Eid ul-Adha

Eid ul-Adha is another important festival in the Muslim calendar. Some Muslims may regard this as the most important festival as it remembers the prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son when ordered to by Allah.

Allah appeared to Ibrahim in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son Isma'il as an act of obedience. The Devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey Allah and spare his son.

As Ibrahim was about to kill his son, Allah stopped him and gave him a lamb to sacrifice in his place. This shows Ibrahim's obedience to God. It is important for Muslims to remember that God does not want the animal or its meat; God wants Muslims to show that they are devoted to him.

Eid ul-Adha is a public holiday in Muslim countries, but Muslims in the UK may take the day off work or school to celebrate this festival.

By taking part in this festival, Muslims show that they too are prepared to sacrifice their lives for God. The festival is celebrated in the following ways:

  • A sheep or goat may be sacrificed as a reminder of Ibrahim's obedience to Allah. In the UK, the animal must be killed at a slaughterhouse. The meat is shared out among family, friends and the poor, each getting a third share.
  • Muslims go to the mosque for prayers, dressed in their best clothes and thank Allah for the blessings they have received.
  • It is obligatory to give money to charity to be used to help the poor so they too can celebrate.

Eid ul-Adha is significant to Muslims today as it reminds them of Ibrahim's obedience, prompting them in turn to consider their own obedience to God. Muslims may ask for forgiveness for times when they have not been fully devoted to God and pray for strength to be devoted in the future.

It is also a time when they visit family and friends as well as offering presents.