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What is Eid al-Adha? Eid al-Adha(sometimes called Eid ul-Adha/Eid ul-Azha) is a festival celebrated among Muslims all over the world in remembrance of the sacrifice that Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) made out of his strong faith in Allah. Ibrahim (A.S.) showed a willingness to sacrifice his son Prophet Ismail (A.S.) but his son was replaced with a lamb by Allah. Allah was so pleased with Ibrahim’s (A.S.) submission to Him that He made this demonstration of sacrifice and faith a permanent part of a Muslim’s life. This event is mentioned in Quran - Surah As-Saffat (37:102). Hence, every year on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid al-Adha. On this day, Muslims slaughter a lamb, sheep, goat or a camel to honor the sacrifice of Ibrahim (AS). Eid al-Adha begins on Tuesday night, with millions of Muslims across the globe ready to celebrate for the four-day Festival of Sacrifice. Some will take part in the Hajj pilgrimage for the first time in Mecca, Saudi Arabia while others will celebrate Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son for Allah a little closer to home. Either way, Eid al-Adha is a time to think of others as well as repenting for past sins and looking to the future. Rules of Sacrifice Anyone who intends to slaughter an animal on Eid al-Adha has to follow certain rules which are given below: Sacrifice of an animal for Eid al-Adha can only be done during the specified dates i-e After Eid Prayer (10th of Dhul Hijjah) and before sunset of 13th Dhul Hijjah. Whoever does not follow these dates must know that their sacrifice will not be valid if it is not offered between 10th - 13th Dhul Hijjah. (Sahih Bukhari: 5545 and Sahih Muslim: 1141) The animal to be sacrificed has to be one of the cattle approved by the Shariah, which are; Camels, Cows, Oxen, Buffaloes, Sheeps and Goats. (Surah Hajj 22:34 and Surah Al-Anaam 6:143) A sheep or goat is used as a single offering and is sufficient for one household whereas a camel or a cow can be shared by seven people. [Sahih Muslim: 1318(a) and 1961(a)] The animal to be sacrificed has to be an adult and should have reached the age stipulated in Shariah. Goat, either male or female, of at least one year of age. Sheep, either male or female, of at least six months of age. Cow, ox, buffalo of at least two years of age. Camel, male or female, of at least five years of age. The animal must be a healthy one and should be free from obvious defects. (Saheeh Al-Jami: 886) The person offering should only have one intention i.e sacrificing in the name of Allah. The animal to be sacrificed must be in the person's full possession (it is not stolen or taken by force or in joint procession or held in pledge). The person who intends to offer sacrifice should not remove any hair, nail or skin from the sunset on the last day of Dhul Qadah until the sacrifice is done on the day of Eid. (Ibn Majah: 3150) The person should slaughter the animal with his own hands in order to fulfill the Sunnah. However, if one is not able to do so then he can appoint someone else to do the same on his behalf but one should witness his slaughter / sacrifice. (Sahih Bukhari: 5554) The person should mention the name of Allah and recite Takbeer (Bismillah, Allahu Akbar) at the time of slaughtering the animal. (Sahih Bukhari: 5558) Many scholars are of the opinion that the meat of the sacrificed animal should be divide into three parts. One third for the person (and his family) who is offering the sacrifice, one third should be distributed among the relatives/neighbors as a gift and one third should be given in charity to poor people. All parts of the sacrificed animal can be used for personal benefit but none can be sold or given as payment (even to the butcher as his wage) otherwise, the sacrifice will become invalid. (Sahih Al-Jami: 6118) Conclusion Enjoy this festival by thanking Allah for His blessings and for providing you the opportunity to fulfill this great Sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S). But don’t forget your under-privileged fellow Muslim brother and sisters who don’t have the means to celebrate this blessed festival. "May the magic of this Eid bring lots of happiness in your life and may you celebrate it with all your close friends & may it fill your heart with wonders." "Eid Mubarak May Allah flood your life with happiness on this occasion, your heart with love, your soul with spiritual, your mind with wisdom, wishing you a very Happy Eid." "Sending you warm wishes on Eid and wishing that it brings your way ever joys and happiness. Remember me in your prayers." "In every shared smile and laughter; In every silent prayer answered; In every opportunity that comes your way – may Allah bless you immensely! Eid Mubarak."