The Clear Islam

Why Do Muslims Celebrate Eid ul-Adha? Read the Full Story Here!

In Islam, there are two major Eid celebrations that Muslims around the world participate in. The first one is Eid ul-Fitr, and that is celebrated after the conclusion of the month of Ramadhan. The second one is Eid ul-Adha, which takes place in the blessed month of Dhul Hijjah. Just like Eid ul-Fitr, this joyous occasion is highly important and contains many important lessons for us that we can implement and reflect upon to become better believers in our faith. When we understand the history behind Eid ul-Adha and why we must do certain things, whether we are on pilgrimage or not, it allows us to develop a deep respect and appreciation for our peaceful religion. In the article below, we will explain the origins, significance, and traditions of Eid ul-Adha so you are well-prepared to participate in such a blessed Eid. 

What is the History Behind Eid ul-Adha? 

The significant event of Eid ul-Adha dates back to the time of Prophet Abraham (known as Ibrahim in Islam), who was the third prophet and messenger of God. Within Islamic traditions, Abraham was commanded by God in a dream to sacrifice his beloved son, Ishmael (Ismail in Islam). Prophet Abraham is known for his resilience and his unwavering faith towards his Creator so when he was commanded to do this sacrifice, he immediately obeyed. In addition to this, his son Ishmael, was also ready to help his father in carrying out this command. 

Abraham took his son and went to a place where he instructed him to lay his neck over a piece of stone. Although he was a prophet of God, he still had the heart of a father and could not bear to witness the sacrifice. He tied a cloth around his eyes, and just as Abraham was about to make a sacrifice, God intervened and provided a ram for him to sacrifice instead. When Abraham removed the cloth, he was surprised to see that he had sacrificed a ram instead, and that his son was still alive, standing before him. 

This particular sacrifice is commemorated by Muslims during Eid ul-Adha as an obligatory action, and this symbolizes unwavering faith, the sacrifices we sometimes have to make to please God, and complete submission to God’s will that He knows best. 

When is Eid ul-Adha Celebrated? 

Every year, this celebration lasts for approximately four days, and it begins on the 8th of Dhul Hijjah and lasts until the 12th of Dhul Hijjah. These dates are consistent with the lunar calendar (Islam runs on the lunar calendar), but may be different every year because of the Gregorian calendar. This celebration happens during the same time as the annual Hajj pilgrimage, a spiritual journey to Mecca that every Muslim is required to do at least once in their lifetime if they have the physical and financial means to do so. 

What Are Some Common Practices Muslims Do on Eid ul-Adha? 

One of the central practices that is done on this day is called qurbani, or the sacrificing of an animal. This practice forces us to remember Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son because it is something that would have made God happy. During this sacrifice, Muslims will typically slaughter sheep, goat, cow, or camel. Once the meat has been slaughtered correctly, it is divided into three parts: 

  1. The first part is distributed amongst the poor and the needy. 
  2. The second part is given to family members and friends. 
  3. The last part is kept for the family. 

The distribution of the meat in equal parts to these specific groups is important because it reminds us of how important charity and generosity is in Islam. 

The second obligatory practice that takes place on this day is attending the Eid ul-Adha prayers (just like how we do on Eid ul-Fitr!). This type of prayer is known as Salaat al-Eid, and are organized in large congregations within mosques. All mosques are open on this day and inviting of any individual who wants to pray. The prayers are then followed by a sermon (khutbah), a practice that was established by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). 

The last tradition is adorning yourself in brand new clothes, applying fragrance, and visiting your close family and friends! It is custom for brothers to hug their brothers, and sisters to hug their sisters and say “Eid Mubarak” to one another. Festive meals are shared and many people beautifully decorate their homes for the arrival of this occasion. In some cultures, the elders also give money (Eidi) to the youngsters as a form of love. 

Does Eid ul-Adha Look the Same Around the World? 

Eid ul-Adha is celebrated globally and the unique thing about the Eid celebrations is that although the core practices are the same, every country, community, and family has their unique way of celebrating. In some countries, communities come together to organize grand feasts where everyone in the neighborhood is invited to eat together. In other cultures, some people sing songs and dance, putting on cultural performances. 

However, in countries with significant Muslim populations, for example Indonesia, Pakistan, and Turkey, Eid ul-Adha is marked as a public holiday, and families spend time together at home or by going out to celebrate. In non-Muslims majority countries, Muslims will gather both in the mosque and will go out to celebrate, being sure to invite their non-Muslim/newly reverted friends so they can have the best Eid experience! 

But I’m a Non-Muslim, How Can I Be Respectful of Eid ul-Adha? 

This is a common question asked by non-Muslims, and we have an answer for you! There are many ways you can show respect to your Muslim brothers and sisters on the day of Eid ul-Adha. The first thing, don’t hesitate to ask any questions! Muslims are always warm and welcoming to any genuine inquiries a non-Muslim may have on why they do certain things. Second, if you have Muslim friends or colleagues, make their day by saying “Eid Mubarak.” By saying this, you extend your good wishes on a day that is highly blessed for them. 

Third, if you are ever invited to attend an Eid ul-Adha celebration, be sure to attend if you can! Remember, adorn yourself in new clothing, apply fragrance, and this is a wonderful opportunity for you to experience firsthand the glad tidings of this day. 

Lastly, reading literature on Eid ul-Adha is also a plus! Sometimes, books give us more in-depth explanations and research on significant events of Islam. 

Remember to also be respectful of these sacred gatherings – be sure to wear modest garments if you wish to attend a mosque, and stay away from bringing any prohibited food/beverage items to a gathering. 

Will You Turn Your Back on Helping New Muslims This Eid ul-Adha? 

Now that you have learned about the importance and significance of Eid ul-Adha, it’s crucial to reflect on the role we all play in supporting and educating others about this celebration. The Clear Islam is dedicated to providing New Muslim Welcome Packages to our newly reverted brothers and sisters, making sure they feel supported by the Muslim community. However, we cannot do this alone. Your generous donations are urgently needed to continue this vital work and to organize Dawah tables/events that enlighten non-Muslims about Eid ul-Adha. 

Imagine the impact of your contribution: a newly reverted Muslim feels welcome and educated, or a non-Muslims gets a deeper and better understanding on Islam. Without your help, these essential efforts will falter. Do not turn a blind eye to this opportunity. Donate now and be a part of compassion, and community! Your support is not just a gift, it is a responsibility. 


Eid ul-Adha is a celebration that shows us the importance of giving, having trust in God, and sacrifice. When you understand its history, and the practices people do, you find that you gain a deeper respect for the values this event teaches. When sitting with the Muslim community, asking questions, and having healthy interfaith dialogues, this can develop greater understanding and respect in our interconnected world. Whether it is saying “Eid Mubarak,” or participating in an Eid feast, you are contributing to a more united global community (Ummah). 

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