Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Eid-ul-Adha: Pilgrimage of Sacrifice

In the name of Allah, the Most-Merciful, the All-Compassionate

What is Eid-ul-Adha?
Eid-ul-Adha marks the end of Hajj, the sacred pilgrimage to the holy city Mecca. It's customary for every able Muslim (as prescribed in the Five Pillars of Islam) to go on a Hajj at least once during his lifetime. This Muslim holiday Eid-ul-Adha commemorates Prophet Abraham's unselfish act of sacrificing his own son Ishmael to the One God, Allah.

When is it?
Eid-ul-Adha begins from the 10th day of the 12th Islamic month Dhul-Hijjah. But the date of Eid-ul-Adha depends on the visibility of the moon each year.

What is the significance of Hajj?
Its Background History:
The faithful Abraham was instructed by Allah in a dream to raise the foundations of Kaaba, a black stone, the most sacred Muslim shrine in Mecca (Saudi Arabia), which the Muslims face during their prayers (salat). Immediately responding to the Lord's call, Abraham set off for Mecca along with his wife and son, Ishmael.

In a divine dream, he also saw himself sacrificing his son Ishmael for Allah's sake. Ishmael asked his father to carry out the Lord's commands; he was completely ready to give up his life for God. But miraculously enough, when Abraham was about to sacrifice Ishmael, Allah spared the boy's life and replaced him with a lamb. And this is what Abraham ultimately sacrificed.

To commemorate this outstanding act of sacrifice (qurbani) by Prophet Abraham, people sacrifice a lamb, goat, ram or any other animal on Eid-ul-Adha and give the meat to friends, neighbors, relatives and the needy.
Get a detailed version of the story here.

Did You Know:

  • Eid-ul-Adha is known by different names in different parts of the world.
  • In South East Asia it is called Hari Raya Aidiladha.
  • In Singapore, it is called Hari Raya Haji.
  • In Malaysia, it is called Id al-Adha and has made it a national holiday there.
  • Indians know Eid-ul-Adha as Id al-Adha or Idu'z Zuha.
  • In Bangladesh, Eid-ul-Adha is known as Eid-ul-Azha or Id al-Adha.
  • Whatever the name, its celebratory spirit runs high among all Muslims.

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