Eid-al-Adha: Celebrating the spirit of sacrifice

The pious festival of Eid-al-Adha is round the corner and Muslims around the world have started making preparations for its celebration. Eid-al-Adha is one of the two prominent Muslim festivals. The other is Eid-al-Fitr. Of the two, Eid-al-Adha is considered to be holier.

Eid-al-Adha is also called the “Sacrifice Feast” or Bakr-Eid. Eid-al-Adha is observed on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th month and lasts for four days. The festival’s date varies in accordance with the Islamic lunar calendar. This year, in 2016, the festival is expected to be observed on September 10 in Saudi Arabia. In countries such as Pakistan, India and other South Asian nations, Eid-al-Adha will be celebrated the following day – i.e. September 11. Eid-al-Adha is celebrated at the end of the Hajj, which is the annual Muslim pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.

Origin and significance of Eid-al-Adha

There is a very inspirational and fascinating incident attached to the origin of Eid-al-Adha. Ibrahim had a dream in which Allah asked him to give a demonstration of his devotion. Allah called upon Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ishmael. The devil tempted Ibrahim not to follow God’s orders with the offer of sparing his son. But, Ibrahim was true to the lord and did not come under the spell of the devil. In true obedience to Allah, Ibrahim went ahead and attempted to cut off the head of his son. However, as Ibrahim was about to conduct the deed he was stopped by Allah, who, instead, gave him a lamb to sacrifice. Ibrahim had passed the stern test and had proved his devotion to the almighty and his willingness to give his life or that of his dear ones in the service of the lord. Muslims around the world honor the supreme sacrifice made by Ibrahim by celebrating Eid-al-Adha.

How do people celebrate Eid-al-Adha
Eid-al-Adha is a holiday in Muslim countries and also in many non-Muslim nations. People begin the day by attending morning prayers at their local mosques and thanking Allah for the blessings. After the completion of the prayers, people either receive guests or themselves visit their dear and near ones. Sweets and greetings are exchanged with family and friends and people wear new clothes.

Later in the day, worshipers sacrifice an animal which is usually a sheep or a goat. This is done in honor of Ibrahim’s sacrifice to god. However, the animal that is slaughtered has to meet certain restrictions. It is said that the animal should not be blind, ill or visibly lame. Further, the animal is also required to meet certain age restrictions and those who do not conform to the set standards are not acceptable for sacrifice.

As per tradition, the meat of the sacrificed animal is usually divided into three parts. One third of the meat is retained by the family. The other people who include relatives, neighbors and friends get the next third of the share. The remaining third is given to the needy people.

People also take the opportunity to do some charity work and help those who are poor. This is usually done by the rich, who offer money to the underprivileged members of their community, so that they can relish a meat-based meal or buy new clothes.

Wish your loved ones Happy Eid by sending them beautiful cards and messages
People around the world also take the opportunity to wish their loved ones happy Eid by sending them lovely cards or messages. There are a number of fabulous e-cards to choose from. Some of these come with beautiful wordings while there are others which you can personalize according to your own tastes and likes.

On this Eid send a beautiful card to message to your loved ones wishing them lots of love, happiness and prosperity.

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