Eid-al-Adha-History & Origin

by | Oct 25, 2012

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Eid -al-Adha, is an important 3-day holy festival celebrated by Muslims over the world to honor the willingness of Hazrat Ibrāhīm (A.S) (Abraham). It is celebrated to sacrifice his first son Ismā’īl  (R.A) (Ishmael) as an act of obedience before God intervened to provide him with a ram to sacrifice instead. Eid means the solemn festival while  The Arabic word “Adha” means “sacrifice”, having its root in the word “duha”, which also means “light” or “illumination”. Eid al-Adha is the festival of sacrifice. It is also called Feast of the Sacrifice, the Major Festival, and the Greater.


The word “Eid” appeared in Surah e Maida verse 114 with the meaning “solemn festival”

 al Maida, Al MAisda verse 114, eid “Said Jesus the son of Mary: “O Allah our Lord! Send us from heaven a table set (with viands), that there may be for us – for the first and the last of us – a solemn festival (Eid) and a sign from thee; and provide for our sustenance, for thou art the best Sustainer (of our needs).”

Surah e Maida verse 114

The basis of Eid ul Adha

The basis Eid ul Adha comes from this verse of the Holy Quran:

“And complete the Hajj and ‘umrah for Allah. But if you are prevented, then [offer] what can be obtained with ease of sacrificial animals. And do not shave your heads until the sacrificial animal has reached its place of slaughter. And whoever among you is ill or has an ailment of the head [making shaving necessary must offer] a ransom of fasting [three days] or charity or sacrifice. And when you are secure, then whoever performs ‘umrah [during the Hajj months] followed by Hajj [offers] what can be obtained with ease of sacrificial animals. And whoever cannot find [or afford such an animal] – then a fast of three days during Hajj and of seven when you have returned [home]. Those are ten complete [days]. This is for those whose family is not in the area of al-Masjid al-Haram. And fear Allah and know that Allah is severe in penalty.”

(Surat Al-Baqarah verse 196)

The history behind the great festival; Eid-ul- Adha

The history behind Eid-ul-Adha follows the story of the faithful Hazrat  Ibraheem (A.S). he was instructed in a dream by Allah to raise the foundations of the holy Kaaba, a black stone, the most sacred Muslim shrine in Mecca. Immediately responding to the Lord’s call Hazrat  Ibraheem (A.S)   set off for Mecca along with his wife and son, Ishmael. Hazrat  Ibraheem (A.S) had to face a lot of hardships in his way. However, he supplicated Allah’s commands uncomplaining.

In a divine dream, he also saw himself sacrificing his son Ishmael for Allah’s sake. When he told this to Ishmael, the latter immediately asked his father to carry out Lord’s commands without faltering and assured that he was completely ready to give up his life for God. Abraham could not bear to watch his son die so he covered his eyes by a blindfold. When he cut Ishmael’s throat and removed the blindfold,   miraculously enough he was astonished to see that Ishmael was unharmed, and instead, he found a dead lamb which was slaughtered, And this is what Abraham ultimately sacrificed.

In remembrance of this outstanding act of sacrifice (Qurbani) by Prophet Abraham(R.A), people sacrifice a lamb, goat, ram, or any other animal on Eid-ul-Adha and give the meat to friends, neighbors, relatives and the needy. People who are away from the holy pilgrimage, Hajj, also carry out this traditional sacrifice.

This is mentioned in surah e AS-SAAFFAT.

“O, my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)!” So We gave him the good news of a boy, possessing forbearance. And when (his son) was old enough to walk and work with him, (Abraham) said: O my dear son, I see in vision that I offer you in sacrifice: Now see what your view is!” (The son) said: “O my father! Do what you are commanded; if Allah wills, you will find me one practicing patience and steadfastness!” So when they both submitted and he threw him down upon his forehead, We called out to him saying: O Ibrahim! You have indeed fulfilled the vision; surely thus do We reward those who do good. Most surely this was a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice. And We perpetuated (praise) to him among the later generations. “Peace and salutation to Abraham!” Thus indeed do We reward those who do right. Surely he was one of Our believing servants.

(AS-SAAFFAT   verse 100 – 111)

(Surah e AS-SAAFFAT   verse 112 , 37:112As a reward for this sacrifice, God then granted Abraham the good news of the birth of his second son, Is-haaq (Isaac):

“And We gave him the good news of Is-haaq, a prophet from among the righteous”

(Surah e AS-SAAFFAT   verse 112 )

Abraham had shown that his love for God superseded all others: that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dearest to him in submission to God’s command. Muslims commemorate this ultimate act of sacrifice every year during Eid al-Adha.

The Eid prayers

According to Islamic law, it is compulsory for men  (who are residents of a particular area) to offer Eid prayer while for women it is optional to offer Eid prayers.

The Eid al-Adha prayer is performed prayers on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah anytime after Sunrise before the time of  Zuhr.

Muslims are encouraged to prepare themselves for the occasion of Eid Al-Adha keeping in view the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (SAW): the Sunnah. They should make waddu (ablution) and offer fajr prayer before sunrise. They are also encouraged to wear the best clothes available and take proper care of their cleanliness.

The spirit of Eid ul Adha

The spirit of Eid ul Adha is a direct result of the number of sacrifices we make prior to it. In other words, investing our time, money, and wealth translates into not only self-contentment but also to a successful and joyous Eid. .Thus, it is not surprising that even though we do not put in as much effort as we should in the month of Ramadan, the little that we do has an impact on ourselves and makes us feel deserving of celebration when Eid ul Adha comes around.

The spirit of Eid ul Adha should be to help the ones who can’t offer Qurbani (sacrifice) so that they can also be joyous on this occasion of Eid.

From all of us AlQuran Classes we wish you a  very happy and joyous Eid. Remember all of us on the holy occasion of Eid ul Adha.


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