There are two greatest Islamic Celebrations each year, one is Eid ul Fitr and the other is Eid ul Adha. Eid ul Fitr is celebrated at the end of the holy month of Ramadan and Eid ul Adha is celebrated at the end of the pilgrimage (Hajj e Bait-Ullah).
Eid ul Adha For Muslims
Adha is called Eid e Qurban or Bakra Eid in the sub-continent i.e. India and Pakistan and is a “Feast of the Sacrifice”. It is a tribute to the willingness and receptiveness of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) to sacrifice his son Hazrat Ismail (AS) as a gesture of obedience to the command from Allah. But just before Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) could sacrifice his son Hazrat Ismail (AS). Allah sent a lamb towards Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) to sacrifice.
In the commemoration and remembrance of this conciliation, Muslims sacrifice animals usually a sheep on the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah ritually. Then this sacrificed animal is divided into 3 parts. One part of these three is given to the needy and poor who cannot buy meat for the whole year. The 2nd part is kept for themselves and the third one is given to friends and relatives.
As the Islamic calendar works according to the moon therefore it is called as Islamic Lunar Calendar. Bakr’Eid falls on the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah and lasts for three days. In the international calendar, this date varies from year to year almost 11 days earlier each year.
Eid ul Adha is celebrated at the end of the Pilgrimage or Hajj to Makkah. It gives us the lesson of sacrifice at the order of Allah. Hazrat Ibrahim showed his willingness to the order of Allah and was ready to sacrifice his son whom he loved very much. His devotion and faith towards Allah were outstanding and astonishing that he did not hesitate to sacrifice his son.
Allah liked this devotion and willingness from Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) so much that He spared his son’s life and sent a lamb who was then sacrificed in the place of Hazrat Ismael (AS). It was a miracle of Allah and in this way Allah showed that. He has control over all the things and all the things come in His command.
To commemorate and remember this eagerness and willingness of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) towards his Allah, Muslims celebrate Eid e Qurban every year to earn the blessing and forgiveness from Allah.
Gifts are exchanged during this holy occasion regarding show love to your beloved ones. These gifts usually carry religious signs and significance to remember and remind the commitment to Islam and the shared belief of both giver and the receiver. This was one of the biggest trials of the life of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) to face the order of Allah by slaughtering his beloved son in the name of Allah. Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) kept on having a dream in which he sacrificed his son Hazrat Ismail (AS). He told his son that he kept on dreaming as above said and he knew that this was a command from Allah. Therefore, Hazrat Ismail (AS) replied that do what you are ordered to do.
Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) got prepared to slaughter his beloved son as an act and gesture of devotion, faith, and obedience to Allah. Shaitan (the devil) tempted Hazrat Ibrahim (AS). His family by dissuading them from the path of obedience to Allah during this preparation. Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) threw pebbles on Shaitan to drove him away. In the remembrance of this rejection of the shaitan, Muslims throw pebbles at the symbolic pillars of the shaitan during Hajj rites.
Essentials of this Islamic festival are the distribution of the meat, chanting the Takbir out on the first day of Eid just before the prayers of Eid. Also after prayers in the remaining three days of the Eid.
The Takbir consists of:
الله أكبر الله أكبرلا إله إلا اللهالله أكبر الله أكبرولله الحمد
“Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbarlā ilāha illā-llāh
Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar
All Muslims wear the finest clothing to perform Eid prayers in a large congregation in an open area which is usually called “Eidgah” or Mosque. Women also wear new clothes on this sacred day and cook special sweets and dishes. They gather with friends and family and offer them samosas and other sweet and crispy dishes.
The affluent and wealthy Muslims who can offer sacrifices do their sacrifices of halal animals. Usually, cows are sacrificed but these animals can include goat, sheep, camel or ram depending upon the state and region. These animals are referred to as “Qurbani” in Pakistan and they have to fulfill certain quality characters and age. They are usually best among all other animals and do not have any bad sign or quality. Otherwise, they are not acceptable for slaughtering.
10 Million Animals
Nearly 10 million animals that cost over 2 Billion USD are slaughtered on Eid ul Adha in Pakistan. This amount circulates among those who work hard during the year in bringing these animals up. Many other professions are also related to animals that run due to them. So, due to following one Sunnah of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS). Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) a chain runs through and a lot of wealth circulates in the community.
3 Shares of Meat
Not only this wealth but the meat from the sacrificed animals is divided into three shares. One of these shares is distributed among the poor and needy. In this way, they get enough meat to eat at least once a year. The second share of the meat is given to friends and relatives. The remaining third is kept and retained for the family.
The purpose of Eid ul Adha
The purpose of Eid ul Adha is not just to shed blood and sacrifice animals. It is about learning the message which is given in this sacrifice. And that is to obey Allah in every condition and circumstance. It is also necessary to take care of the poor in this event so that they can also enjoy the blessings of Allah. This event shares the message of kindness, equality, and especially devotion.
As in the famous verse of the Quran Allah said that the meat will not reach Allah, nor will the blood, but what reaches Him is the devotion of devotees.