A little over two months after the event of Eid ul Fitr, falls the second Eid of each lunar year. This one is known as ‘Eid ul Adha,’ ‘The Feast of Sacrifice,’ or more simply, ‘The Big Eid.’
While the first Eid of the year follows the Holy month of Ramadan and its daily fasting; this Eid marks the culmination of the days of the Hajj. Eid ul Adha follows the ‘Day of Arafat’ which is the most significant day in the Hajj period.
It is reported that the Prophet Mohammed (SAW) said: "The Hajj is 'Arafat, the Hajj is 'Arafat, the Hajj is 'Arafat. This 9th day of the month of Dhul Hijjah, takes place on the plains of Mount Arafat where the pilgrims assemble to ask for forgiveness and acceptance of their Hajj rites. Muslims who are not visiting Saudi Arabia at this time, will usually spend the day of Arafat fasting to try and attain some of the blessings that the pilgrims will receive there.
The following day marks the festival of Eid and is traditionally celebrated by sacrificing an animal and distributing it to the poor — as well as family, friends and neighbours. This sacrifice is the reason behind the name ‘Eid ul Adha’ and also marks a moment in history, where the Prophet Abraham was tested by Allah and asked to sacrifice his son. After his submission, Allah informed the Prophet to instead sacrifice a ram at the last moment. This practice is followed by Muslims every year, for those that can afford to do so and is known as ‘Qurbani.’
Want to know more? …Have a look at the following example of an Eid ul Adha itinerary:
1. Wake up early for the dawn prayer. Finish by making sure you read the special Eid takbeers, to be said after every fard prayer.
2. Follow the Prophetic sunnah of taking a shower and wearing your best clothes, to get ready for Eid prayers in congregation.
3. Attend the Mosque, or the Eid prayers outdoors and recite the Eid takbeer out loud along the way. Meet local members of the community and wish them all a Happy Eid!
4. Take a different route home from the Eid prayers to follow another sunnah of the beloved Messenger (SAW.)
5. Arrive home and decorate your space to welcome all your Eid guests, in the most beautiful way. Exchange Eid gifts with friends and family members.
6. Eat a special feast prepared with some of your delicious and blessed Qurbani meat, if possible!
7. Enjoy the rest of the day with your loved ones, reflecting on your blessings and practising gratitude — all day long.
8. Celebrations over for this year now… Roll on Eid ul Fitr of next year!