Getting ready for Eid - UAE INFO

Nov 24, 2009

Getting ready for Eid

Eid Al Adha marks the annual completion of the Haj, the pilgrimage to Makkah, and it occurs two and a half months after Eid Al Fitr, which celebrates Ramadan’s end.

Eid Al Adha is an occasion to visit relatives and friends. Gifts of money or clothes are given to children.

Selfless devotion

Historically, the festival marks the prophet Ebrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isma’il when God ordered him to.

Ebrahim and Isma’il set off to Mina. On the way, the Devil tried to dissuade Ebrahim but was driven away. As EIbrahim prepared to kill his son, God stopped him and gave him a sheep to sacrifice instead.

As they celebrate this festival, Muslims remind themselves of their submission to God and their willingness to sacrifice anything for His wishes.

During the festival, Muslims sacrifice domestic animals such as sheep, camel and goat as a symbol of Ebrahim’s sacrifice. The meat is distributed among family, friends and the poor, each getting a third of the share.

“We pay for a goat to be sacrificed so the meat can be donated to a poor community — even they can have an Eid celebration,” said Dedra Stevenson, an American Emirati and the author of the Hakima’s Tale series.

“It’s tradition to wear something new. It’s considered a new beginning.

“When people go for the Haj, they are forgiven for all their sins. So they start anew,” she said.

Festive facts

When is it?

This year, the public holiday for Eid Al Adha will begin on Saturday, November 28, and continue for four days.

What do Muslims do to celebrate the holiday?

On the first morning of Eid Al Adha, Muslims attend morning prayers in a mosque. This is followed by visits to family and friends and the exchange of greetings and gifts. Then the family visits a local farm or make arrangements for the slaughter of an animal.

Why do Muslims sacrifice an animal on this day?

During the celebration of Eid Al Adha, Muslims remember Allah has given them power over animals and allowed them to eat meat but only if they pronounce his name during the act of taking life. Thus they are reminded life is sacred.

The meat from the sacrifice is mostly given away to others. The act symbolises the willingness to give up things that are of benefit to them or close to their hearts to follow God's commands.

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