Explained: What is Eid al Adha?

Muslim faithful during the celebration of Eid -Ul-Adha at Masjid Noor mosque South C Nairobi on June 28, 2023. [Elvis Ogina, Standard

Muslim faithful on Wednesday, June 28, gathered at different mosques around the country to celebrate Eid al-Adha.

In Nairobi, Sheikh Jamaludin Osman led hundreds of faithful in Eid prayers at Sir Ali Muslim grounds, Parkroad.

Eid al-Adha, also known as the "Festival of Sacrifice," is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims globally.

It is considered one of the two major festivals in Islam, with the other being Eid al-Fitr.

The feast of the sacrifice, which comes after Eid al-Fitr, marks the final day of the annual pilgrimage called Hajj, where Muslims travel to Mecca. It takes place on the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

Eid al-Adha commemorates the willingness of the Prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God.

According to Islamic tradition, just as Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, God intervened and provided a ram as a substitute sacrifice. This event symbolizes Abraham's devotion and submission to God's command.

The celebration of Eid al-Adha typically lasts for four days and begins on the 10th day of the Islamic lunar month of Dhul Hijjah, following the annual pilgrimage to Mecca known as Hajj.

It is a time for Muslims to gather with family and friends, attend special prayers at mosques, and participate in acts of charity.

The central ritual of Eid al-Adha is the sacrifice of an animal, usually a sheep, goat, cow, or camel, to commemorate Abraham's act of sacrifice. The meat from the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts: one-third is retained by the family, one-third is given to relatives and friends, and one-third is donated to the less fortunate and those in need.

Eid al-Adha is also a time of generosity and giving, and Muslims are encouraged to perform acts of charity, visit the sick and needy, and strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood within their communities.

It is a significant religious festival that reflects the values of faith, sacrifice, and generosity for Muslims around the world.