22nd EVENING-@3rd EVENING 2015 BAKR-I-ID

Eid al-Adha

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • عيد الأضحى
  • Eid al-Adha
  • “Feast of the Sacrifice”
Eid Blessings WDL6855.png

Blessings for Eid Al-Adha.
Observed by Muslims and Druze
Type Islamic
Significance
  • Commemoration of Ibrahim (Abraham)‘s willingness to sacrifice his young first-born and only son in obedience of a command from God
  • Marks the end of the annualHajj to Mecca
Celebrations
  • Firstly offering Eid salat in Eid gah
  • Gatherings of family and friends
Meals, especially lunches and late breakfasts (brunches)
  • Wearing new clothes
  • Gift-giving
  • Giving money/gifts to kids as a token of love
Observances
Sacrifice of, usually, a sheep, cow, goat, buffalo or camel
Donating one-third of the sacrifice meat to friends and neighbors
Donating one-third or more of the sacrifice meat to the poor and needy
Begins 10 Dhu al-Hijjah
Ends 13 Dhu al-Hijjah
Date 10 Dhu al-Hijjah
2014 date 5 October
2015 date 24 September
2016 date 11 September
Related to

Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحىʿīd al-aḍḥā, [ʕiːd ælˈʔɑdˤħæ]), also called the Feast of Sacrifice (Turkish: Kurban Bayramı; Malay: Hari Raya Korban; Persian: عید قربان`īd-e qorbān), the Greater Eid, or Bakr-Eid (Urdu:بقر عیدbaqr `īd), is the second of two religious holidays celebrated by Muslims worldwide each year. It honors the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son, as an act of submission to God‘s command, before God then intervened, through his angel Jibra’il and informs him that his sacrifice has already been accepted. The meat from the sacrificed animal is preferred to be divided into three parts. The family retains one third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the remaining third is given to the poor and needy.

In the lunar-based Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah and lasts for four days.[1] In the international (Gregorian) calendar, the dates vary from year to year, drifting approximately 11 days earlier each year.

Eid al-Adha is the latter of the two Eid holidays, the former being Eid al-Fitr. The basis for the observance comes from the 196th ayah (verse) of Al-Baqara, the second sura of the Quran.[2] The word “Eid” appears once in Al-Ma’ida, the fifth sura of the Quran, with the meaning “solemn festival”.[3]

Like Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha begins with a Sunnah prayer of two rakats followed by a sermon (khutbah). Eid al-Adha celebrations start after the descent of the Hujjaj, the pilgrims performing the Hajj, from Mount Arafat, a hill east of Mecca. Eid sacrifice may take place until sunset on the 13th day of Dhu al-Hijjah.[4] The days of Eid have been singled out in the Hadith as “days of remembrance”. The takbir (days) of Tashriq are from the Fajr prayer of the 9th of Dhu al-Hijjah up to the Asr prayer of the 13th of Dhu al-Hijjah (5 days and 4 nights). This equals 23 prayers: 5 on the 9th–12th, which equals 20, and 3 on the 13th.[5]

Other names[edit]

Eid al-Adha celebrations start at same time of the annual Hajj in Mecca.

The Arabic term “festival of the sacrifice”, ʿīd al-aḍḥā/ʿīd ul-aḍḥā is borrowed into Indo-Aryan languages such as Hindi, Bengali, and Gujarati, Urdu and Austronesian languages, such asMalay and Indonesian (the last often spelling it as Aidiladha or Iduladha).[citation needed] Another Arabic word for “sacrifice” is Qurbani (Arabic: قربان‎), which is borrowed into Dari Persianand Standard Persian as عید قربان (Eyd-e Ghorbân), or in Urdu as قربانی کی عید (Qorbani ki Eid) Tajik Persian as Иди Қурбон (Idi Qurbon), Kazakh as Құрбан айт (Qurban ayt), Uyghur asQurban Heyit, and also into various Indo-Aryan languages such as Bengali as কোরবানির ঈদ (Korbanir Eid). Other languages combined the Arabic word qurbān with local terms for “festival”, as in Kurdish (Cejna Qurbanê),[6] Pashto (د قربانۍ اختر da Qurbānəi Axtar), Turkish (Kurban Bayramı), Turkmen (Gurban Baýramy), Azeri (Qurban Bayramı), Tatar (Qorban Bäyräme), Albanian (Kurban Bajrami), BosnianCroatianSerbian and Macedonian (Kurban bajram, Курбан бајрам), Russian (Курбан-байрам), Bulgarian (Курбан Байрам), Mandarin Chinese (古尔邦节 Gúěrbāng Jié), and Malaysian and Indonesian (Hari Raya Korban, Qurbani).[citation needed]

