Eid-Al-Adha is one of the major holidays of Islam. According to Muslim tradition, it celebrates the sacrifice that Abraham was willing to make of his own son Ishmael when he was commanded to show his commitment to Allah. At Allah’s direction, the angel Gabriel substituted a lamb for Ishmael, after Allah was convinced that Abraham would indeed sacrifice Ishmael to prove his faith.
On this day, Muslims celebrate in several ways. A large feast is the high point of the day. The name of the holiday, Eid Al-Adha, means “The Feast of the Sacrifice.” An animal is sacrificed, in much the same way that Abraham sacrificed a lamb. One-third of the meat is given to the poor, and the rest goes to the holiday feast. Children get gifts to commemorate the holiday, and special prayers are said throughout the day. Eid al-Adha, (Arabic: “Festival of Sacrifice”)also spelt ʿĪd al-Aḍḥā, also called ʿĪd al-Qurbān or al-ʿĪd al-Kabīr (“Major Festival”), Turkish Kurban Bayram, the second of two great Muslim festivals, the other being Eid al-Fitr.
Eid al-Adha marks the culmination of the hajj (pilgrimage) rites at Minā, Saudi Arabia, near Mecca, but is celebrated by Muslims throughout the world. As with Eid al-Fitr, it is distinguished by the performance of communal prayer (ṣalāt) at daybreak on its first day. It begins on the 10th of Dhu’l-Hijja, the last month of the Islamic calendar, and continues for an additional three days (though the Muslim use of a lunar calendar means that it may occur during any season of the year). During the festival, families that can afford to sacrifice a ritually acceptable animal (sheep, goat, camel, or cow) do so and then divide the flesh equally among themselves, the poor, and friends and neighbours. Eid al-Adha is also a time for visiting with friends and family and for exchanging gifts.
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