Muslims across the world have commenced the celebration of the Eid ul-Adha – the festival of sacrifice and feasting.
Eid ul-Adha is the second-most important event in the Islamic calendar. During the three-day celebrations, Muslim families around the world come together to honour Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion to Allah with gifts and feasting; typically sheep, cows, camel, chickens and goats, are slaughtered, cooked and shared with family, friends and the needy.
The Eid ul-Adha celebration also marks the end of the 10-day Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, which is one of the five pillars of Islam and all able-bodied Muslims must undertake Hajj at least once in their lifetime.
This is how Eid ul-Adha is it celebrated according Islamic Scholars
According to the Quran, Ibrahim – known as Abraham in the bible – and his wife Sarah had a son after many years of praying to be blessed with a child. However, Allah asked Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of devotion. The couple travelled to Mecca to undertake the sacrifice – a route followed on the Hajj pilgrimage. But at the last minute, Allah told Ibrahim not kill his son but rather provided him with a ram to sacrifice.
On Eid ul-Adha, Muslims traditionally honour Ibrahim’s devotion to God by sacrificing a sheep, goat, cow or camel in their homes or other dedicated spots
According to the Islamic Scholars, for the good deed of the sacrifice to count, every person has to contribute a portion each. Since a goat equals one portion, a big family would opt for a cow or camel instead as both animals equal seven portions respectively. Families then divide up the meat to use during the feast with their family and friends; to distribute to close friends and relatives not present at the gathering and neighbours; and lastly, to the poor. Families who have not conducted a sacrifice will often purchase halal meat for their meal and donate money to charity instead.
The celebration begins with a special prayer, ‘Salat al-Eid’, followed by a sermon called a khutbah. Traditionally, this is followed by the sacrifice. The rest of the day is devoted to visiting the houses of friends and family. Worshippers exchange the traditional Arabic greeting, ‘Eid Mubarak’ (‘have a blessed Eid’) and swap gifts.