What is Eid-Ul-Adha and why is it celebrated?
In Islam, there are two main festivals; Eid-Ul-Fitr which is celebrated after the fasting month of Ramadan and Eid-Ul-Adha, which is celebrated to mark the completion of Hajj.
Whilst both Eid's are celebrated on these set moments of the year, their specific dates change every year as Muslims around the globe are only told when Eid is, after the sighting of the crescent moon.
Eid-Ul-Adha falls on Wednesday, July 19, this year and signifies the sacrifice made by the Islamic Prophet Ibrahim.
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In commemoration, Muslims use this holy day to sacrifice an animal and donate money which will go to those in need.
The meat is also shared amongst family members and in more recent times, Muslims are able to donate money to provide that meat to people in poorer countries.
This act of sacrifice is known as Qurbani and is done after the Eid prayer.
Eid Salah (prayer) is typically prayed on the morning of Eid and prayed at local mosques.
After the prayer is complete, celebrations can begin at home and it’s tradition to wear new clothes on Eid and for families to spend the day together.Hajj
The Islamic pilgrimage, Hajj, is one of the fiver pillars of Islam meaning it is incredibly important to Muslims across the globe.
Hajj is a requirement expected of all Muslims and should be completed at least once in their lifetime.
Taking place in the final month of the Islamic calendar, Dhull Hijjah, millions of Muslims head to the holy place of worship in Saudi Arabia.
Hajj consists of five stages of worship all of which have significant Islamic history, dating back to the beginning of the religion.
Upon arrival, men and women must get themselves into a state of purity before facing the house of God, known as the Kabah.
Once dressed in the appropriate Islamic clothing, they can begin the walk around the Kabah, done seven times anti-clockwise.
Then the next stage requires Muslims to run between two hills, Safa and Marwah seven times representing the time when Prophet Ibrahim's wife did this in search of water for her baby son Ismail.
Afterwards, Muslims head to the plain of Arafat where the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gave his final sermon.
Finally, the last stop is the at the three pillars called Jamarat where Muslim pilgrims throw stones at the place where Satan (Shaytan) is believed to have tempted the Prophet Abraham.
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