Eid al-Adha which is Feast of the Sacrifice is also known as the “Festival of sacrifice”. After Eid al-Fitr, this is the second of the two Islamic holidays which is celebrated worldwide each year.
This festival is to credit the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of submission to God’s command but before he could sacrifice his son God asked him to sacrifice a lamb instead and to commemorate this each year, an animal is sacrificed and divided into 3 parts
One part of which is given to the poor and needy, the second part is to the home and final part to the relatives. This festival is also known by different names in different languages such as English calls it as “Feast of sacrifice”, German calls it as “Opferfest“, Romanian calls it as “sarbatoarea sacrificiului” and Hungarians call it as “Aidozati unnep”. See More Eid al Adha
The son who was to sacrifice is nowhere mentioned in the Quran but the earliest tradition in Islam identifies “Ishmael” as the sacrificed son. Submitting to the command Abraham prepared himself to follow the will of God.
During Abraham’s preparation for the submission, the Devil persuaded Abraham and his family by trying to discourage them from carrying out God’s command and Abraham throw pebbles at him to drive him away.
Abraham was caught in surprise when he went to Mt Arafat to cut his son’s throat but was astonished to see that his son was unharmed and the animal on the other side got slaughtered. This is how Abraham passed God’s test by carrying out his command very generously.
On this day devotees offer prayers at the mosque and are performed anytime after the sun rises completely and just before entering the “zuhr’ time. Eid prayers must be offered in gatherings and participation of the women in the prayer differs from community to community.
It has 2 units or rakats with seven takbirs in the first Raka’ah and five in the second one. Salat al-Eid differs for Shia Muslims wherein no adhan or iqama is said for the two Eid prayers.
After the prayers are concluded, Muslims hug and embrace each other while exchanging greetings. They also visit one another and share gifts. Many of the Muslim invites Non-Muslims friends, neighbors and classmates to their festivities to familiarize them about Islam and Muslim culture.
On this day Men, Women and children are dress themselves in fine clothing to perform prayers in a large gathering in an open waqf or field called mosque. Opulent Muslims who can afford it sacrifice the halal which is usually a cow but can also be a goat, sheep or a camel.
The meat is preferred to be divided into three parts. This day is a public holiday in most of the countries such as Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, and UAE. But it is not a nationwide holiday in countries like the United States, Canada and Australia however some Islamic companies may be closed or might offer less level of service. Local congestion is normal in some countries where Eid al- Adha is not a public holiday.