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Eid al-Adha the Festival of Sacrifice
August 15, 2018, 3:12 pm

Eid al-Adha also called the Festival of Sacrifice is one of the two main festivals in Islam, the other being Eid al-Fitr. Muslims around the world observe Eid al-Adha on the 10th day of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah. The festival assumes religious and historical significance as it honors the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, Ismael, as an act of obedience to Allah’s command. Muslims sacrifice domestic animals available in a region, such as camel, goat, sheep, buffalo, bullock, in remembrance of Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his only son to please Allah. Eid al-Adha 2018 in Kuwait will begin on Tuesday, 21 August.

The significance of Eid al-Adha lies in Islamic history, which shows that in his life Prophet Ibrahim went through several tests by Allah. One of the main trials of his life was to face the command of Allah to sacrifice his dearest possession. Upon hearing this command, Ibrahim prepared to submit to the will of Allah and decided to sacrifice his son Ismael. When he was on his way to sacrifice his son, Shaitan or Satan (the Devil) tempted Ibrahim by trying to dissuade them from carrying out Allah’s commandment. However, Ibrahim drove Satan away by pelting stones at him. In commemoration of his rejection of Satan, Muslims throw stones at symbolic pillars as part of the pilgrimage rites during Hajj.

It is believed that when Prophet Ibrahim attempted to slit the throat of his son Ismael, God replaced the boy with a ram. The animal was slaughtered, and Ismael was unharmed. In this way, Prophet Ibrahim passed the test by his willingness to carry out Allah’s command.

In commemoration of Ibrahim and Ismael’s act of obedience to God’s command, Muslims sacrifice domestic animals during Eid al-Adha. Only those Muslims who can afford to rear or buy an animal are supposed to perform this ritual.

 Anyone who intends to do the slaughter has to follow certain rules. The animal has to be one of the cattle approved by the Shariah. Among the requirements is that the animal should have crossed the adult age; it should not be sick or disabled, and it should not be mistreated during its life.

An animal is sacrificed, and its meat is divided into three parts: the family retains one-third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the remaining third is given to the poor and needy. No part of the slaughter can be sold or given as payment.

Devotees offer the Eid al-Adha prayers at the mosque.The Eid al-Adha prayer is performed any time after the sun completely rises up to just before the entering of zuhr time, on the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah. Eid prayers must be offered in congregation. Participation of women in the prayer congregation varies from community to community

At the conclusion of the prayers and sermon, Muslims embrace and exchange greetings with one other (Eid Mubarak), give gifts and visit one another. During Eid al-Adha, distributing meat amongst the people, chanting the takbir out loud before the Eid prayers on the first day and after prayers throughout the four days of Eid, are considered essential parts of this important Islamic festival.

Many Muslims also take this opportunity to invite their non-Muslim friends, neighbors, co-workers and classmates to their Eid festivities to better acquaint them about Islam and Muslim culture.

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