Eid al-Adha

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Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى, romanizedʿĪd al-ʾAḍḥā, EED əl AD-hə; IPA: [ˈʕiːd alˈʔadˤħaː]), commonly translated as the Feast of Sacrifice and also known as Yawm an-Nahr (Arabic: يوم النحر, romanizedYawm al-Naḥr), is the second of the two main Islamic holidays alongside Eid al-Fitr. In the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of the twelfth and final month of Dhu al-Hijja, and celebrations and observances are generally carried forward to the three following days, known as the Tashreeq days.

Eid al-Adha
National Eidgah decorated for Eid al-Adha celebration in Bangladesh
Official nameEid al-Adha
Observed byIslam, Druze and Alawi[1]
TypeIslamic
Significance
Commemoration of Abraham (Ibrahim)'s willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience to a command from God

End of the annual Hajj in Mecca for those present there
CelebrationsDuring the Eid al-Adha celebration, Muslims greet each other by saying 'Eid Mubarak', which is Arabic for "Blessed Eid".
ObservancesEid prayers, animal slaughter, charity, social gatherings, festive meals, gift-giving
Begins10 Dhu al-Hijja
Ends13 Dhu al-Hijja
Date10 Dhu al-Hijjah
2024 date16 June - 20 June (Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan)[2]
16 June – 18 June (Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Bangladesh)[3][4][5][6]
17 June (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore)[7][8][9]
18 June - 20 June (United Kingdom, Brunei, Japan, Morocco)[10]
2025 date6 June – 10 June [11]
Related toHajj; Eid al-Fitr

As with Eid al-Fitr, the Eid prayer is performed on the morning of Eid al-Adha, after which udhiyah, or the ritual sacrifice of sheep, may be performed. In Islamic tradition, it honours the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God's command. Depending on the narrative, either Ishmael or Isaac are referred to with the honorific title "Sacrifice of God".[15] Pilgrims performing the Hajj typically perform the tawaf and saee of Hajj on Eid al-Adha, along with the ritual stoning of the devil on the Eid day and the following days.

Eid al-Adha is also sometimes called the "Greater Eid" (Arabic: العيد الكبير, romanized: al-ʿĪd al-Kabīr).[16] In South Asia it is also called Bakra-Id.[17]

Etymology

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The Arabic word عيد (ʿīd) means 'festival', 'celebration', 'feast day', or 'holiday'. The word عيد is a triliteral root (ʕ-y-d), with associated root meanings of "to go back, to rescind, to accrue, to be accustomed, habits, to repeat, to be experienced; appointed time or place, anniversary, feast day".[18][19] Arthur Jeffery contests this etymology, and believes the term to have been borrowed into Arabic from Syriac, or less likely Targumic Aramaic.[20]

The holiday is called عيد الأضحى (Eid-al-Adha) or العيد الكبير (Eid-al-Kabir) in Arabic.[21] The words أضحى (aḍḥā) and قربان (qurbān) are synonymous in meaning 'sacrifice' (animal sacrifice), 'offering' or 'oblation'. The first word comes from the triliteral root ضحى (ḍaḥḥā) with the associated meanings "immolate; offer up; sacrifice; victimize".[22] No occurrence of this root with a meaning related to sacrifice occurs in the Qur'an[18] but in the Hadith literature. Assyrians and other Middle Eastern Christians use the term to mean the Eucharistic host. The second word derives from the triliteral root ‏‏قرب‎‎ (qaraba) with associated meanings of "closeness, proximity... to moderate; kinship...; to hurry; ...to seek, to seek water sources...; scabbard, sheath; small boat; sacrifice".[19] Arthur Jeffery recognizes the same Semitic root, but believes the sense of the term to have entered Arabic through Aramaic.[20]

Eid al-Adha is pronounced Eid al-Azha and Eidul Azha, primarily in Iran and influenced by the Persian language like the Indian subcontinent; /ˌd əl ˈɑːdə, - ˈɑːdhɑː/ EED əl AH-də, -⁠ AHD-hah; Arabic: عيد الأضحى, romanizedʿĪd al-ʾAḍḥā, IPA: [ʕiːd al ˈʔadˤħaː].[23]

Origin

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One of the main trials of Abraham's life was to receive and obey the command of God to slaughter his beloved son Ismaeel (AS). According to the narrative, Abraham kept having dreams that he was sacrificing his son. Abraham knew that this was a command from God and he told his son, as stated in the Quran,

"Oh son, I keep dreaming that I am slaughtering you". he replied, "Father, do what you are ordered to do."

