Millions of Muslims throughout the world will commemorate Eid al-Adha this week. The annual Hajj journey comes to an end on this day. Thus, it differs from Eid al-Fitr, another significant Muslim festival that was earlier observed in May to commemorate the conclusion of Ramadan.
In Muslim-majority nations, Eid is a three-day festival. But, many people in the US and other countries observe only one day. Muslims would usually visit mosques and hold big communal meetings in normal conditions. This year’s celebrations are a little unusual due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Eid al-Adha, according to Mohammad Hassan Khalil, occurs on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the Islamic Lunar Calendar’s 12th month. He is a religious studies professor at Michigan State University and the head of the Muslim studies department.
The observation of a new crescent moon at night, according to Khalil, determines the day of celebration. It signifies a new month if people notice it.” Because the celebration coincides with the trip or Hajj to Mecca, which takes place in Saudi Arabia, many people will look to Saudi Arabia to determine the date,” Khalil informed. “There will probably be a small number of individuals watching for the new moon in Saudi Arabia.”
Distinct nations and even towns have different celebration days. However, the majority of celebrations in the United States will begin on July 19th evening.
According to Omid Safi, an Islamic studies professor at Duke University, “Al-Adha” alludes to a sacrifice, particularly the “one in which God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son as a test, only for God to intercede and substitute a ram (or lamb) instead.” “There is a long-standing Muslim practice of performing symbolic sacrifices. It suggests that the true sacrifice is surrendering one’s own egotistical goals rather than killing an animal.”
The sacrifice portrayed in the Quran (the Islamic sacred scripture) is similar to that depicted in the Bible, except most Muslims believe God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael rather than Isaac.
They usually slaughter goats, lambs, or cows, to commemorate the anniversary. According to Khalil, while some Muslims in the United States partake in this activity, others may collaborate with a firm to pay for meat in other countries where there is a big need. According to Safi, Eid al-Adha is a day when many impoverished Muslims receive meat.
Spending time with friends and family, donning new clothing, and exchanging presents are all common features of celebrations. According to Khalil, a large community generally holds religious services or rituals, which include a sermon and a prayer. However, there are exceptions in the COVID-19 era.
“Every community is unique. Some groups may choose to cancel the prayer, while others may choose to hold it outside with social distance. Others may host the event indoors, and so on,” Khalil explained.
Muslims will perform the rite of Udhiya (or Qurbani) to commemorate Abraham’s tale, which entails performing a sacrifice and distributing the meat to the poor and family members. They prepare different meals to celebrate the event in different nations or areas.