In the Indian subcontinent, the festival is known as Bakr-Eid because of the tradition of sacrificing the goats (“bakri” in Hindi-Urdu)
The Arabic term “Feast of the Sacrifice”, ‘Eid ul-’Aḍḥā is borrowed into Indic languages such as Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati and Bengali and Austronesian languages such as Malay and Indonesian (the last often spelling it as Idul Adha or Iduladha).
Another Semitic word for “sacrifice” is the Arabic Qurbān (Arabic: قربان), which is used in Dari Persian and Standard Persian as Eyde Ghorbân عید قربان, and in Tajik Persian as Иди Қурбон (Idi Qurbon), into Kazakh as Құрбан айт (Qurban ayt), into Uyghur as Qurban Heyit, and also into various Indic languages such as Bengali কোরবানির ঈদ Korbanir Id. Other languages combined the Arabic word qurbān with local terms for “festival”, as in Kurdish (Cejna Qurbanê), Pashto (Kurbaneyy Akhtar), Chinese (Gúěrbāng Jié), Malay and Indonesian (Hari Raya Korban,Qurbani), Filipino (Araw ng Pag-Sasakripisyo), and Turkish (Kurban Bayramı).Azeri (Qurban Bayramı), Tatar (Qorban Bäyräme), Bosnian(Kurban bajram), Albanian(Kurban Bajrami), Croatian (Kurban-bajram),Serbian (Курбан бајрам), Russian (Курбан-байрам), (Eid Kurbani Wari) in Sindhi.
Eid-ul-Adha (Eid of Sacrifices) is celebrated to commemorate the obedience of Hadhrat Ibrahim (as) and his son Hadhrat Ismail (as) to the commandment of Allah. Hadhrat Ibrahim (as) had a series of dreams in which he saw himself sacrificing his eldest son Ismail. He inferred that it was perhaps the will of God that he should sacrifice the life of his son. Hadhrat Ibrahim, being most obedient to God, was about to sacrifice the life of his son Ismail, when God commanded him to stop and gave him the good news that he had indeed fulfilled His command. God was so pleased with Ibrahim because of his obedience that He multiplied his progeny into billions. He was also given the great honor of being the forefather of the Holy Prophet of Islam (saw).
The days of Eid al Adha are the 10th of Dhul Hijjah upto the 12th of Dhul Hijjah (3 days and 2 nights) sacrifice may take place until sunset on the 13th Day
Eid-ul-Adha marks the completion of the pilgrimage to Mecca by Muslims from multifarious nations of the world on the tenth day of the Islamic month Zul Haj. It is obligatory to bring the pilgrimage to a successful termination with the sacrifice of an animal. Like prayer and fasting, the performance of pilgrimage is a mode of worship seeking the spiritual, social and economic upliftment of Muslims.
Pilgrimage accustoms a person to leave home and, for the sake of God, to undergo separation from friends and relatives. It also serves as a symbol of respect for the holy places of God frequented by the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). When visiting these sacred places the pilgrim experiences spiritual elation. The universal bond of Islamic brotherhood is also strengthened as pilgrims of worldwide nationalities gather together in a spirit of unity and harmony.
The pilgrim offers the sacrifice of an animal at the end of the pilgrimage which is also done by Muslims all over the world. This is done in remembrance of Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son Ishmael (not Isaac as recorded in the Bible) who, in turn, resigned to being sacrificed under the belief that it was the Will of God. We read in the Holy Quran:
And when he (Ishmael) was old enough to run along with him (Abraham), he said, `O my dear son, I have seen in a dream that I offer thee in sacrifice. So consider what thou thinkest of it!’ He replied, `O my father, do as thou art commanded; thou wilt find me, if Allah please steadfast in my faith.’
And when they both submitted to the Will of God, and Abraham had thrown him down on his forehead, We called to him `O Abraham thou hast indeed fulfilled the dream.’ Thus indeed do We reward those who do good.’ (37:103-105)
The Holy Quran succinctly describes the significance of animal sacrifice:
Their flesh reaches not Allah, nor does their blood, but it is your righteousness that reaches Him. (22:38)
The act of sacrifice is symbolic reminding the person who offers it that as the animal is inferior to him so he, also, is inferior to God and should, therefore, be ready to sacrifice himself and all his personal interests and inclinations for the sake of God when he is required to do so. The attainment of righteousness should be the goal of every Muslim. The Holy Quran states:
Verily the most honourable among you in the sight of Allah is the one who is most righteous among you. (49:40)Those who do good and act righteously shall have a great reward. (4:173)
Verily he truly prospers who purifies himself, and remembers the name of his Lord and offers prayers. (87:15)
The act of sacrifice is in no way an atonement for the sins of the person making the sacrifice. Islam emphasises that no creature or person can atone for the sins of anyone else and, therefore, rejects the Christian Doctrine of Atonement which declares that Jesus atoned for the sins of mankind by shedding his blood on the cross.
The Muslim who can afford to, should buy a sacrificial animal well before Eid. This could be a male ram, goat, sheep, cow, or a camel. The more beloved and dear the animal is to its owner, the more meaningful will be its sacrifice. This animal should be taken care of, fed well, respected (it should not be harmed, or ridiculed in any manner) and nurtured until the time of sacrifice. Alternatively, if the Muslim can not afford a separate ram or goat for himself (or herself), scholars have allowed 7 Muslims to share in one cow.
Eid-ul-Adha is an occasion on which Muslims everywhere are encouraged to make every kind of sacrifice for the spiritual, moral, social, and economic uplift of mankind and especially their own. If they make it a common cause and strive to manifest in themselves the attributes of God in accordance with the teachings and guidance of the Holy Quran and teachings of the Holy Prophet then, indeed, the message of Eid-ul-Azha would have borne fruit.
On the day of Eid those Muslims who can afford to sacrifice an animal are enjoined to do so after Eid Prayer. Following Takbeeraat should be repeated on the Eid Day.
|Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar||الله أكبر الله أكبر|
|lā ilāha illā Allāh||لا إله إلا الله|
|wa Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar||والله أكبر الله أكبر|
|wa li-illāhil-ḥamd||ولله الحمد|
Translation: Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest;
there is no God beside Allah;
Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest,
and all praise belongs to Allah.
Who must attend Eid prayer
- Men compulsory – Women Optional
- Residents, which exclude travellers
- Those in good health, which excludes genuinely sick people
When is the Eid al-Adha prayer performed
The Eid al-Adha prayer is performed anytime after the sun completely rises up to just before the entering of Zuhr time, on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah. If the event of an excuse (eg. natural disaster), the prayer maybe delayed to the 11th of Dhul Hijjah and then to the 12th of Dhul Hijjah.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that in most developing Muslim countries, the poor Muslim populace gets to each meat just once a year – on Eid Al-Adha. The spirit of charity runs high as every Muslim who sacrifices an animal is eager to share their meat with their poor brethren. Some better-off families go as far as dedicating several animals solely for feeding the poor and hungry on the three days of Eid.
It is heartening to witness the spirit of sharing and giving on this Eid, as no Muslim goes hungry during the tiring but joyous days of Eid Al-Adha!