Abraham prepared to submit to the will of God and to slaughter his son as an act of faith and obedience to God.[24][25] During the preparation, Iblis (Satan) tempted Abraham and his family by trying to dissuade them from carrying out God's commandment, and Abraham drove Iblis away by throwing pebbles at him. In commemoration of their rejection of Iblis, stones are thrown during Hajj rites at symbolic pillars, symbolising the place at which Iblis tried to dissuade Abraham.[26]

Acknowledging that Abraham was willing to sacrifice what is dear to him, God honoured both Abraham and his son. Angel Gabriel (Jibreel) called Abraham, "O' Ibrahim, you have fulfilled the revelations," and a ram from heaven was offered by Angel Gabriel to prophet Abraham to slaughter instead of his son. Many Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha to commemorate both the devotion of Abraham and the survival of his son Ishmael.[27][28][29]

This story is known as the Akedah in Judaism (Binding of Isaac) and originates in the Torah,[30] in the first book of Moses (Genesis, Ch. 22). The Akedah is referred to in the Quran in its 37th surah, As-Saaffat.[31]

The word "Eid" appears once in Al-Ma'ida, the fifth surah of the Quran, with the meaning "a festival or a feast".[32]

Observances

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Eid prayer at the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan

In the days preceding Eid al-Adha and during the Eid and Tashreeq days, Muslims recite the takbir.[33][34] Like on Eid al-Fitr, the Eid prayer is performed on Eid al-Adha any time after sunrise and before the Zuhr prayer. In the event of a force majeure, the prayer may be delayed to the day after, or the second day after Eid.[35] The Eid prayer is followed by a khutbah (sermon).[36] At the conclusion of the prayers and sermon, Muslims embrace and exchange gifts and greetings with one another, such as the phrase Eid Mubarak. Many Muslims also take this opportunity to invite their friends, neighbours and colleagues to the festivities to better acquaint them about Islam and Muslim culture.[37]

 
Arabic calligraphic fragment dated to the early 18th century displaying blessings for Eid al-Adha

Udhiyah

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After the Eid prayer, udhiyah, or the ritual sacrifice of cattle, may be performed. Affluent Muslims who can afford it sacrifice halal cattle, usually a camel, goat, sheep, or ram, as a symbol of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his only son.[38][39] The animals have to meet certain age and quality standards to be considered for sacrifice.[40] In Pakistan alone, roughly 7.5 million animals, costing an estimated $3 billion (equivalent to $4.16 billion in 2023), were sacrificed in 2011.[41][42] The meat from the sacrificed animal is generally divided into three parts: the family performing the udhiyah retains a third; while the remainder is equally divided between friends and relatives, and the poor.[38]

The tradition for Eid al-Adha involves slaughtering an animal and sharing the meat in three equal parts – for family, for relatives and friends, and for poor people. The goal is to make sure every Muslim gets to eat meat.[43][44] However, there is a dissent among Muslim scholars regarding the obligatory nature of this sacrifice. While some scholars, such as Al-Kasani, categorise the sacrifice as obligatory (wāǧib), others regard it only as an "established custom" (sunna mu'akkada).[45] Alternatives such as charitable donations or fasting have been suggested to be permissible by several fuqaha.[46]

 
Cookies of Eid (ma'amoul)

Muslims are expected to dress in their finest clothing to perform Eid prayer in a large congregation in an open waqf ("stopping") field called Eidgah or mosque. Cuisine traditionally associated with Eid al-Adha includes ma'amoul and samosas.[35]

 
Cattle market for Eid al-Adha in Dhaka, Bangladesh

In the Gregorian calendar

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Conversion of Hijri years 1343 to 1500 to the Gregorian calendar, with first days of al-Muharram (brown), Ramadan (grey) and Shawwal (black) bolded, and Eid al-Adha dotted – in the SVG file, hover over a spot to show its dates and a line to show the month

While Eid al-Adha is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. The lunar calendar is approximately eleven days shorter than the solar calendar.[47][a] Each year, Eid al-Adha (like other Islamic holidays) falls on one of about two to four Gregorian dates in parts of the world, because the boundary of crescent visibility is different from the International Date Line.[48]

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.[12] The Umm al-Qura calendar is just a guide for planning purposes and not the absolute determinant or fixer of dates. Confirmations of actual dates by moon sighting are applied on the 29th day of the lunar month prior to Dhu al-Hijja[49] 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 Mount Arafat and descend from it after sunrise of the listed day.[50]

In many countries, the start of any lunar Hijri month varies based on the observation of new moon by local religious authorities, so the exact day of celebration varies by locality.

Explanatory notes

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  1. ^ Because the Hijri year differs by about 11 days from the AD year, Eid al-Adha can occur twice a year, in the year 1029, 1062, 1094, 1127, 1159, 1192, 1224, 1257, 1290, 1322, 1355, 1387, 1420, 1452, 1485, 1518, 1550, 1583, 1615, 1648, 1681, 1713, 1746, 1778, 1811, 1844, 1876, 1909, 1941, 1974, 2007, 2039, 2072, 2104, 2137, 2169, 2202, 2235, 2267 and 2300 (will continue to occur every 32 or 33 years).

References

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