Some part of the world are celebrating Eid-ul-Zuha (or Eid al-Adha), also known as the Feast of Sacrifice, on Friday. Observed at the end of the annual haj to the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, this is the second big festival for people from the Muslim faith, coming two months after Eid-ul-Fitr, which is celebrated to break the fast the end of the holy month of Ramzaan.
Eid-ul-Zuha is celebrated to commemorate the story of the prophet Ibrahim and honour his willingness to sacrifice his son, born after years of prayers, at the God’s command. However, God intervened before the sacrifice and replaced Ibrahim’s son with a lamb. To mark this, Muslims slaughter a lamb as an offering to god every year.
The meat from the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts — one third for the family, another for friends and relatives and the rest is given to the poor.
Since a lunar calendar is followed in Islam, the dates for the festival vary every year in the Gregorian calendar. For all Muslim festivals, the dates are finalised by Saudi Arabia’s moon-sighting body. The dates for Eid-ul-Zuha are declared in mid-September, and they differ according to geography, given that the boundary of the moon’s crescent is visible at different times in different regions.
Eid-ul-Zuha starts with a Sunnah prayer, followed by a sermon. Muslims usually unleash their most charitable side during this festival. Men and women wear fine clothes and witness Muslims’ gatherings together. Chanting Takbir before the Eid prayers are essential parts of the festival. While men have to necessarily go to the mosque to say their Eid prayers, it is not compulsory for women.