many scholars are of the opinion that the meat of sacrificed animal should be divide into three parts. One third for the person (and his family) who is offering sacrifice, one third should be distributed among the relatives/neighbors as gift and one third should be given in charity to poor people.
11- All parts of the sacrificed animal can be used for personal benefit but none can be sold or given as payment (even to butcher as his wage) otherwise, sacrifice will become invalid. (Sahih Al-Jami: 6118)
So enjoy this festival by eating and thanking Allah for His blessings and providing opportunity to fulfill this great Sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.). But don’t forget your under-privileged fellow Muslim brother and sisters who don’t have the means to celebrate this blessed festival.
Also, remember us and all Muslim Ummah in your Duas on this special occasion of Eid.