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Eid-ul-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice

10 th August, 2019

The next few days will see the Muslim world celebrate Eid-ul-Adha, the second of the two major annual festivals in Islam (the other being Eid-ul-Fitr).

Also known as the Festival of Sacrifice and commonly referred to as Big Eid, Eid-ul-Adha falls on the tenth day of Dhul Hijjah, which is the final month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

Eid-ul-Adha takes place during the annual pilgrimage of Hajj which is one of the obligatory Five Pillars of Islam.

The two Eids share certain similarities. On each Eid, a Muslim will wake up early, bathe, dress in their best attire and visit the local mosque to offer Eid salah (prayers) in congregation. Following this, they celebrate and enjoy a feast with family, friends and loved ones and often give out gifts to the children.

At Eid-ul-Fitr, prior to the offering of the Eid prayers, every Muslim of able means is required to donate a small amount by way of fitrana (also known as Zakat ul Fitr), to ensure that those who are less fortunate can also share in the celebrations and blessings of the day.

While Eid-ul-Adha is also an occasion to celebrate with family and friends, its significance is in remembering the sacrifice that the Prophet Ibrahim (alaihis salaam) was prepared to make of his son, Ismail (alaihis salaam) for the sake of Allah.

To commemorate that act of devotion to our Creator, Qurbani (or Udhiya as it known in Arabic) is carried out by Muslims of able means across the world on Eid-ul-Adha.

An animal – ranging from a camel to a sheep or goat – is sacrificed and the meat must then be divided into three equal portions and distributed between the individual, their neighbours and family, and those in need.

Many in the UK and the West are fortunate enough to have meat readily available throughout the year. However, there are millions across the world for whom meat is a luxury and the three days of Eid-ul-Adha represent the only time of year when they can enjoy meat dishes.

It is why many people choose to donate their Qurbani through Islamic Help and other charities so that those people in need can share in the joy and celebrations of Eid-ul-Adha.

As well as being a reminder of the importance of equality in Islam, it goes some way towards addressing some food crises and food insecurity in impoverished parts of the world, and gives those those suffering from a lack of nourishment the opportunity to be able to celebrate and join in the festivities.

From everyone at Islamic Help, Eid Mubarak, may you have a blessed and joyful time.

  • The latest you can give Qurbani with Islamic Help in 2019 is Tuesday August 13 (for India only). For more information call 0121 446 682.