Eid al-Adha – The Festival of Sacrifice

by Hafla
A man teaching his child to pray

Eid ul Adha is the second-largest festival for Muslims. Eid ul-Adha falls in the twelfth and final month of the Islamic calendar, known as Dhul-Hijjah. It is a consecutive three days festival and begins on the 10th day of Dhul Haj Month and until the 12th day of the same month.  Special prayers are held on the first day of the Eid festival, followed by the ritualistic slaughtering of animals in the designated area arranged by the regional committee. 

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said “He is not a believer who eats his fill while his neighbor remains hungry.” To obey the command of the Prophet, the Qurbani meat is distributed to neighbors, friends, and relatives.

Why Eid ul Adha is celebrated by Muslims worldwide?

Although, we know Eid ul Adha is the festival of sacrifice, there is a historical commemoration to celebrate the festival by Muslims around the world. Muslims worldwide celebrate to commemorate the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) so this festival is called the Festival of Sacrifice. Eid ul Adha is a day of reflection, gratitude, and spiritual renewal. It is celebrated uniformly across different regions, where Muslims symbolically sacrifice animals to honor Prophet Ibrahim’s obedience in willingness to sacrifice his son, as commanded by Allah. This historical event forms the foundation of Eid Al Adha, serving as a reminder of faith and devotion to the Lord.

 In the holy Quran, Allah says, “It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is piety from you that reaches Him.” – (Quranic Verse 22:37)

Qurbani – Ritual Slaughter:

One crucial and obligatory practice during this Eid is the act of performing ritualistic animal sacrifice. Following the conclusion of Eid Al Adha prayers, Muslims engage in the ritual act of sacrificing an animal, such as a cow, goat, camel, sheep, or buffalo, as an integral part of the religious observance.  Islamic teachings dictate that individuals who are financially capable should fulfill this obligation during Eid ul Adha. While the sacrificial animal can be of either gender, it is essential for those performing the sacrifice to adhere to specific guidelines and regulations.

On Eid ul-Adha, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) sacrificed an animal with his own hands and said, ‘In the Name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest.‘” – Sahih Bukhari

Remember the following rules while selecting the animal for Qurbani:

  1. The animal should be in good health and free from disabilities.
  2. It should meet age requirements specified in Islamic guidelines
  3. It should be treated with kindness and care before the sacrifice
  4. It must be slaughtered by a sharp knife. 

Eid Celebration in UAE Families:

Eid celebrations in UAE are vibrant and festive, reflecting the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the region. The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has officially announced Eid Al Adha holidays from 27th June to 30th June on the occasion of Arafat Day and Eid Al Adha for employees working in the private sector. 

Here are some highlights of Eid celebrations in UAE:

Preparation and Decoration: Prior to Eid, households engage in a thorough cleaning and decoration of their homes. The Decoratives thing might be either purchased or rented from the shop or online depending on personal preferences and budgetary considerations. Additionally, some individuals enjoy crafting their own unique decorations to add a personal touch to their Eid ul Adha celebrations.

Festive Attire: Buying new clothes, especially traditional attire, is a cherished tradition during Eid.

Henna Application: On the eve of Eid ul Adha, young girls and ladies often express their enthusiasm by adorning their hands with mehndi designs. They have the option to either apply the mehndi on their own or enlist the services of skilled henna artists to adorn their hands with intricate designs. It’s also considered one of the Sunnah of Muslim tradition.

Special prayers at the mosque: Families wake up early to attend Eid prayers at local mosques or designated prayer grounds. Sermons are delivered, emphasizing the values of gratitude, unity, and compassion.

Family Gathering: Eid is a time for families to come together and celebrate. Family members, dressed in their finest attire, exchange warm greetings, hugs, and kisses. Relatives and friends visit each other’s homes, sharing meals and joyful moments.

Festive Feast: UAE families indulge in a wide array of mouth-watering delicious and elaborate meals during Eid. Traditional dishes and delicacies are prepared, or ordered from famous restaurants including biryani, lamb or chicken mandi, traditional sweets, and a variety of desserts.

Giving gifts: Giving gifts is a common practice during Eid in UAE families. Parents often give presents to their children, and extended family members exchange gifts as a token of love and appreciation. When it comes to giving gifts on Eid, individuals may carefully plan their purchases, opting to order from local shops or conveniently order online in bulk to ensure a wide selection of thoughtful presents for their loved ones.

Charity and giving: Emphasizing the spirit of generosity and compassion, families in UAE engage in acts of charity during Eid. They donate money, clothes, or food to those in need, ensuring that everyone can take part in the festivities. They order food boxes online and donate them to people who are truly in need.

Eid Al Adha Dubai abattoir plan

The Municipality also offers the possibility of ordering, buying, and preparing livestock, and getting them home delivered through smart apps.

To accommodate the increased demand over the Eid period, Dubai Municipality has allotted its four abattoirs with the newest technology with a combined capacity of almost 900 animals per hour.


  1. What is Eid ul Adha?

  Eid ul Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, is an Islamic holiday that commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. It is one of the major religious celebrations observed by Muslims worldwide.

  1. When is Eid ul Adha celebrated? 

 Eid ul Adha is celebrated on the 10th day of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah, which is determined by the sighting of the moon. The date may vary each year according to the lunar calendar.

  1. How is Eid ul Adha different from Eid al-Fitr?

 Eid ul Adha is different from Eid al-Fitr, which is another significant Islamic festival. While Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan (the month of fasting), Eid ul Adha commemorates the story of Prophet Ibrahim and his willingness to sacrifice his son.

  1. Is sacrificing an animal mandatory during Eid ul Adha? 

 The act of sacrificing an animal is highly recommended (Sunnah) for those who can afford it. It is not mandatory (Fard) but holds significant importance as it symbolizes Prophet Ibrahim’s act of devotion and submission to Allah.

  1. What types of animals are commonly sacrificed during Eid ul Adha? 

 Commonly sacrificed animals during Eid ul Adha include goats, sheep, cows, and camels. The type of animal may vary depending on the region and personal preference.

  1. How long does Eid ul Adha last? 

 Eid ul Adha is celebrated for a duration of three days, although the festive atmosphere and gatherings may continue beyond that period.

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