What is Eid al-Adha?

One of the most important holidays in the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha, or Festival of the Sacrifice commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s loyalty to Allah through his readiness to sacrifice his son, Ismail. 

When is Eid al-Adha?

Eid al-Adha falls on the tenth day of the twelfth month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar. The timing of the festival depends on the first sighting of the new moon, meaning some countries will celebrate it on different days. This year the festivities will begin around Thursday 30th July, and end on Monday 3rd August. 

Eid al-Adha also coincides with the last day of the Hajj, a five-day pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslim’s undergo to cleanse the soul of sins. Any Muslim who has the financial means is expected to undertake the pilgrimage at least once in their lives, as it constitutes one of the five pillars of Islam.

How is Eid al-Adha celebrated?

The story of Prophet Ibrahim in the Quran states that Allah came to Ibrahim in a dream, commanding him to sacrifice his son as a sign of his devotion and submission. As Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, Allah replaced Ismail with a ram, which was slaughtered in his place. As such, during Eid celebrations, the act of Qurbani (sacrifice) is carried out following the morning Eid Salaah (Eid Prayers), in which a sacrificial animal – a sheep, goat, lamb, cow, bull or a camel – is slaughtered, to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son for Allah. The Qurbani meat is then divided among family, neighbours, and those in need.

Traditionally, the day is spent with family and involves the exchanging of gifts, and feasting. We caught up with Ziaurahman, a member of our staff from Wardak Province, to hear about his Eid celebrations:

During the Eid days, we make a special Eid breakfast including various types of sweets. Each day for lunch and dinner, everyone in the village eats in different homes and everyone cooks for each other. Mostly we make Qabali Palaw with meatballs, and Shorba with many types of vegetable and fruit.

Eid Murabak! 

The most popular greeting during Eid is "Eid Mubarak", which translates as Blessed Eid. And with that, we'd like to wish a joyful and blessed Eid al-Adha to all our supporters! We know this year celebrations might be different, but we hope everyone is able to share the holiday with their loved ones, whether that be virtually or in person.

Let us know how you’ll be celebrating Eid this year - we’d love to hear from you.

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