Whether you’re celebrating your very first Eid al Adha or your fiftieth, this most auspicious holiday always brings with it much joy and anticipation. For young and old alike, the sheer excitement of Eid cannot be denied.
Eid al Adha, also known as the “Festival of Sacrifice”, is a time to reconnect with loved ones and count Allah’s innumerable blessings in your life.
It is also the perfect time to revisit family traditions from the past and possibly even invent a few of your own! Make this Eid al Adha yours and celebrate the spirit of the Islamic faith with those near and far.
Start the Day… Pray!
The day of Eid al Adha begins with the Eid prayer. Muslims wake up early and take a ritual bath, or ghusl. Before leaving for the mosque, a Muslim should consume an odd number of dates as was the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
It’s also best to walk to the mosque, if at all feasible, instead of driving a car and reciting the takbir, or words that glorify our Creator, during the journey.
Scores of Muslims congregate to perform the Eid prayer and many stick around the mosque long afterwards to mix and mingle with their fellow brethren in faith.
Unlike Eid al Fitr, which arrives after the completion of the month of fasting or Ramadan, the uniqueness of Eid al Adha is that it commemorates the sacrifice that the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was willing to make when he obeyed Allah’s command to sacrifice his son Ishmael.
At the moment of his sacrifice, the Angel Jibril appeared and a ram was sacrificed instead which signified that God Almighty had accepted Prophet Ibrahim’s (peace be upon him) obedience even though not a drop of his son’s blood was shed.
Muslims honor this glorious tradition by sacrificing an animal following the Eid prayer. The meat is divided into thirds with the family keeping one portion while the other two portions are given to relatives and the needy.
All About the Kids
The Eid al Adha holiday is meant for the whole family to enjoy. However, it is the youngest children that are pampered the most on Eid.
From new clothing to “Eidiya’ (Eid cash) and toys, Muslims kids savor every moment of the holiday and relish all the attention received from relatives. Children also have the unique opportunity to reconnect with distant family members during the holiday.
Eid is for Adults Too!
Adults cherish the Eid al Adha holiday just as much as kids do! For many, it would not be Eid without spending money to buy gifts for family and neighbors. The spirit of gift-giving on Eid also applies to non-Muslims and might serve as a means to soften their hearts, so be generous with them!
The occasion of Eid al Adha is also the perfect opportunity for a new revert to Islam to introduce their non-Muslim family members to the faith.
There is nothing like a celebration to serve as an “icebreaker” to let loved ones know about your newfound religion. Local mosques can support reverts to Islam by hosting an Eid get-together geared specifically towards new Muslims and their families.
Take Your Eid on the Road
While most Muslims like to stay close to home during the Eid holiday, it’s also a good idea to pack up your car and hit the road! For every Muslim that has a loving family surrounding him, there are many more Muslims that are in complete isolation.
Thanks to social media, it’s easy to meet new Muslims who live in cities with low populations of Muslims. Share your Eid holiday with a fellow Muslim who would otherwise spend it alone.
A More Meaningful Eid
This Eid, break out of your comfort zone and explore the shared bond of humanity with your fellow man.
Instead of paying a visit to your favorite museum, visit a nursing home; reach out in understanding with the elderly people there.
Or skip the usual trip to an amusement park and instead invite some non-Muslims over to your home for Eid; this reflects the beauty of the Noble Quran and highlights the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
The possibilities for having a more meaningful Eid are endless. Think outside the box and create an Eid holiday to be remembered!
(From Discovering Islam’s archive.)