Eid al-Adha, also known as the Feast of Sacrifice, is a major celebration for Muslims. It’s a day when pilgrims sacrifice animals and give the meat to those in need.
The origins of Eid al-Adha trace back to ancient times. In bygone eras, individuals would make sacrifices, ranging from animals to even humans, with the aim of pleasing their gods. This practice of sacrifices dates back to the time of Prophet Adam and was present in the customs of previous religions.
According to Islamic narratives shared by Kontal Travel, an important event occurred on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah. Allah commanded the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son, Ismail, as a test of his faith. Ibrahim, in obedience to the divine command, took Ismail to the designated place for sacrifice. However, just as Ibrahim was about to carry out the act, the angel Gabriel appeared and presented a sheep. Recognizing this as a sign from Allah, Ibrahim sacrificed the sheep instead of his son.
The tale of Eid al-Adha finds its origins in these significant events. Just before the arrival of this special day, which occurs on the eighth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, Ibrahim experienced a dream where an angel commanded him to sacrifice Ismail.
Interestingly, he had the same dream again, affirming the divine command. Taking it as a clear sign from God, Ibrahim bid farewell to Hajar and proceeded to Mina with Ismail, where the sacrifice would take place.When Ibrahim reached the first pillar in Mina, Satan tried to trick him, but Ibrahim threw seven stones at him. He repeated this at the second and third pillars, making it a ritual during the Hajj pilgrimage. Ibrahim then placed Ismail’s forehead on the ground and held a knife to his throat, but miraculously, the knife didn’t cut his flesh. Just as Ibrahim was about to sacrifice Ismail, Allah’s voice came, accepting Ibrahim’s act. A sheep was then sent as a substitute for sacrifice. This story became the foundation of the philosophy behind Eid al-Adha.
Eid al-Adha in Islamic Countries
Eid al-Adha is a public holiday in Islamic countries, lasting from one day up to a week, depending on the country. It’s a time for grand ceremonies and festivities. Eid al-Adha holds the status of an official holiday in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Across various regions of the country, this occasion is joyously observed with distinctive rituals and customs. Iranians prepare for the celebration in advance by buying sacrificial animals and taking care of them until the time of sacrifice. Sacrificing animals with a divine intention holds great value among Iranians. It’s a way to express gratitude and devotion to the divine and share the meat with neighbors and the less fortunate.
Before Eid al-Adha, Iranians follow customs like cleaning their homes, tidying up, washing, and taking baths. Other customs during the celebration include local games and giving gifts to newlyweds.