Eid al-Adha: A Guide to the Significance, Celebration, and Prayer

Eid al-Adha, a significant Islamic holiday celebrated worldwide. This article will provide a brief history of the holiday and how it is celebrated today, as well as instructions on how to perform the Eid prayer.

Eid al-Adha is also known as the “Feast of Sacrifice” and is one of the two major holidays celebrated in Islam, with the other being Eid al-Fitr. It commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham in the Christian and Jewish traditions) to sacrifice his son, Ismail (Ishmael), as an act of obedience to God’s command. According to the Quran, just as Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, God replaced him with a ram, thus sparing Ismail’s life. The holiday marks the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and lasts for four days.

Eid al-Adha 2023 in Türkiye will be celebrated on the evening of July 19th and will end on the evening of July 23rd. The timing of Eid al-Adha is determined by the Islamic lunar calendar, which is based on the sighting of the new moon. As a result, the exact date of the holiday varies from year to year.

During Eid al-Adha, Muslims gather with family and friends to perform communal prayers, exchange gifts, and share meals. Many Muslims also participate in the sacrifice of an animal, usually a sheep or a goat, to commemorate Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son. The meat from the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts, with one part given to the poor, one part to friends and family, and one part kept for personal consumption.

The Eid prayer is an essential part of the holiday, and it is performed in congregation, typically in a mosque or an open field. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to pray Eid:

  • Make wudu, the ritual washing of the face, hands, arms, and feet.
  • Put on clean clothes, preferably new or best clothes.
  • Recite the Takbir, “Allahu Akbar” (God is the Greatest), seven times, raising your hands to your ears and dropping them by your sides after each recitation.
  • Recite the following after the Takbir: “Subhanaka Allahumma wa bi hamdika wa tabarakasmuka wa ta’ala jadduka wa la ilaha ghayruk” (Glory be to You, O Allah, and praise be to You. Blessed is Your name and exalted is Your Majesty. There is no god but You).
  • Recite Surah Al-Fatiha, the first chapter of the Quran, and a short passage from the Quran, such as Surah Al-A’la or Surah Al-Shams.
  • Listen to the khutbah, the sermon delivered by the imam, which usually focuses on the significance of Eid al-Adha and its lessons for Muslims.
  • After the khutbah, perform two rak’ahs (units) of prayer, with the imam leading the prayer.
  • In the first rak’ah, recite Surah Al-Fatiha and a short passage from the Quran, such as Surah Al-A’la or Surah Al-Shams.
  • After the recitation, say “Allahu Akbar” and perform the ruku, bowing down with your hands on your knees and reciting “Subhana rabbiyal ‘adheem” (Glory be to my Lord, the Most High) three times.
  • Return to a standing position, saying “Sami’allahu liman hamidah” (Return to a standing position, saying “Sami’allahu liman hamidah” (God hears those who praise Him) and “Rabbana lakal hamd” (Our Lord, praise be to You).
  • Say “Allahu Akbar” and perform the sujud, prostrating with your forehead, nose, hands, knees, and toes on the ground and reciting “Subhana rabbiyal ‘ala” (Glory be to my Lord, the Most High) three times.
  • Return to a sitting position, saying “Allahu Akbar,” and perform the second sujud, reciting “Subhana rabbiyal ‘ala” three times.
  • Return to a standing position, saying “Allahu Akbar,” and repeat steps 8-12 for the second rak’ah.
  • After the prayer, turn your face to the right and say “Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah” (Peace and mercy of Allah be upon you) to the person sitting on your right, then to the left and say the same to the person sitting on your left.

After the prayer, Muslims usually greet each other with “Eid Mubarak,” which means “Blessed Eid.”

In conclusion, Eid al-Adha is a significant holiday in the Islamic calendar that commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. It is celebrated worldwide with communal prayers, gift-giving, and sharing of meals. The holiday also involves the sacrifice of an animal and the distribution of its meat to the poor, family, and friends. Performing the Eid prayer is an essential part of the holiday, and the step-by-step guide provided above should help individuals perform the prayer correctly.


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