Eid al-Adha — Muslim holiday of sacrifice

Eid al-Adha (Turkic), or ID al-Adha (Arabic) is a festival of sacrifice, which is one of the main festivals of the Muslims. It is celebrated annually on the 10th day of the month of DHU al-Hijjah of the Islamic lunar calendar and lasts three days.

In 2020, Eid al-Adha begins on July 31.

Eid al-Adha marks the end of Hajj, the annual pilgrimage for Muslims all over the world in Mecca (Saudi Arabia). (In 2020, the Saudi Arabian authorities have suspended entry into the country for the purpose of pilgrimage to Mecca because of the epidemic of the coronavirus. Because of the pandemic, the Hajj has become possible only for the residents of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.)

The word "Eid" comes from the Arabic root KRB which carries the meaning of all that is associated with the "approximation". On this basis, it is believed that the essence of the holiday is not so much a sacrifice as "approaching God" by this rite.

The history of the emergence of the first leaves in ancient times and is associated with the prophet Ibrahim, who saw a dream where he was ordered to sacrifice his eldest son Ismail. At first he thought it a delusion, but the dream was repeated a second and third time. Then Abraham decided to fulfill the order. At the very moment when he raised the knife over his son, he heard a voice saying: "O Abraham, you have fulfilled your dream...". Then he saw a lamb which was commanded to make a Kurban (sacrifice). According to Muslim interpretation that Allah did not need any sacrifice, he just felt the power of faith in his prophet.

This event happened near Mecca. Since then, paying tribute to the feat of prophet Ibrahim, who revealed the highest degree of righteousness and love to God, as a rite of worship Muslims perform the slaughter of a sacrificial animal. Not all Muslims can perform Hajj to Mecca to participate in the main festival of Muslims and in the most Holy place to offer sacrifice, so the laws of Islam encourages the believers to fulfill the culminating part of the rite not only in Mecca, and wherever they may be.

The most devout and pious Muslims voluntarily fast for ten days before the feast of the sacrifice. The night before the holiday of Eid al-Adha, or at least part of it spend in prayer.

To celebrate the day of sacrifice begins early in the morning. Before dawn, Muslims perform ablution, namasivaya spices themselves, wear their best clothes. At dawn they go to the mosque for morning prayer. To Breakfast prior to the holiday prayers is impossible. After finishing the prayer believers back home, and then, at will, gather in groups on the street or in yards, where they sing in unison praises to God (Takbir). Then again, Muslims go to the mosque or in the designated area (namazgah), where Mullah or Imam-Khatib delivers the sermon (khutba), which explains the origin of the Hajj and the importance of ritual sacrifice.

Time for the offering of sacrifices occurs immediately after the prayer, and ends shortly before sunset of the third day. Some argue that performing this ritual is compulsory for every adult Muslim, resident in the area at the time of the holiday and in the day of sacrifice (having the means to purchase the animal). Others say that sacrifice is not prescribed, as there are Muslims, who for various reasons are unable to perform this rite.

Of all the types of animals allowed to sacrifice only camels, cows (bulls), Buffalo, sheep or goats. Camel and cow can be sacrificed by one to seven people, and the sheep or goat may be cutting only one Muslim. Custom allows for the offering of sacrifice not only for the living but for the dead.

The sacrificial animal must be an adult, i.e. a sheep over six months old, a goat older than one year