Eid Al Adha Festival - A celebration of faith
Eid Al Adha, one of the holiest celebrations in Islam, signifies the completion of the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Read on to learn more about the second largest holiday in Islam and what the celebration signifies.
Eid Al Adha is one of the holiest celebrations in Islam that signifies the completion of the annual Hajj pilgrimage. This holiday is celebrated with friends and family, praising God for all His blessings. But, due to COVID restrictions, most Muslims haven’t celebrated Eid Al Adha with relatives. This Eid brings twofold excitement for Muslims worldwide as they can now spend the day with their loved ones.
The story of Eid Al Adha
Eid Al Adha is an Arabic phrase that translates to the Festival of Sacrifice. The holiday celebrates the prophet Ibrahim’s absolute devotion to God. According to the holy Quran, Ibrahim was commanded to sacrifice his son, Ismail, to prove his reverence to God. Ibrahim plans to do so, but satan (Shaytaan) tries to lead him astray. Ibrahim shuns Satan away by throwing pebbles, an act commemorated, to this day, by throwing stones at the pillar in Mecca.
Recognizing Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of faith, Allah stopped him, and Ibrahim sacrificed a lamb instead. Because of Ibrahim’s unconditional devotion to God, God spared his son and blessed them both.
Muslims cherish this story as it teaches the value of submitting to God. Eid Al Adha is honored and celebrated with religious zest across the Muslim world.
The celebration begins with a special Eid prayer in the morning. It is sunnah(customary) to wear one’s finest clothes and cleanse oneself before attending the congregational morning prayers.
Eid is also a perfect opportunity to visit friends and family. An age-old tradition is carried out during these times. It is common to perform Eid Al Adha sacrifices and slaughter a ritually accepted animal. The sacrificed animal is then shared equally amongst immediate family members, friends or relatives, and the poor. This custom symbolizes Islam’s teaching of generosity and being there for those in need. Preparing sweets, samosas, and shortbread cookies also highlights the day. Social gatherings, gift-giving, and donating to charitable organizations also constitute a significant part of the holiday.
Another tradition associated with Eid Al Adha is celebrating the completion of the annual Hajj pilgrimage. Family and friends shower returning pilgrims with gifts and blessings from their friends and family.
Eid Al Adha in Ethiopia
Eid is celebrated all over the world with slightly varying practices and customs. UAE, Egypt, India, Bangladesh, Canada, and the US are among the countries that widely celebrate the holiday. Here in Ethiopia, Eid Al Adha (Arefa) is among the major holidays celebrated with prayers and charitable activities.
The Eid prayers are done in congregations, Jama’ah, at a local mosque, or at Addis Ababa stadium. Other regional cities also mark the day with numerous religious activities and prayers.
At the end of the prayers, Muslims exchange well wishes and greetings. The holiday is celebrated with a harmonic spirit with friends, family, and neighbors, remembering Ibrahim’s trust in God.
Eid Al Adha is a time to remember and cherish friends and family. It is for sharing what we have, spreading joy, and reflecting on our values such as forgiveness, obedience, and devotion.
Loline Mag wishes all Muslims a Blessed Eid!