Monday, 25 September, 2023


Significance and Rituals of Eid-ul-Azha

Jubayer Ahmad

Significance and Rituals of Eid-ul-Azha

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The religious festival of Muslims celebrated on the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah (the 12th month of Hijri calendar) commemorating the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his son Ismail (Peace be upon both of them) is known as Eid-ul-Azha. There are two major Eids in an Islamic year. The first is Eid-ul-Fitr which is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal (the tenth month of the lunar calendar) and the second is Eid-ul-Azha. The last and final Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) introduced these Eids in Medina after migration.
 Anas Ibn Malik (Ra) reported that when the Holy Prophet (Pbuh) came to Medina, the people had two days in which they used to entertain and amuse themselves. He asked: “What are these two days?” They said: “We used to amuse ourselves and take pleasure in these two days during the Jahiliyyah (Days of Ignorance). The Messenger of Allah said, “Allah has substituted for you something better than these two; the Eid of Fitr and the Eid of Adha.” (Abu Dawood).  
Rituals of Eid-ul-Azha
There are three obligatory acts in Eid-ul-Azha. First of them is obligatory upon every Muslim rich or poor, male or female. This is to recite Takbeer-e-Tashreeq (Allahuakbar Allahuakbar, la ilaha illallahu wallahuakbar, Allahuakbar waLillahil hamd) after every obligatory (Fard) prayer starts from the Fajr of the Day of Arafah (9th of Dhul-Hijjah) and ends after the Asor of the 13th day of Dhul Hijjah (In total 23 obligatory Salats).
The second and major obligation of Eid is to perform two Rakats Eid prayers in congregation. Eid prayer is performed in the normal way, with the only addition of six Takbirs. Although the time for Eid prayer starts when Makruh time ends after sunrise and ends at the time of zawal (mid-day; when the sun is at its peak) but it is better to perform Eid-ul-Azha prayer as soon as the Makruh (disliked) time ends after sunrise.

Is the sacrifice mandatory?
The third obligation of Eid-ul-Azha is to offer Qurbani. It is not obligatory upon every Muslim. Offering Qurbani is only obligatory (Wajib) upon a Muslim (male or female) who is adult, sane and owns 87.48 grams of gold or 612.36 grams of silver or its equivalent in money, personal ornaments, stock-in-trade or any other form of wealth which is in excess of his/her basic personal needs (home, furniture, cars, food, clothing).
Although the Nisab (a certain amount of wealth) of Qurbani is similar to the Nisab of Zakat, passing of a complete Islamic (Hijri) year in the wealth is not a condition of Qurbani. If a Muslim becomes wealthy on the day of Eid or even till before the Maghrib of the 12th day of Dhul-Hijjah, Qurbani will become obligatory on him.
Each adult member of a family, who owns the above-mentioned amount, must carry out his or her own Qurbani separately. The Holy Quran mentioned the obligation of Qurbani. Allah says: “So pray to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him alone).” (Sura Kawthar: 2).

History of Qurbani
Qurbnai was practiced by Habil and Qabeel (two sons of Adam) for the first time in the history of human beings. Allah (SWT) says: “(O prophet) the true story of the two sons of Adam (AS) when both of them offered sacrifices (Qurbani) but the offering of the one was accepted and not the other.” (Sura Mayeda: 27).
Many years later, Allah (SWT) revealed Himself to Prophet Ibrahim (AS) in a dream and whereby Allah (SWT) ordered him to sacrifice his most beloved thing for the sake of Allah. After a few nights of experiencing this dream, Ibrahim (AS) realized that it was a clear revelation and that he had to sacrifice his son.
Ibrahim (AS) explained the matter to Ismail (AS) who readily agreed, and they both thus made arrangements for sacrifice. Ibrahim (AS) took his most beloved son Ismail (AS) to Mina to fulfill Allah’s command and sacrifice his son. Ismail (AS) requested his father to bind his arms and legs so he could not struggle, and to place a blindfold over his own eyes, so he did not have to witness his suffering. Ibrahim (AS) put the knife to Ismail's throat in the name of Allah and tried to cut it as quickly as possible. But Allah (SWT) commands the knife not to cut and said to Ibrahim that he has passed the test. When Ibrahim (AS) removed his blindfold, he saw that Ismail (AS) was completely safe beside him, and a ram lay in the place of his son! The fact is that Allah (SWT) sent a ram to Ibrahim (AS) by Archangel Jibrail and Jibrail removed Ismail from hands of Ibrahim and replaced him with the ram.
Allah (SWT) says: “And when they had both submitted and he (Ibrahim) had laid him on his forehead, We called to him, ‘O Ibrahim, you have fulfilled the vision’. Indeed, in this way we reward the doers of good. Indeed, this was certainly the clear trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice, and We left for him (favourable mention) among later generations: ‘Peace upon Ibrahim.’”(Sura As Saffat: 103-109). Our Qurbani represents the devotion of Ibrahim (AS), who was ready to sacrifice his beloved son for the sake of Allah.

Reward for offering Qurbani
A Muslim who offers Qurbani will get a reward for every hair of the animal of Qurbani. Zaid Ibn Arkam (Ra.) narrated that the Companions of the Prophet (Pbuh) asked him: "What is this Qurbani?” He said: “It is the way (Sunnah) of your forefather Ibrahim (AS).’ They asked again: what (reward) is for us therein? He replied: ‘There is a reward for every hair (of the sacrificed animal).’ They asked: ‘For the wool, O Messenger of Allah?’ He replied: “There is one reward for every strand of wool.” (IbnMajah).
How to distribute Qurbani meat
Although it is not impermissible for a Muslim to keep all the meat for himself and to feed his own family, it is Mustahab (recommended) to divide the meat from Qurbani into three parts. One portion is for one's own family, one for relatives and friends, and one for the poor and needy.
The writer is Khatib of Baitus Shafiq Mosque and principal of Baitul Hikmah Academy, Gazipur.