Eid al-Kabir, an Arabic term meaning “the Greater Eid” (the “Lesser Eid” being Eid al-Fitr),[7] is used in Yemen, Syria, and North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt). The term was borrowed directly into French as Aïd el-Kebir. Translations of “Big Eid” or “Greater Eid” are used in Pashto (لوی اختر Loy Axtar), Kashmiri (Baed Eid),Pakistani(Baṛī Īd), Hindustani (Baṛī Īd), Tamil (Peru Nāl, “Great Day”) and Malayalam (Bali Perunnal, “Great Day of Sacrifice”). Albanian, on the other hand, uses Bajram(i) i vogël or “the Lesser Eid” (as opposed toBajram i Madh, the “Greater Eid”, for Eid al-Fitr) as an alternative reference to Eid al-Adha.[citation needed] Some names refer to the fact that the holiday occurs after the culmination of the annual Hajj. Such names are used in Malaysian and Indonesian (Hari Raya Haji “Hajj celebration day”, Lebaran Haji, Lebaran Kaji), and Tamil (Hajji Peru Nāl).[citation needed] In Urdu- and Hindi-speaking areas, the festival is also called Bakr Īd,[8] stemming from the Hindustani word bakrī, “goat”, because of the tradition of sacrificing a goat in South Asia. This term is also borrowed into other languages, such as Tamil Bakr Īd Peru Nāl.[citation needed]

Other local names include Mandarin Chinese 宰牲节 Zǎishēng Jié (“Slaughter-livestock Festival”) as well as Tfaska Tamoqqart in the Berber language of Djerba, Tabaski or Tobaski inWolof,[9][10] Babbar Sallah in Hausa language, Pagdiriwang ng Sakripisyo in Filipino and ciida gawraca in Somali.[citation needed] Eid al-Adha has had other names outside the Muslim world. The name is often simply translated into the local language, such as English Feast of the Sacrifice, German Opferfest, Dutch Offerfeest, Romanian Sărbătoarea Sacrificiului, and Hungarian Áldozati ünnep. In Spanish it is known as Fiesta del Cordero (“festival of the lamb”).[citation needed]

Origin[edit]

According to Islamic tradition, the valley of Mecca (in present-day Saudi Arabia) was a dry, rocky and uninhabited place. God instructed Abraham to bring Hagar (Hājar), his Arabian (Adnan) wife, and Ishmael to theArabia from the land of Canaan. As Abraham was preparing for his return journey back to Canaan, Hagar asked him, “Did God order you to leave us here? Or are you leaving us here to die.” Abraham didn’t even look back. He just nodded, afraid that he would be too sad and that he would disobey God. Hagar said, “Then God will not waste us; you can go”. Though Abraham had left a large quantity of food and water with Hagar and Ishmael, the supplies quickly ran out, and within a few days the two began to feel the pangs of hunger and dehydration.

Hagar ran up and down between two hills called Al-Safa and Al-Marwah seven times, in her desperate quest for water. Exhausted, she finally collapsed beside her baby Ishmael and prayed to God for deliverance. Miraculously, a spring of water gushed forth from the earth at the feet of baby Ishmael. Other accounts have the angel Gabriel (Jibrail) striking the earth and causing the spring to flow in abundance. With this secure water supply, known as the Zamzam Well, they were not only able to provide for their own needs, but were also able to trade water with passing nomads for food and supplies.

