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Eid Ul Adha, Dates, Meaning, Story, Celebrations And Facts


Muslims celebrate Eid ul Adha to commemorate and honor the strong sense of faith and obedience Prophet Ibrahim had for almighty Allah. They observe the day with great vigor and enthusiasm around the globe. The festival witnesses massive joyous celebrations worldwide with animal slaughter rituals, huge feasts, and the exchange of sweets and gifts. Sometimes known as the Greater Eid or Big Eid, Eid al Adha marks the completion of the holy pilgrimage of Hajj.

What is Eid ul Adha

Eid ul Adha is the second of the two official holidays in Islam. It falls on the 10th day of Dhu-al-Hijjah, which is the 12th (final) month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and marks the completion of Hajj (one of the five pillars of Islam). The Eid ul Adha meaning translates into the ‘Feast of the Sacrifice’ as massive sacrifices of animals occur on the day around the world.

When is Eid ul Adha 2024

The day to observe big Eid depends on the sighting of the new moon after the conclusion of the holy Hajj pilgrimage. Since the festival depends on the lunar calendar, it falls on different dates every year. Additionally, it can even fall on different dates in various parts of the world in the same year. The sacrifice continues for 3 days, and the celebrations can last for 3 or more days depending upon the traditions of various countries. Eid ul Adha in Saudi Arabia will start from the evening of 16th June 2024 and end on the evening of 17th June 2024.

Story of Eid ul Adha


According to the Islamic accounts, Prophet Ibrahim faced many trials in his life, one of the biggest of which was facing Allah’s command to sacrifice his beloved son. As per the new narrative, Ibrahim repeatedly had nightmares that he was sacrificing his son, Ismail, before the actual sacrifice. According to the holy Quran, Ibrahim knew that this nightmare was a command from Allah, and he told his son, “Oh son, I keep dreaming that I am slaughtering you”. To this, Ismail said, “Father, do as commanded”.

Ibrahim readied for the preparations to obey Allah’s command, which was to sacrifice his son’s life as an act of obedience and faith. During these preparations, Satan tried to tempt Ibrahim and his family into not going through with it and attempted to dissuade them from obeying Allah’s order. Ibrahim threw pebbles at Satan to drive him away. To commemorate their rejection of Satan, Muslims throw stones at Jamarat (three walls in Makkah) during Hajj rites to symbolize the stoning of the devil.

When Ibrahim was finally ready to sacrifice Ismail, Allah acknowledged the sign of obedience and honored both Ismail and Ibrahim. Angel Jibril told Ibrahim that he had fulfilled the revelations and offered a lamb from heaven to Ibrahim for slaughtering in place of Ismail. Muslims around the globe celebrate greater Eid to honor the survival of Ismail and the unflinching devotion of Ibrahim.

Suggested Read: Hajj – The Primary Muslim Pilgrimage To Mecca: Rules, Rituals And More

Importance of Eid ul Adha

Eid ul Adha is an annual celebration of the Islamic faith. Commemorating the story of Ibrahim’s unwavering belief in Allah, it focuses on sacrifice, devotion, charity, and compassion. Muslims enthusiastically celebrate this auspicious festival to honor and remember Ibrahim’s loyalty toward Allah every year. The celebration of big Eid reminds Muslims of Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his beloved son to show his utter devotion to Allah. This prompts devotees to consider their own obedience and devotion to Allah. This day provides Muslims with a chance to seek forgiveness for the times when they have failed to fully devote themselves to Allah and pray for the strength needed to remain devoted in the future.

How is Eid ul Adha celebrated


Millions of Muslims throughout the world celebrate greater Eid with vigor and festive cheer. With new clothes, colorful gifts, delectable feasts, and a happy atmosphere, there are several activities Muslims indulge in during the observance and celebration.

