The Day of Sacrifice
Eid al-Adha, also known as The Feast of Sacrifice is celebrated amongst the Muslims from the 10th to 13th of Zulhijjah, the former being called The Day of Sacrifice whilst the remaining days from 11th to 13th of Zulhijjah are known as the Days of Tashriq. The Day of Sacrifice marks the beginning of Eid al-Adha and throughout this festive period Muslims around the world unite to glorify their Creator by sacrificing livestock such as camels, cows and sheep to commemorate the tale between the Prophet Ibrahim and his son the Prophet Ismail.
The story between prophet Ibrahim and his son has a major influence in shaping the core of every Muslim, it is a test of faith and a proclamation of utmost submission to the commands of Allah. Peace be upon Prophet Ibrahim, as he truly embraces the foundations of faith for every Muslim: Submission, Loyalty and Obedience to the One Creator.
“Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim [submitting to Allah]. And he was not of the polytheists.” (Ali Imran: 67)
The sole purpose behind the act of offering a sacrifice is to glorify our Creator and His commands, proclaiming our faith and gratitude for all the bounties He has bestowed upon us. Each sacrifice is made under His name, exalting His status as our Lord and Sustainer. Allah S.W.T mentions in Surah Al-Hajj verse 34:
Muslims observe the act of sacrifice beginning from the 10th of Zulhijjah (Day of Sacrifice) after performing the Eid Prayer till the 13th of Zulhijjah (the last day of Tashriq) . Only healthy livestock which is free from any defects or illness and has reached maturity – one year for a goat or a lamb, two years for a cow and five years for a camel – are offered as sacrifice. It is an important requirement that the animal be slaughtered in a humane manner with the intention of offering a sacrifice to Allah and for one to say Bismillah and Allahuakbar when slaughtering.
Narrated by Anas: “The Prophet slaughtered two rams, black and white in color (as sacrifices), and I saw him putting his foot on their sides and mentioning Allah’s Name and Takbir (Allahu Akbar). Then he slaughtered them with his own hands.” (Al-Bukhari)
No part of the slaughtered meat can be sold or given as payment, two-thirds of the meat will be distributed to the poor whilst the remainder goes to the one offering sacrifice, it is permissible for one who offered sacrifice to donate his portion of the meat to whomever he pleases.
Eid al-Adha is also festival of feasts “then eat from them [the animals which have been offered as sacrifice] and feed the needy and the beggar” thus it is prohibited to fast from the 10th to 13th of Zulhijjah (the Day of Sacrifice and the Days of Tashriq).
Narrated by Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade fasting on the day of al-Fitr and the Day of Sacrifice.” (Al-Bukhari)
Yet despite the festivities, Eid al-Adha is strongly based upon the remembrance of Allah and exalting his commands. At dawn on the Day of Sacrifice recitations of the Takbir will be made sound by Muslims who gather to perform the prayer of Eid al-Adha, the Takbir will be recited after every one of the five compulsory prayers till the last day of Tashriq.
Narratetd by Nubayshah Al-Hudhali: “Allah’s Messenger said: The days of Tashriq are days of eating, drinking and dhikir (remembering) of Allah.” (Ahmad)
The offering of sacrifice, distribution of meat to the poor, reciting the Takbir and making Dhikir (supplication) after each prayer, feasts and festivities, all acts worship during this festive period escalates to the remembrance of Allah. It is through these acts of worship do we exalt His commands and glorify His presence in our hearts and minds.
Relation between Zulhijjah, Hajj & Eid al-Adha
The relation between Zulhijjah, Hajj, Eid al-Adha and how they associate with Muslims can be found in a single word, Piety. Before the start of the new year, Allah blesses us with the month of Zulhijjah, it is in this holy month where He extends us an invitation to His House, an invitation first made by the prophet Ibrahim and has since been answered till this very day by Muslims from all over the world united under the maxim: the constant awareness and remembrance of Allah. It is this same maxim that Eid al-Adha is based upon; offering sacrifice, the takbir and dhikir throughout Eid showcases how Muslims around the globe unite in remembrance of their Creator. Once applied, this maxim reflects on a Muslim’s character in the form of piety.
The month of Zulhijjah is where we strengthen our spiritual resolve, it is a month of festivity and piety, of finding balance between the joys of this world and a reminder of the hereafter. It is where we Muslims strive to achieve piety in our hearts by honouring our Creator’s commands.
On the authority of Abu Huraira who said: “The Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: Piety is here – and he pointed to his chest three times.” (Muslim)
Written by: Muhammad Asyraf Kasim
Edited by: Syara Rahmat