Years later, Abraham was instructed by God to return from Canaan to build a place of worship adjacent to Hagar’s well (the Zamzam Well). Abraham and Ishmael constructed a stone and mortar structure – known as theKaaba – which was to be the gathering place for all who wished to strengthen their faith in God. As the years passed, Ishmael was blessed with prophethood (Nubuwwah) and gave the nomads of the desert his message of submission to God. After many centuries, Mecca became a thriving desert city and a major center for trade, thanks to its reliable water source, the well of Zamzam.

One of the main trials of Abraham’s life was to face the command of God to sacrifice his dearest possession, his son. The son is not named in the Quran, but most modern Muslims believe it to be Ishmael. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to God’s will. During this preparation, Satan (Shaitan) tempted Abraham and his family by trying to dissuade them from carrying out God’s commandment, and Abraham drove Satan away by throwing pebbles at him. In commemoration of their rejection of Satan, stones are thrown at symbolic pillars signifying Satan during the Hajj rites.

When Abraham was 99, God decided to test his faith in public. Abraham had a recurring dream, in which God commanded him to offer up for sacrifice – his son, whom God had granted him after many years of deep prayer. Abraham knew that the dreams of the prophets were divinely inspired, and one of the ways in which God communicated with his prophets. When the intent of the dreams became clear to him, Abraham decided to fulfill God’s command and offer his son for sacrifice.

Although Abraham was ready to sacrifice his dearest for God’s sake, he could not just bring his son to the place of sacrifice without his consent. His son had to be consulted as to whether he was willing to give up his life in fulfillment of God’s command. This consultation would be a major test of his son’s maturity in faith; love and commitment for God; willingness to obey his father; and readiness to sacrifice his own life for the sake of God.

Abraham presented the matter to his son and asked for his opinion about the dreams of slaughtering him. His child did not show any hesitation or reservation even for a moment. He said, “Father, do what you have been commanded. You will find me, Insha’Allah(God willing), to be very patient.” His mature response, his deep insight into the nature of his father’s dreams, his commitment to God, and ultimately his willingness to sacrifice his own life for the sake of God were all unprecedented.

When Abraham attempted to cut his throat, he was astonished to see that his son was unharmed and instead, he found a dead ram which was slaughtered. Abraham had passed the test by his willingness to carry out God’s command.[11][12]

This is mentioned in the Quran as follows:

100 “O my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)!”
101 So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear.
102 Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: “O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!” (The son) said: “O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills one practising Patience and Constancy!”
103 So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),
104 We called out to him “O Abraham!
105 “Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!” – thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
106 For this was obviously a trial–
107 And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice:
108 And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times:
109 “Peace and salutation to Abraham!”
110 Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
111 For he was one of our believing Servants.
112 And We gave him the good news of Isaac – a prophet – one of the Righteous.

— Quran, sura 37 (As-Saaffat), ayat 100–112[13]

Abraham had shown that his love for God superseded all others: that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dearest to him in submission to God‘s command. Muslims commemorate this ultimate act of sacrifice every year during Eid al-Adha.

Eid prayers[edit]

Main article: Eid prayers

Muslims go to the mosque to pray the prayer of the Eid.

Who must attend[edit]

According to some fiqh (traditional Islamic law) (although there is some disagreement).[14]

  1. Men should go to mosque—or a Eidgah (a field where eid prayer held)—to perform eid prayer; Salat al-Eid is Wajib according to Hanafi and Shia (Ja’fari) scholars, Sunnah al-Mu’kkadah according to Maliki and Shafi’i jurisprudence. Women are also highly encouraged to attend, although it is not compulsory. Menstruating women do not participate in the formal prayer, but should be present to witness the goodness and the gathering of the Muslims.[15]
  2. Residents, which excludes travellers.
  3. Those in good health.

