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Eid al-Adha: 4 Facts You Should Know


Eid al-Adha takes place at the end of Hajj – KAZUYOSHI NOMACHI/GETTY

Today, nearly 1.8 billion Muslims around the world will celebrate Eid Al-Adha. Eid Al-Adha is the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year (the other being Eid al-Fitr) and considered the holier of the two.

Eid Al Adha is a day to remember the spirit of sacrifice. It teaches us the importance of giving.

Here are some interesting facts about the Eid al-Adha that you should know.


The Story behind the Eid:

Eid Al-Adha is celebrated to honour and commemorate the willingness of Ibraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael on Allah’s order. When he told his son, Ishmael of the vision, Ismail believed Abraham should fulfil his vision. When both submitted their will to God and were ready to engage in their sacrifice Allah provided Ibraham with a sheep to sacrifice at the last second instead.

The Meat:

The sacrificed animal is referred to as Udiyyah (meaning “the sacrificed” in Arabic) and has to meet a certain set of rules, which include being of a certain age and of the highest quality available.

The meat is divided into three parts: the family keeps one third; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbours; and the last part is given to those in need. The idea is that no impoverished person is left without meat on the table during Eid al-Adha.

A different route:

A peculiar tradition that is followed on Eid Al Adha. On the first day of the festival, Muslims visit local mosques to offer the morning prayers. However, while returning home from the prayers, they must take a different route to go back home.

The end of Hajj

Eid al-Adha takes place at the end of Hajj, the annual pilgrimage, where Muslims from around the world visit Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam.

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