By Nurul Rustam
Muslims all over the world will be celebrating two celebrations every year which are Hari Raya Aidil Fitri and Hari Raya Aidil Adha, also known as Eid Adha. Just like Hari Raya Puasa, Eid Adha is also an important event for the Muslims, and it is also known as the Festival of Sacrifice. So, today, we want to share with you some fun facts about Eid Adha!
Symbol of sacrifice
Eid Adha is a celebration in remembrance of the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim As and his son Prophet Ismail (Ishmael). As Allah SWT once decided to test Ibrahim’s faith and love towards him, He commanded Ibrahim by showing him a dream of Ishmael being slaughtered by him for the sake of Allah. Although he was just 13 years of age at that time, Ishmael willingly agreed to become a part of the sacrifice as he too believed in Allah. Just when Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, Allah called out to them and prevented Ibrahim from sacrificing as he had selflessly agreed to sacrifice his precious son. Thus, he was asked to sacrifice a ram or sheep as the replacement.
Celebrated in the 12th month of the Islamic Calendar
Eid Ul Adha takes place on the month of Zulhijjah which is the last month of the Islamic Calendar. It is also during this month that the annual pilgrimage, also known as Hajj, takes place in Makkah (Mecca) and Madinah (Medina), two cities which are significant to the Muslims.
During Eid Adha, similar to Eid Ul Fitri during the 10th month of the Muslim calendar (Syawal), men, women, and children will dress up in their finest attire and before they go to the mosque for the sort of, but not actually obligatory (Sunnah) prayers, they will have to take Eid Adha shower before they are off to the mosque. You can either don new clothes for Eid Adha and if you do not have a new one, you can just wear last year’s clothes. As long as the clothes are still in good condition, you can just wear it back.
Eid Adha prayer & Qurban
On Eid Adha morning after getting ready, Muslims around the world will be performing significant prayers which takes place on the first day of Eid. Right after the prayers, there will be a Qurban session or the slaughtering of halal animals. In Malaysia, we often slaughter goats or cows or both. Depending on which country you are staying, if you live in the Middle East then you have other option such as camels. Before the slaughtering process begins, they have to ensure the animals are in the best condition with prime health for sacrificing. Not only that, it is also advisable for them to use a very sharp knife so that it could cut through the veins and carotid arteries on its neck completely in one go to minimize the suffering.
According to Islamic traditions, those who can afford to sacrifice halal animal must divide the meat of slaughtered animal in three part. They can take and eat one-third of the portion and give another third to their family, friends or neighbours. The remaining portion must be distributed to the poor and needy. The whole idea behind the act of giving the meat is to not let anybody go hungry without any meal and to, of course, to promote the spirit of giving especially to the underprivileged.
Festival of food!
When it comes to food, Hari Raya Haji or Eid Adha is not that much different to when we are celebrating Hari Raya Puasa. In Malaysia, it is normal to indulge in a scrumptious feast such as beef rendang and ketupat as well. Isn’t it great to gather and catch up with all your family and friends over good food?
Eid Adha is merely a symbol of sacrifice for a believer to the almighty God and it is not just an act of slaughtering animals, it is more than that. It is the willingness to make sacrifices in our lives in order to stay on the right path. It can be just a small gesture like giving up something that is so important to us. Have a blessed Eid Adha everyone, enjoy the gathering with your loved ones and go easy on the food!