It’s that time of year again when maybe you’ve heard some of your Muslim friends getting excited about something called “Eid al-Adha”. You know it’s a special time for them, but now you’re curious about what this Eid al-Adha means. You might  also be asking yourself if you should say something to wish them the best at this time.

Well, my friend, when it comes to questions about Eid al-Adha, you’ve come to the right place! That’s because today we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about this special holiday that Muslims all around the world celebrate. What’s more, we’ll also give you some Eid al Adha greetings, so you know exactly how to wish your Muslim friends a happy holiday.    

What is Eid al-Adha?

Eid al-Adha (meaning the “Festival of the Sacrifice”) is the holier of two Islamic festivals held by Muslims each year. (The other one being Eid al-Fitr, held after Ramadan.)

The holiday commemorates the Prophet Ibrahim’s readiness to sacrifice his own son as Allah commanded him in a dream. However, just before he made that fateful cut, the angel Gabriel appeared before Ibrahim with a ram. Gabriel told him he had fulfilled his vision and to sacrifice the ram instead of his son. As a result, Muslim all around the world celebrate the submission of Abraham during Eid al-Adha with a ritual sacrifice.

Both those who can afford it and those who have finished their Hajj must traditionally sacrifice a ram, cow, sheep or a camel. The animal is then divided into three parts. These parts include one for the poor, one for the immediate family and one for other relatives.  

Likewise, Muslims may also give money to charity during this time to provide the poor with a proper Eid meal.

What are the Eid Dates for 2021?

Islamic scholars use the Islamic Hijri calendar to decide what day Muslim holidays will fall on. What’s more, the Hijri calendar is 11 days shorter than our Gregorian calendar. So, although Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah every Islamic year, it’s different each year on our calendar.

The Hijri calendar is also a lunar calendar, meaning it’s based on the cycle of the moon. Therefore, Muslim scholars use the moon to determine what day exactly Eid al-Adha will fall on. Well, we say “exactly” but it’s not really  an exact science. Take this year, for example.

First, Muslim scholars thought that Eid al-Adha would fall on July 19. However, the crescent moon wasn’t sighted on the July 9 which would start the month of Dhu al-Hijjah. As a result, Muslim scholars pushed the start of Eid al-Adha a day. This means July 20 will be the first day of the holiday, and it will last for four days.

How Do Muslims Celebrate Eid al-Adha

Usually, faithful Muslims will head to the mosque a little before the Eid prayer. Muslims hold the Eid prayer anytime between when the morning sun has fully risen and the noon prayer (Dhuhr). At this time, you’ll also hear Muslims chanting the takbir  both before and after the Eid prayers.  (Takbir is the words “Allāhu akbar”, or “God is great!”)

When it comes to greetings during Eid al-Adha, mubarek is the first word that comes to mind. That’s because you’ll hear Muslims everywhere greeting each other with “Eid Mubarak,”  or “Blessed Feast”. However, if you’re new to Arabic and still a little bit shy, a simple “Happy Eid”

Additionally, Muslims may exchange gifts during Eid. They will also put on new clothes and visit other friends and family members for a real Eid al-Adha feast.

Well,  there you have it. Now you know all about Eid-al Adha and you’ve learned a couple Eid greetings, too.  So, what are you waiting for? Go wish your friends a Happy Eid!

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