Eid al-Adha, also known as the "Festival of Sacrifice," is one of the most important festivals celebrated in the Islamic faith. It is observed on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and lasts for four days. The date of the festival is determined by the sighting of the moon, and it can vary by a day or two depending on the region.
The history of Eid al-Adha dates back to the story of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his willingness to sacrifice his son, Ismail (Ishmael), as an act of obedience to God's command. According to Islamic tradition, when Prophet Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, God intervened and provided a ram as a substitute. This event is seen as a test of faith and submission to God's will, and it is commemorated during the festival of Eid al-Adha.
During the festival, Muslims around the world gather to perform the Eid prayer, which is a special prayer that is offered in congregation. The prayer is usually performed in an open space, such as a park or a field, and it involves a sermon and a recitation of the Quran. After the prayer, Muslims exchange greetings and visit family and friends to share food and gifts.
One of the central rituals of Eid al-Adha is the sacrifice of an animal, usually a sheep, goat, or cow, in commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son. The animal is slaughtered in a humane and merciful way, and the meat is divided into three parts: one part is kept for the family, one part is distributed to friends and neighbors, and one part is donated to the poor and needy.
The festival of Eid al-Adha is a time of reflection, remembrance, and gratitude. It is a time for Muslims to strengthen their faith, renew their commitment to God, and demonstrate their compassion and generosity towards others. The festival also marks the end of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, which is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims who are physically and financially able to undertake it.