When is it performed[edit]

The Eid al-Adha prayer is performed any time after the sun completely rises up to just before the entering of Zuhr time, on the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah. In the event of a force majeure (e.g. natural disaster), the prayer may be delayed to the 11th of Dhu al-Hijjah and then to the 12th of Dhu al-Hijjah.

The Sunnah of preparation[edit]

In keeping with the tradition of Muhammad, Muslims are encouraged to prepare themselves for the occasion of Eid. Below is a list of things Muslims are recommended to do in preparation for the Eid al-Adha festival:

  1. Make wudhu (ablution) and offer Salat al-Fajr (the pre-sunrise prayer).
  2. Prepare for personal cleanliness—take care of details of clothing, etc.
  3. Dress up, putting on new or best clothes available.

Rituals of the Eid prayers[edit]

The scholars differed concerning the ruling on Eid prayers. There are three scholarly points of view:

  1. That Eid prayer is Sunnah mu’akkadah (recommended). This is the view of Malik ibn Anas and Al-Shafi‘i.
  2. That it is a Fard Kifaya (communal obligation). This is the view of Abū Ḥanīfa.
  3. That it is Wajib on all Muslim men (a duty for each Muslim and is obligatory for men); those who do not do it with no excuse are considered sinners. This is the view of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and was also narrated from Abū Ḥanīfa.

Eid prayers must be offered in congregation. It consists of two rakats (units) with seven Takbirs in the first Raka’ah and five Takbirs in the second Raka’ah. For Sunni Muslims, Salat al-Eid differs from the five daily canonical prayers in that no adhan (call to prayer) oriqama (call) is pronounced for the two Eid prayers.[16][17] The salat (prayer) is then followed by the khutbah, or sermon, by the Imam.

At the conclusion of the prayers and sermon, Muslims embrace and exchange greetings with one other (Eid Mubarak), give gifts (Eidi) to children, and visit one another. Many Muslims also take this opportunity to invite their non-Muslim friends, neighbours, co-workers and classmates to their Eid festivities to better acquaint them about Islam and Muslim culture.[18]

The Takbir and other rituals[edit]

Prayers in Comilla, Bangladesh can be seen attending Khutbah as part of the Eid al-Adha prayers on 7 November 2011.

The Takbir is recited from the dawn of the ninth of Dhu al-Hijjah to the thirteenth, and consists of:[19]

Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar الله أكبر الله أكبر
lā ilāha illā Allāh لا إله إلا الله
Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar الله أكبر الله أكبر
wa li-illāhil-hamd ولله الحمد
God is the Greatest, God is the Greatest,
There is no deity but God
God is the Greatest, God is the Greatest
and to God goes all praise

Multiple variations of this recitation exist across the Muslim world

Traditions and practices[edit]

See also: Eid cuisine and Eidi (gift)

A panorama in 12 folds showing Muslims returning from their Mosques after Eid prayers in the Mughal Empire

Men, women and children are expected to dress in their finest clothing to perform Eid prayer in a large congregation in an open waqf (“stopping”) field called Eidgah or mosque. Affluent Muslims who can afford to, i.e. Malik-e-Nisaab, sacrifice their best halal domestic animals (usually a cow, but can also be a camel, goat, sheep or ram depending on the region) as a symbol of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only son. The sacrificed animals, called aḍḥiya (Arabic: أضحية‎, also known by its Persian term, Qurbāni), have to meet certain age and quality standards or else the animal is considered an unacceptable sacrifice. This tradition accounts for the slaughter of more than 100 million animals in only two days of Eid. In Pakistan alone nearly 10 million animals are slaughtered on Eid days costing over US$3 billion.[20]

The meat from the sacrificed animal is preferred to be divided into three parts. The family retains one third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the remaining third is given to the poor and needy. Though the division is purely optional wherein either all the meat may be kept with oneself or may be given away to poor or needy, the preferred method as per sunnah of Muhammad is dividing it in three parts.

