Eid al-Adha

Muslims celebrated Eid al-Adha on the 17 June. I have been busy so I did not have time to look into this  celebration at the time. When I did, I realized that it is a rather important ‘holiday’ because it celebrates our devotion to God.

This celebration finds its roots both in Christian and Muslim traditions. 

Please read Genesis 22 Abraham Tested (read-click) and/or Quran, 37th Surah As-Saafat (read-click)

In my understanding, Abraham’s story of Genesis 22 is about total surrender to God’s Will and relinquishing our own will through Faith. This spiritual idea is usually very scary for most people because of a misconception. God is not ‘another human’ whom we give our power over when we give up our own will. God is a source of Love energy that guides us through our own Spirit. When we give up our will, we actually give up the will of our Ego and place it over to our Spirit that is in constant connection with the Love Energy Source we call God.

The Ego is in constant fear and self-protection, therefore it is in separation. Our Spirit – a personalised spark of God – is in constant Oneness with the Divine Presence or God.

In the tale of Abraham Tested we learn that God’s Will is the best Will there is for us. God in Its Loving may guides us to situation and experiences that look terrible or scary. When we fight it or we give into Fear, we may never learn about the greater Plan that is on the other side of Fear for us.

Abraham, through Faith, walked this experience without resisting or questioning it. We may all have or have already had such experiences where we were seemly asked to do the impossible. As we reach into the Power of Faith, we step back, we relinquish our will, our resistance, our fear, and start moving with the Flow of Divine Loving.

Recently, I often experience situations where my limited Ego Mind thinks that the experience I am having is ‘impossible’ or challenging. In this parable, Abraham was willing to endure a rather difficult experience of sacrificing his own son. Surprisingly, at the end of the story, an angel stepped in and Abraham sacrificed a lamb instead of his son. As I step back and allow God to move me through a difficult experience, I notice that the entire experience changes and becomes filled with ease and grace. I also noticed that it is only possible if I ‘get out of the way’.

During the celebration of Eid al-Adha, we are reminded that as we give up the will of our limited Ego, through surrender and Faith, we enter into Oneness with the Divine who supports us all the way through a seemingly difficult experience or we are provided with what we need to overcome. 

What Is Eid al-Adha?

The Eid al-Adha holiday—often referred to as “Big Eid” or “the Greater Eid”—is an Islamic holiday that honors Ibrahim’s (Abraham) devotion and obedience to Allah. The holiday specifically commemorates Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) when Allah commanded him to. However, before Ibrahim could do so, Allah provided him with a ram to sacrifice in Ismail’s place. In Arabic, “Eid al-Adha” translates to “Festival of Sacrifice.”

When Is Eid al-Adha?

The date of Eid al-Adha is determined by the Islamic lunar calendar, so it varies each year. However, Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah—the last month of the Islamic calendar—and lasts for four days. It can be difficult to know exactly when Eid will be, as the dates shift about 11 days earlier each year in the international (Gregorian) calendar. 

How Is Eid al-Adha Celebrated?

Eid al-Adha observances and celebrations include going to a mosque to pray any time between when the sun completely rises to just before the entering of Zuhr time—known as the noon prayer—on the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah.

For many Muslims, Eid al-Adha marks the culmination of Hajj (pilgrimage)—which is the Fifth Pillar of Islam—rites at Minā, Saudi Arabia, near Mecca. This annual pilgrimage is taken by men and women who are financially and physically able to take it once in their lifetime, and the end of the pilgrimage coincides with the end of Eid al-Adha.

Another part of Eid al-Adha is food. As another way of commemorating Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice Ismail, families will sacrifice a ritually acceptable animal, like a cow, goat, sheep, or camel. The family then consumes a portion of the meat from the slaughtered animal, giving the rest to the poor and needy, demonstrating another Pillar of Islam—zakat.

Similar to Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha is a time when Muslims wear new clothes, exchange gifts, and enjoy feasts with family and friends. Muslims also wish one another a happy Eid al-Adha with greetings. One common phrase that is used during both Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr is “Eid Mubarak,” which means “Blessed Eid.” You may also hear a variation of the phrase, “Eid al-Adha Mubarak.” By saying this, Muslims are wishing one another good fortune and well-being.