Eid al-Adha - Festival of Sacrifice
The lunar calendar has 12 months. ^Eid-ul ad-haa is celebrated on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah which is the 12th month of the Islamic Calendar. This blessed day follows the best day of the year, which is the 9th of Dhul Hijjah – the day on which the pilgrims performing hajj gather in the grounds of ^Arafah close to Makkah in present day Saudi Arabia.
Note that the beginning of a new month is not determined by calculations, but rather by actually sighting the new crescent in compliance with the ahadeeth of the Prophet sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam. The Prophet sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam informed us that the lunar month is either 29 days or 30 days. One looks for the new crescent after the sun has set on the 29th day, if one sees it, then the next day is the first of the next month. However, if due to cloud one does not see it, then one completes 30 days and the next day is “automatically” deemed to be the first.
There are many recommended matters (sunnahs) that one is encouraged to observe on this day. Amongst them is to have a bath. The time of this ghusl starts at the middle of the night and it ends by the sunset and it is better to take this ghusl after Fajr, after the appearance of the dawn.
* Note it is haram to fast on the day of ^Eid.
Meanings behind Eid al-Adha
• Eid al-Adha or Feast of Sacrifice is the most important feast of the Muslim calendar.
• Eid Adha is on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah, which is the last month in the Muslim calendar.
• The 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah is the day when Hujjaj (pilgrims) stand on the mountain of ^Arafat.
• It is Recommended (Sunnah) to fast the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah.
• Eid al-Adha concludes the Hajj journey (Pilgrimage) to Meccah al-Mukarramah.
• Eid al-Adha is followed by 3 days called the Days of Tashreeq.
• Eid al-Adha commemorates Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to obey Allah by sacrificing his son.
• Muslims believe the son to be Ismail and not Isaac (Ishaq) as told in the Old Testament.
• Prophet Ismail is considered the forefather of the Arabs.
• According to the story in al-Qur’an, Prophet Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son by slaughtering him.
• Although the knife was sharpened, but when Prophet Ibrahim came to slaughter Ismail, the knife would not cut anything.
• He tried to stab with the knife, but it would not cut at all.
• The reason is that everything that happens in this world is by the will of Allah.
• Allah did not will for that knife to cut or harm prophet Ismail.
• Allah protected Prophet Ismail and granted prophet Ibrahim a ram as a sacrifice instead.
• Today millions of Muslims sacrifice sheep and give them it away for the needy and poor people for the sake of Allah.
• The Muslim family eats about a third of the meat and donates the rest to the poor.
• What a great meaning it is to help the needy and make them all equally happy and joyful on this day.
• The time of the Udhiah or sacrifice begins at the sunrise of the Eid day and ends at the sunset of the third day of the days of Tashriq.