The regular charitable practices of the Muslim community are demonstrated during Eid al-Adha by concerted efforts to see that no impoverished person is left without an opportunity to partake in the sacrificial meal during these days. Hajj is also performed in Saudi Arabia before Eid ul Adha and millions of Muslims perform Hajj. On the event of Hajj lots of Muslims slaughter animals and divide major part of the meat in the poor people.[21]

During Eid al-Adha, distributing meat amongst the people, chanting the Takbir out loud before the Eid prayers on the first day and after prayers throughout the four days of Eid, are considered essential parts of this important Islamic festival. In some countries, families that do not own livestock can make a contribution to a charity that will provide meat to those who are in need.

Eid al-Adha in the Gregorian calendar[edit]

While Eid al-Adha is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. The lunar calendar is approximately eleven days shorter than the solar calendar. Each year, Eid al-Adha (like other Islamic holidays) falls on one of about 2–4 different Gregorian dates in different parts of the world, because the boundary of crescent visibility is different from the International Date Line.

The following list shows the official dates of Eid al-Adha for Saudi Arabia as announced by the Supreme Judicial Council. Future dates are estimated according to the Umm al-Qura calendar of Saudi Arabia.[22] However, it should be noted that the Umm al-Qura is just a guide for planning purposes and not the absolute determinant or fixer of dates. Confirmations of actual dates by moon sighting are applied to announce the specific dates for both Hajj rituals and the subsequent Eid festival. The three days after the listed date are also part of the festival. The time before the listed date the pilgrims visit the Mount Arafat and descend from it after sunrise of the listed day.

Future dates of Eid al-Adha might face correction 10 days before the festivity, in case of deviant lunar sighting in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan for the start of the month Dhu al-Hijjah. In many countries, the start of any lunar Hijri month varies based on the observation of new moon by local religious authorities, so the exact day of celebration varies by locality.

Year Date in
Saudi Arabia
Date in
India/Pakistan[citation needed]
1418 (Islamic Calendar) 7 April 1998 8 April 1998
1419 (Islamic Calendar) 27 March 1999 28 March 1999
1420 (Islamic Calendar) 16 March 2000 17 March 2000
1421 (Islamic Calendar) 5 March 2001 6 March 2001
1422 (Islamic Calendar) 23 February 2002 24 February 2002
1423 (Islamic Calendar) 12 February 2003 13 February 2003
1424 (Islamic Calendar) 1 February 2004 2 February 2004
1425 (Islamic Calendar) 21 January 2005 22 January 2005
1426 (Islamic Calendar) 10 January 2006 11 January 2006
1427 (Islamic Calendar) 31 December 2006 1 January 2007
1428 (Islamic Calendar) 20 December 2007 21 December 2007
1429 (Islamic Calendar) 8 December 2008 9 December 2008
1430 (Islamic Calendar) 27 November 2009 28 November 2009
1431 (Islamic Calendar) 16 November 2010 17 November 2010
1432 (Islamic Calendar) 6 November 2011 7 November 2011
1433 (Islamic Calendar) 26 October 2012 27 October 2012
1434 (Islamic Calendar) 15 October 2013 16 October 2013
1435 (Islamic Calendar) 4 October 2014 6 October 2014
1436 (Islamic Calendar) 24 September 2015 25 September 2015
1437 (Islamic Calendar) 11 September 2016 (calculated) 12 September 2016 (calculated)
1438 (Islamic Calendar) 1 September 2017 (calculated) 2 September 2017 (calculated)
1439 (Islamic Calendar) 23 August 2018 (calculated) 24 August 2018 (calculated)
1440 (Islamic Calendar) 12 August 2019 (calculated) 13 August 2019 (calculated)
1441 (Islamic Calendar) 31 July 2020 (calculated) 1 August 2020 (calculated)
1442 (Islamic Calendar) 20 July 2021 (calculated) 21 July 2021 (calculated)
1443 (Islamic Calendar) 10 July 2022 (calculated) 9 July 2022 (calculated)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

