Muslims around the world will on Tuesday, August 21 celebrate Eid-el-Kabir, known as the Feast of Sacrifice or Greater Eid.

 On this day, Muslims rejoice and remember the sense of sacrifice shown by Prophet Ibrahim when Allah asked him to sacrifice his son.

Here are five interesting things to know about the festival.

1    Story behind Eid-Al-Adha is common between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism

Eid-el-Kabir commemorates the spirit of sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim. Interestingly, the story also appears in the holy book of Judaism called the Torah and in the Bible’s Old Testament.

In these books, Ibrahim is often depicted as Abraham who is also a Prophet and messenger of God.

Ibrahim had a son called Ishmael which he had got after a lot of devotions and prayers to Allah. Once, Allah decided to test the faith and love of Ibrahim towards him.

He showed him a dream of his 13-year son being slaughtered by him in service of Allah. Ibrahim had these recurring dreams and realised that Allah wanted him to sacrifice his son Ishmael.

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He shared his dream with his son Ishmael. Despite being a 13-year-old kid, Ishmael willingly agreed to become a part of the sacrifice as he believed in Allah.

Just when he was about to sacrifice his son, Allah called out to them and prevented Ibrahim from sacrificing as he had selflessly agreed to sacrifice his most prized possession for Allah.

Instead, He asked to sacrifice a ram or sheep in place of his son to keep the sanctity of the word.

2    It Marks the climax of Hajj or Pilgrimage

The festival is such a significant one because the Day of Sacrifice marks the climax of Hajj or Pilgrimage, which is the fifth pillar of Islam.

Every year around 3 million Muslims visit Mecca in Saudi Arabia for Hajj.

Hajj means “to intend a journey” and denotes the physical as well as the mental willingness of people to visit Mecca.

Every Muslim must go on Hajj once in a lifetime to offer his prayers to Allah and ask for His forgiveness for committed sins. They say a person is then born fresh without carrying over the sins of his past in new life.

3    Eid-el- Kabir is celebrated in the 12th month of Islamic calendar

Eid-el-Kabir takes place in the last month of Islamic Calendar.

Since the islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle, the date of Eid -el Kabir often shifts by 11 days earlier every year in the Gregorian calendar.

The Gregorian calendar is based on solar cycle which relatively shows constant changes as compared to the lunar calendar.

4    Slaughtering of animals

This is the highpoint of the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.

Many non-Muslims often see the act of sacrificing an innocent animal as a cruel act and against the philosophy of God loving every living being equally.

However, according to Islam, this act of sacrifice does not mean that God wants any ill of people or animals. Neither Islam suggests the idea of sacrificing the life of a person like Ibrahim considered to sacrifice his son Ishmael.

The sacrifice denotes that you have to be willing to let go of even your most prized possessions in service of the Almighty.

Although the practice of slaughtering is still carried on a massive scale the deeper meaning is the sacrifice of attachment to material desires, possessions, and other things for greater devotion to God.

The representative sacrifice might not necessarily be a cow or ram, it can be a camel or goat, depending on the prevalent culture in a given place. However, the domestic animal used must meet certain requirements to be accepted.

To commence the Eid-El-Kabir, prayers are offered at all the mosques all over the world

After the prayers at the mosques, these animals are slaughtered in the head to represent Ibrahim’s own willingness to sacrifice his own son.

The meat is then divided into three portions: A third for the family, a third to friends, and a third donated to the poor.

5    Eid-el-Kabir has other names

• In the Philippines it is spelled as Eidul Adha.
• Eid el-Kabir is the commonly referred term for the celebration in Nigeria and Morocco.
• It is referred to as Tabaski in Senegal and Gambia.
• Kurban Bayrami in Turkey.
• Hari Raya Haji is another name for the festival in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
• It is celebrated by the name Eid è Qurbon in Iran.
• Bakr-Id or Qurbani Eid, as referred to in the Urdu language, is another name for the day in India and Bangladesh.

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