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Ten facts about Eid al-Adha

Ten facts about Eid al-Adha

For most of the week, the Muslim world will be celebrating Eid al-Adha. Here are ten facts you might not have known about the festival.

December 4, 2008 10:01 by

1. Eid al-Adha, also known as Eid al-Kabir or Eid al-Qurban, is an Islamic festival to commemorate Abraham’s willingness to follow God’s command to sacrifice his only son, Ishmael. Moments before the sacrifice, God revealed to Abraham that His command was merely a test of Abraham’s devotion, and that he doesn’t need to sacrifice Ishmael anymore. Instead, he was asked to sacrifice a sheep.

2. Eid al-Adha is the Festival of Sacrifice in English.

3. According to the Islamic calendar, which is based on the lunar cycle, Eid al-Adha begins on the tenth of Dhu’l-Hijja, the twelfth month of the Islamic year. However, the Gregorian calendar, which is widely used across the world, is based on the solar cycle. Therefore, the Eid al-Adha moves 11 days back on the Gregorian calendar every year.

4. Eid al-Adha is between a two and four day celebration, depending on the country.

5. The Eid al-Adha dates are confirmed only if reputable moon-sighting committees in the Islamic world announce they have spotted the new moon with the naked eye.

6. A Muslim must recite ‘tusmiya’ before sacrificing a sheep and make sure it is of a certain age and in good health. When slaughtering sheep, a Muslim must ensure the sacrifice meets Islamic standards, and the meat is ‘halal’. The slaughterer must cut a deep incision into the animal’s neck, severing the jugular veins and carotid arteries.

7. The meat from the sacrifice is divided into three portions: a third for the family, a third to friends, and a third donated to the poor.

8. It is customary for Muslims to mark the occasion by giving away gifts, wearing new clothes, and visiting family and friends. Older family members usually give children money in Eid al-Adha.

9. In the period around Eid al-Adha, many Muslims travel to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage (one of the five pillars of Islam). The Eid begins the day after Muslims on the Hajj descend from Mount Arafat.

10. On the first morning of Eid al-Adha, Muslims around the world attend morning prayers at their local mosques. It has been said that it is better for to take a different route back home then route first taken to go to the mosque. –DM

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  1. Majeed K M on December 4, 2008 11:32 pm

    Each Eid leaves an excess of animal meat in many countries, a lot of which is wasted. At the risk of being thoroughly misunderstood, may I ask all good Muslims to have a re-think on the “sacrificeâ€� of any animal for Eid. All societies revel in some kind of avoidable violence against animals. The practice of cutting an animal’s throat and leaving it to a painful death in the name of “sacrifice” is medieval debauchery. Sacrifice is when you personally suffer pain, not when a poor animal purchased for 300 AED and murderered mercilessly

  2. Majeed on September 8, 2011 5:18 pm

    Majeed, do you know that the least painful way of killing an animal is the Islamic way, this is scientifically proven, even much less painful than shocking the animal with an electrical current.

    FYI, Eid doesn’t leave an excess of animal meat in many countries. Instead, it feeds the poor people who haven’t tasted the flavor of meat for months and months because they are just poor.

    Think about it and think of how would the reaction of little poor child be when he gets A LOT of meat that he always wished to eat. Furthermore, it’s not only Muslims who kill animals to eat them. ALL people around the world eat the meat of killed animals (if you don’t already know).

    Jawad AlDhalemi

  3. Andrew on September 11, 2011 1:33 pm


    Being conscious whilst bleeding out doesn’t strike me as either humane or less painful. Claiming it to be “scientifically proven” is somewhat spurious, given the subjects never lived to tell – and lacked the ability to talk even if they had.

    Electrical methods are not used to shock animals to death, they are used to stun them ensuring they are unconcious – and thus unable to feel pain – when they are exsanginuated. In modern animal slaughter (oxymoronic?) the only difference real between Islamic and non-Islamic methods are: 1) whether you’re facing Mecca; and 2) whether the throat is slit, as opposed to something else.


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