^a The son is not named in the Quran, but most modern Muslims adhere to the view that it was Ismail (Ishmael). Sayings attributed to Muhammad and Islamic commentaries differ on whether Abraham’s older son Ishmael, or his younger son, Ishaq, was asked to be sacrificed in the vision. A chain of narration from Yunnus b. Abd al-Ala attributed to Abdallah b. Abbas: …The Prophet in a conversation in which he said, “Then we ransomed him with a tremendous victim.” And he also said, “He is Isaac.” [23] The Sunni commentary Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Ibn Jarir narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas said, “The one who was ransomed was Ismail, peace be upon him. The Jews claimed that it was Ishaq, but the Jews lied. [24]

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Significance of Bakri Eid/Bakra Eid

INDIAN-CULTURE INDIAN FESTIVALS AND OCCASSIONS

Read an interesting story about Bakri Eid (also referred as Eid-Ul-Azha, Eid-Ul-Zuha or Bakr-Idd), a grand celebration for Muslims.
There are many religions in India. Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, and Sikhism are some of the major religions in India. People of these religions celebrate their festivals colourfully. Muslim festivals like Ramzan and Bakri Eid are celebrated with great will and dedication. Like Ramzan (Eid Ul-Fitr), Bakri Eid (also referred as Eid-Ul-Azha, Eid-Ul-Zuha or Bakr-Idd) is a grand celebration forMuslims. Muslims all over India and outside India celebrate Bakri Eid from the tenth to the twelfth day in the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah.
Significance of Bakri Eid

There is a fascinating story that states the significance of Bakri Eid. Once, Allah challenged Prophet Ibrahim, the friend of Allah and the father of Prophets. Ibrahim had to prove his faith in Allah. Allah asked him to sacrifice the dearest and nearest one in his life. Ibrahim decided to take up the challenge and decided to sacrifice his son Ismail.
Ibrahim’s faith in Allah

His love towards his son was as strong as his faith in Allah. Though his heart went numb, he put his son on the altar at the mount of Mina near Mecca. It was impossible to see his son dying in front of his eyes. He could not imagine slaying his own child but he could not deny the order of higher power.
Ibrahim sacrifices his son

He closed his eyes and raised the sharp sword. Reciting Allah’s name he divided the head from the body. He opened his eyes and could not believe on his senses. His son Ismail was standing healthy and hearty in front of his eyes. A dead ram with his head apart was lying in the pool of blood. Ibrahim emerged as a winner as he accepted god’s challenge with complete faith.
Power of Allah and Quran

Since then people ardently believe in the mercy of Allah and in the authenticity of Quran. They devotionally sacrifice a ram on Eid-Ul-Zuha. On the holy occasion of Eid-Ul-Zuha, prayers are offered by Muslims and animals are sacrificed to show faith and sincerity towards Islam. The festival also signifies the Ibrahim’s belief in almighty.

On the occasion of Bakri Eid, Muslims sacrifice animals (goat or ox) in admiration of prophet Ibrahim’s faith in Allah. This sacrifice is known as qurbani. A Muslim, who performs slaughter, makes three portions of the meat. He shares the meat with his fellow beings. One third part of the meat is distributed amongst the poor. One third part of the meat is for family and friends of the person who bought the animal. The last third part is for the household of the butcher. For Muslims Bakri Eid is the time to meet relatives, to enjoy feasts, and to seek Allah’s blessings. May Allah shower his blessing on you! Happy Bakri Eid!

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Eid-ul-Adha or Eid-ul-Zuha or Bakrid is round the corner. And there’s more to Eid than delicious mutton, biryani and firni. For the masses, Eid is when four-legged animals (not just goats, but camels and sheep too!) are sacrificed (Zuha from uzhaiyya, the Arabic equivalent) as an offering to Allah. While prayers precede the sacrifice, it is followed by exchanging greetings, distributing meat and rejoicing with kin and kith. But no festival can exist without a legend, can it? So fellow readers, here’s the legend that led to genesis of Eid-ul-Zuha.

