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Eid al-Adha (feast of sacrifice)

Updated on March 21, 2011

The ʿ Id al-Adha "feast of sacrifice", or ʿ Id al-Nahr "festival of sticking" and ʿ Id al-Qurban "feast of the offer (to God)" is the Feast of Sacrifice celebrated every year in the Islamic lunar month of Dhu al Hijjah, which takes place in the canon pilgrimage, called Hajj. It is often also called ʿ Id al-Kabir "great party", as opposed to ʿ Id al-Saghir "little party", that the feast of breaking the fast.

The party, which can locally be remembered with other definitions, on 10 Dhu al Hijjah immediate or in the three days , throughout the Islamic world. In those days an Islamic rule prohibits any type of asceticism and fasting, since they have a "day of joy."

The word derives from the Arabic root adha which refers to the meaning of "sacrifice", and is connected to the memory of the evidence that had been overtaken by the Prophet Ibrahim and his family, formed in the case of Hagar and their son Ishmael / Isma ʿ the.

The ritual sacrifice is practiced during the holiday commemorates the sacrifice made by replacing a ram to Abraham / Ibrahim, totally obedient to the divine willing to sacrifice his son Ishmael / Isma ʿ the first to be stopped by the angel. Therefore, the ultimate celebration of faith and total and unquestioned submission to God (Islam).

In theory, the day of ʿ Id al-Adha, Muslims sacrifice as Abraham an animal - such uḍḥiya or Qurban - which, according to the shari ʿ a, must be physically intact and adult and can only be a sheep, a goat, a cow or a camelid , in the last two cases, you can sacrifice an animal on behalf of several persons, up to seven . The animal is killed by sticking with the severing of the jugular vein to allow blood to flow out, as for the biblical and Koranic law the blood is impure and is therefore forbidden to eat.


The ceremony takes place on the day of slaughtering 10 or within three days following the period of time (Waqt) between the end of prayer in the morning and early afternoon prayer. Is slain by a man who should be in a state of legal purity (Tahara), saying a Takbir, which is the formula: "In the name of God! God is the greatest. "

The meat is preferably divided into three equal parts, one of which must be eaten immediately between the family and the second should be stored and eaten later, and the third is devoted to the poor of the community, who do not have the economic means to buy it.

In the present case, however, given the enormous number of pilgrims and the practical impossibility to enter into a veritable massacre of unprecedented size in areas of the hajj, the pilgrim enters for the more in advance the necessary expenses for the purchase of the sacrificial victim, which, if less financially, it can be an animal of lesser economic value and smaller size of a sheep. It will be ritually slaughtered in special establishments, personnel and salaried Purpose, able to work the edible meat and keep it in order to then forward them in those countries (Muslims) who have suffered from famine or war damage, or pay in anyway poor economic conditions.

For those who do not participate in the ritual of the hajj, the 'ʿ Id al-Adha begins with a brief prayer in the mosque, preceded by a choral Takbir and followed by a sermon. A set of ceremonies that involved men and women and often children for the highly festive occasion, used to wear their best clothes.



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    • daffodil2010 profile image

      daffodil2010 7 years ago

      thanks for reading and commenting

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 7 years ago from Texas

      Fascinating! Thank you for sharing.