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Eid Al-Adha, ‘Feast of the Sacrifice’, Eid Qurban, also called the “Festival of the Sacrifice”, is the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year (the other being Eid al-Fitr), and considered the holier of the two. It honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command. But, before Ibrahim could sacrifice his son, God provided a lamb to sacrifice instead. In commemoration of this intervention, an animal, usually a sheep, is sacrificed ritually and divided into three parts. One share is given to the poor and needy, another is kept for home, and the third is given to relatives.
In the Islamic lunar calendar, Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, and lasts for five days. In the international (Gregorian) calendar, the dates vary from year to year shifting approximately 11 days earlier each year. In 2020 the Eid Al-Adha 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.
Traditions of Eid Al Adha
Eid al-Adha concludes the Pilgrimage to Mecca. Eid al-Adha lasts for three days and commemorates Ibrahim’s (Abraham) willingness to obey God by sacrificing his son.
The same story appears in the Bible and is familiar to Jews and Christians. One key difference is that Muslims believe the son was Ishmael rather than Isaac as told in the Old Testament. Eid Al Lahma, which means the ‘meat Eid’
According to the Quran, Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son when a voice from heaven stopped him and allowed him to make something else as a ‘great sacrifice’. In the Old Testament, it is a ram that is sacrificed instead of the son.
In Islam, Ishmael is regarded as a prophet and an ancestor of Muhammad.
During the feast of Eid Al Adha, Muslims re-enact Ibrahim’s obedience by sacrificing a cow or ram. The family will eat about a third of the meal a third goes to friends and relatives, and the remaining third is donated to the poor and needy.
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