Background

About 4000 years ago, Prophet Abraham (or Abram or Ibrahim, an early ancestor of Prophet Mohammed) had a wife named Sarah (or Sarai). After not being able to beget a child for years, Sarah suggests and allows Abraham to bear a child by Hagar, her handmaid. Agreeing to it, Abraham marries Hagar and she begets him his firstborn, whom they call Ishmael.  Some years after the birth of Ishmael, a divine intervention led to Sarah begetting another child for Abraham, which the couple named Isaac. After the birth of her own child, Sarah develops an even stronger disliking for Hagar and her son Ishmael and tells Abraham to send them away, which he regretfully does. The mother and son start on a journey from Cannan (modern day Israel-Palestine-Lebanon and area around it) to Arabia (modern day Saudi Arabia). Years later, Abraham returns to his abandoned wife and son and builds what the world today knows as Kaaba.

Why Eid-ul-Zuha

While staying with Ishmael and Hagar, Abraham sees a recurring dream in which Allah commanded him to sacrifice what was dearest to him. Once Abraham realises God Almighty was referring to his son Ishmael, he sorrowfully tells him about this. Upholding God’s will above all, Ishmael convinces Abraham to behead and offer him to Allah. On their way to the sacrifice, the Devil appears before Abraham and tried to convince him to return, but Abraham refuses. But at the moment of sacrifice, it is revealed to Abraham that this was a mere test of faith and Ishmael need not be sacrificed. Abraham may sacrifice a goat (or a ram in some accounts) instead. It is to commemorate this sacrifice by Abraham that a goat is sacrificed every Eid-ul-Zuha.

Eid-ul-Zuha today

Not every Muslim is expected or even allowed to perform a sacrifice. A believer with wealth worth 400 grams of gold may perform the sacrifice, provided if he is free from any loan with interest (the eligibility may vary in some versions). For less resourceful people, a group of 7 or 70 people may offer a joint sacrifice. The animal must be healthy, above a year old ideally, disease-free and not mutilated in any aspect.

This festival also marks the end of an annual worship called Haj. Haj is a pilgrimage performed in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Every adult Muslim should perform the Haj once during his/her lifetime.

This highly revered festival also involves new clothes, prayer (or dua) for peace and prosperity, serving delicious food to friends and poor people and exchanging wishes and gifts with dear ones. This Eid-ul-Zuha, I plan to invite myself over to my Muslim friends’ house, what about you?

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Kruger National Park – The Kruger National Park, a spectacle of endless wilderness interspersed with teeming wildlife. The big five (African elephant, Cape buffalo, rhinoceros, leopard and lion) as well as the small five (buffalo weaver, elephant shrew, leopard tortoise, ant lion and rhino beetle) can be found either roaming around freely or lurking in the dense bushes.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia/Esculapio

Scintillating Sun City – Sun City Resort is known throughout the world as one of the most ornate and extravagantly luxurious resorts on the planet. Set in the rugged Bushveld, at the heart of a dormant volcano, Sun City offers the unique experience of coming up and close with African culture at the height of its glory.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia/Chantal Smith

Beaches – South Africa’s 3000-kilometre  coastline is one of the top places to surf in the world. Sagacious coastal beauty, sublime sands, and a large range of adrenaline rushing adventure and fun activities make the beaches of South Africa a prime tourist hotspot.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia/Entropy1963

The exciting tournament reaches its zenith on Sunday (October 28, 2012) when the final match will be played at the Wanderers, when Johannesburg will celebrate the victory of the Champion. So don’t lose sight of your remote, keep it safe and away from your eternal rivals – or better still fly off to South Africa with the Missus. You enjoy the cricket; let her enjoy the shopping!

MakeMyTrip offers international flights to Cape Town, Johannesburg, Centurion and holiday packages to South Africa. It’s easy to travel between the cities via connecting flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town.

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