Eid al-Adha is a four-day Islamic festival starting on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja. It honors the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, as an act of obedience to God’s command. Before he sacrificed his son God intervened by sending his angel Jibra’il (Gabriel), who then put a sheep in his son’s place. In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and 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.
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. The days of Eid have been singled out in the Hadith as “days of remembrance” and considered the holiest days in the Islamic Calendar.
The Eid prayer consists of two rakahs: during which the ‘Imam’ leading the prayer does ‘takbir’ (Allah-o-Akbar) seven times after the opening ‘takbir’ and before the recitation of the Surah Al-Fatehah in the first rakah. During the second rakah, the ‘takbir’ is to be declared five times before the recitation of the Surah Al-Fatehah. After the prayer a khutbah is addressed to the congregation
Dr Abdullah Hakim Quick is a historian, social activist and religious leader of African and Native American descent. He has travelled to over 58 countries doing research and delivering lectures to various communities. His qualification in Islamic Studies comes from a BA from the Islamic University of Madinah, Saudi Arabia and his history background is shaped by an MA and PhD from the History Department of the University of Toronto, Canada.
Presently, Shaykh Abdullah is residing in Toronto, Canada and is the Head of the History Department of Al Maghrib Institute and the Director of Outreach for the Canadian Council of Imams.