The history of Eid ul-Adha

ABRAHAM was to follow Allah’s (God’s) command to sacrifice his son. Muslims around the world observe this event.

WHAT DO PEOPLE DO?

At Eid ul-Adha, many Muslims make a special effort to pray and listen to a sermon at a mosque. They also wear new clothes, visit family members and friends and may symbolically sacrifice an animal in an act known as qurbani. This represents the animal that Ibrahim sacrificed in the place of his son.

In some traditionally Muslim countries, families or groups of families may purchase an animal known as udhiya, usually a goat or sheep, to sacrifice, but this is not common or legal in many parts of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States or many other countries. In these countries, groups of people may purchase a whole carcass from a butcher and divide it among themselves or just buy generous portions of meat for a communal meal on Eid ul-Adha. People also give money to enable poorer members of their local community and around the world to eat a meat-based meal.

In the period around Eid ul-Adha, many Muslims travel to Mecca and the surrounding area in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage and package holidays are organised from many countries.

Muslims may plan and save for many years to enable them to take part in this event, which is one of the five pillars of Islam.

PUBLIC LIFE

Eid ul-Adha is a public holiday in places such as Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

It is not a nationwide public holiday in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom or the United States. However, some Islamic organisations may be closed or offer a reduced level of service and there may be some local congestion around mosques in countries where Eid ul-Adha is not a public holiday.

BACKGROUND

Ibrahim, known as Abraham in the Christian and Jewish traditions, was commanded by God to sacrifice his adult son.

He obeyed and took Ishmael (Ismail or Ismael) to Mount Moriah. Just as he was to sacrifice his son, an angel stopped him and gave him a ram to sacrifice in place of his son. Some people dispute that the son of sacrifice was Isaac. Regardless, these events are remembered and celebrated at Eid ul-Adha.

The Islamic calendar is based on observations of the moon and the length of a particular month can vary between years.

For this reason, predicted dates of Eid ul-Adha may be corrected at the start of the month of Dhul Hijja.

This is around 10 days before the start of the festival. -Sourced