1. Animal sacrifice

In order to show their unwavering devotion to Allah, Muslims worldwide mirror the actions of Prophet Ibrahim. They slaughter an animal on the occasion of big Eid. The meat from the sacrifice is divided into three equal parts: one of which is taken by the one who offers the sacrifice, the second is distributed amongst family and friends, and the rest is given to the needy and poor.

2. Eid prayers

During greater Eid, Muslims dress in new or properly washed clothes. They visit the mosque to pray and thank Allah for the blessings they have received. Also called Eid Salaah, people offer Eid prayers in the congregation on the morning of Eid at the nearest mosque. These prayers consist of two Rakats (units), the first of which has seven Takbirs while the second has five Takbirs. The prayer is followed by the sermon or Khutbah by the Imam.

3. Happy gatherings and exchange of gifts

During Eid ul Adha, Muslims visit friends and relatives and distribute presents and money to each other. Traditionally, people spend time with family and loved ones on this auspicious day. They wear their best clothes and prepare delicious feasts. Muslims also embrace each other and exchange Eid Mubarak greetings with everyone they come across.

4. Charitable activities

On Eid ul Adha, Muslims everywhere engage in various acts of charity and give back to the community. Additionally, scholars emphasize on charitable acts toward the needy and those who are less fortunate. The festival promotes feelings of care, empathy, and concern by reminding Muslims of Ibrahim’s act of sacrifice.

Eid ul Adha Hadiths

After offering two-Rakat of Eid ul Adha prayer at Al Baqi, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) faced the attendance and said, “On this day of ours, our first act of worship is the offering of prayer and then we will return and slaughter the sacrifice, and whoever does this concords with our Sunna; and whoever slaughtered his sacrifice before that (i.e. before the prayer) then that was a thing which he prepared earlier for his family and it would not be considered as a Nusuk (sacrifice.)” A man asked the messenger of Allah, “O, Allah’s Apostle! I slaughtered (the animal before the prayer) but I have a young she-goat which is better than an older sheep.” The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said to him, “Slaughter it. But a similar sacrifice will not be sufficient for anybody else after you.”

– Sahih Bukhari

Things to know about Eid ul Adha


Here are some interesting facts about the festival of Eid ul Adha:

  • Muslims recite a specific prayer to bless the sacrifice before offering the actual animal sacrifice on big Eid
  • It is mandatory for Muslims to ensure that the animal they are sacrificing is in perfect health. Further, the quality of meat for sacrifice and distribution should meet the highest standards
  • When one goes to the mosque to attend the Eid prayer, it is a custom to walk back home by a different route than the one used for getting there
  • Eid prayer can be carried out at any time after sunrise and before Dhuhr (afternoon prayer)
  • Muslims celebrate Eid ul Adha for a duration of three to four days

Islamic community worldwide most eagerly awaits and enthusiastically celebrates Eid ul Adha. Muslims around the globe take part in joyous celebrations on this occasion. So, prepare for the charity, feasts, celebrations, and rituals coming up this greater Eid.

Suggested Read: Eid ul Fitr 2022, Meaning, History, Significance, And Facts

Eid Ul Adha FAQs

What is the meaning of Eid ul Adha?

Eid ul Adha means the Feast of the Sacrifice.

Which other Eid celebrations occur along with Eid ul Adha during the year?

Muslims celebrate Eid ul Fitr to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Are Eid prayers performed only during big Eid?

No, Muslims perform Eid prayers twice a year: on Eid ul Adha and Eid al Fitr.

Does Eid ul Adha fall on the same date every year?

The festival falls on different dates every year as Muslims follow the lunar calendar.

What kind of animal can one sacrifice on big Eid?

Acceptable sacrifices on Eid include goats, sheep, buffalo, cows, and camels.


Dr Omar Ayoub

Dr. Omar Ayoub is a tech enthusiast and a part time researcher and accounts authorship of several international publications. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from USA and has an experience of more than 10 years in Saudi Arabia working in tourism, hospitality, education, technology and retail sector. His interests include traveling, writing, and exploring trending technologies.

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