Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Eid Al-Adha




Yesterday I noticed the young women who are my neighbors were out whitewashing the sidewalks of our street. There are fresh bales of hay giving off the smell of a country sunrise stacked throughout the Medina, and I passed several sheep being carted to an unknown fate on my way home. Later in the day Abdul Latif, my landlord, arrived at my door to tell me I must get to the hannout and stock up because all the shops will be closed for three days. I think it starts tomorrow but it might be today. I'm going out later to check. I will keep you updated.

‘Īd al-’Aḍḥā) is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims and Druze worldwide as a commemoration of Ibrahim's (Abraham's) willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael for Allah. It is one of two Eid festivals that Muslims celebrate (Muslims in Iran celebrate a third, non-denominational eid ). Like Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha begins with a short prayer followed by a sermon (khuṭba). It is also called the bigger Eid because it lasts a day longer than Eid ul-Fitr[citation needed].

It is the most important feast of the Muslim calendar.

Eid al-Adha is four days long and starts on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja (ذو الحجة) of the lunar Islamic calendar. This is the day after the pilgrims in Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide, descend from Mount Arafat. It happens to be approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan.

Known as Eid el-Kibir (the 'Big' Eid) in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

Men, women, and children are expected to dress in their finest clothing to perform Eid prayer (Salatu'l-`id) in any mosque. Muslims who can afford to do so sacrifice their best domestic animals (usually sheep, but also camels, cows, and goats) as a symbol of Ibrahim's (Abraham's) sacrifice. The sacrificed animals, called "udhiya Arabic: أضحية" also known as "qurbani", have to meet certain age and quality standards or else the animal is considered an unacceptable sacrifice. Generally, these must be at least 4 years old, and weigh 26 st. At the time of sacrifice, Allah's name is recited along with the offering statement and a supplication as Muhammad said. According to the Quran a large portion of the meat has to be given towards the poor and hungry people so they can all join in the feast which is held on Eid-ul-Adha. The remainder is cooked for the family celebration meal in which relatives and friends are invited to share. The regular charitable practices of the Muslim community are demonstrated during Eid ul-Adha by the concerted effort to see that no impoverished Muslim is left without sacrificial food during these days. Eid ul-Adha is a concrete affirmation of what the Muslim community ethic means in practice. People in these days are expected to visit their relations, starting with their parents, then their families and friends.

Distributing meat among people is considered an essential part of the festival during this period, as well as chanting Takbir out loud before the Eid prayer on the first day and after prayers through out the four days of Eid.

Ciao.

8 comments:

Geoff said...

Wishing you a happy Eid followed by Christmas . My poor son in Dubai is struggling to buy a flat. Sorry sir Eid next week was the refrain we heard. Followed by the Barclays mortgage guy saying nothing will happen over Christmas so another two weeks knocked out.

debio said...

Oh yes, definitely Eid here! Absolutely nothing happening by way of commerce; Christmas follows Eid, then New Year follows Christmas then the Islamic New Year follows the New Year - net result is that nothing tangible will be done now until well into the first week of January.....

But.....the shops are open throughout!!! So that's OK then.

scarlettscion said...

And Muslims who CANNOT afford to do so. Many poor families go into debt over that sheet.

scarlettscion said...

sheep, not sheet.

Omega Mum said...

What I find so maddening about religion is the similarities - the Abraham business, for example, that crops up in Judaism and Christianity, too. It's as though anything and everything, no matter how well intentioned, is subverted, somehow. I know this isn't quite what you were writing about, but still.....

jmb said...

I have been wishing people a happy Eid al-Adha, but didn't really know the details. Thanks for filling them in for me.
Are you going to Paris? Do we get photos and a virtual visit there over Christmas? I hope so.

Wangbu said...

Earn peace an joy in this momentous celebration. A Peaceful greatings to all!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Great description of the atmosphere and ambience there at this time, Lady M, but as I said, I just don't want to think about the animals.