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Eid ul Adha Festival: The Festival of Sacrifice
Muslims all over the world, celebrate two major festivals throughout the year: Eid-ul-fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. Eid-ul-fitr is celebrated when the prestigious, holy, month of Ramadan is over, whereas Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated after Muslims are done with one of the most important, most sacred form of worship, and holiest of all obligations, Hajj. Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on the 10th of Zil Hajj, ever year.
Hajj is an act of worship which is made compulsory for every Muslim man or woman, they have to make this pilgrimage at least once in a lifetime. In this supreme form of worship, Muslims visit the house of Allah which is located in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. There are certain rituals customs involved in this Hajj, each of which have their own importance and value in Islam. The entire Hajj lasts for 40 days and after that the Muslims celebrate Eid-ul-Adha, where Muslims have to sacrifice animals like Goats, Cows, Sheep or Camels, in the name of Allah. This is called ‘Qurbaani’. Let us dig deeper into the celebration of Eid-ul-Adha, known as the festival of sacrifice.
Significance of Eid-ul-Adha
Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated because of an event which happened during the earlier periods of Islam. The most important part of this eid is the animal sacrifice which is made. The reason why this sacrifice is made is because Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) who is one of the prophets in Islam, was ordered by Allah to sacrifice his son, Hazrat Ismail (AS). This order was only given to test Hazrat Ibrahmi’s (AS) obedience and loyalty to Allah and he did wonderfully on this test. Hazrat Ismail (AS) was the only child Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) had and he loved him with all his heart, but just because Allah ordered him to sacrifice his only son, he was ready because Allah and His pleasure meant more to Hazrat Ibrahim (AS). He immediately set out with his son to carry out Allah’s orders, however just when he was about to sacrifice his son, the son was replaced with a ram instead!
Allah did not want Hazrat Ismail (AS) life, he just wanted to see that to what extremes Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) could go for Him. Then with the sacrifice of that ram, it became a tradition set in Islam that ever year, after Hajj, Muslims all over the world will sacrifice animals in Allah’s way.
As mentioned already that the main part of this eid is the sacrifice of animals, hence, 2 weeks prior to Eid-ul-Adha, the animals which will be used for sacrificing are brought into specific places called ‘Mandis’, there is a ‘Bakra Mandi’ where you will find only goats which you can buy for sacrifice. Likewise, sheep/rams, cows and camels have their specific mandis as well, which you can visit to buy the animal of your choice.
Most people go for Bakras (goats) because they are easier to manage and do not require that much of space. Whereas, those who buy camels, they have to have a very large space available where they would keep the camel and arrangements for his food are to be made as well, likewise. Plus, they are very expensive and not everybody can afford a camel.
Cows are also bought in large numbers, for the purpose of sacrifice. Cows are beautiful animals but they can also require a bit of extra work when it comes to taking care of them, till the day of their sacrifice arrives.
The price range for each animal varies, obviously a goat would cost less than a camel would, but price depends on a number of other things, as well. Like, the weight of the animal, the size of it etc. Most people consider doing a survey before they finally decide which animal to buy and from where. Proper food for each animal is also available in the market and with decorations as well. Like many people buy bells and necklaces with tassels to decorate their cows with.
Arrangements for proper butchers for Eid-ul-Adha are also made, who will be sacrificing the goat for you and taking care of the meat. Each butcher has its own rates and will charge you for it, depending on which animal are you bringing in and in what number ( for example, two goats, 1 cow, 1 goat, 1 camel etc)
The meat which you get from these animals, are distributed amongst not only your dear and near ones, but also amongst the poor and the needy. The skins of the animals are also donated to proper places. The entire festival of Eid-ul-Adha lasts for 3 days, some people make their sacrifices on the first day, some on the second and some on the third.
Friends and relatives hold a lot of parties where they invite each other and prepare delicious food, which includes many dishes prepared from the meat of the animals which they have sacrificed. Many families hold Barbeque parties, where they make delicious barbequed items from the meat of the sacrificial animals.
Eid-ul-Adha Dress, Shoes and Mehndi
Since, it is Eid, hence clothes, shoes, jewelry, mehndi are a no compromise zone, especially for the girls. The dresses are carefully planned, keeping in mind the latest colors, latest trends of the season. Shoes are also selected which go perfectly with the outfit. Jewelry and other accessories are also chosen accordingly.
For many females, it is not possible to celebrate eid without putting mehandi designs on their hands. The night before the first day of Eid-ul-Adha, many shopping centers and bazaars organize special areas where you can get pretty henna designs applied on your hands and feet. There are women who sit there, from morning till night, with henna cones in their hands, who will put beautiful mehndi on your hands and feet for you. Or you can buy mehndi or henna cones and decorate your hands and feet with mehndi yourself.
Eid ul adha is an important Muslims festival. The spirit of giving is evident during this festival, as it is primarily about sacrifice.
Eid-ul-Adha in Different Parts of the World
Being one of the most important festivals of Muslims, Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated across the globe where many of our brother and sister Muslims are residing. Different celebration procedures are done, in which the most significant one is going to their mosque and offer prayers for Eid-ul-Adha.
Muslims in other countries are performing mass prayers in front of their mosque. Some also slaughter cows and observe different customs and traditions as part of the celebration of Eid-ul-Adha. The video in the right side shows how Chinese muslim community observe the festival in their area.
To all Muslims around the world, here's expressing my warmest Eid wishes to everyone!
May Allah continue to bless and guide you throughout the year. More blessings, peace and happiness to you and your family.