Calgarian Muslims are celebrating Eid Al-Adha for the next four days.
The Muslim community of Calgary and globally will be celebrating Eid Al-Adha, also known as the Greater Eid, on Saturday July 9.
Eid Al-Adha is the second and biggest of the two main holidays celebrated in Islam.
Eid Al-Adha honors the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God’s command.
During Eid Al-Adha Muslims also perform Hajj which is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims.
What is Eid and what’s the difference between the two Eid’s?
Eid al-Fitr, also known as the Lesser Eid, is the earlier of the two official holidays celebrated within Islam.
The religious holiday is celebrated by Muslims worldwide because it marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan.
It falls on the first day of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar and does not always fall on the same Gregorian day, as the start of any lunar Hijri month varies based on when the new moon is sighted by local religious authorities.
Eid al-Fitr has a particular salat (Islamic prayer) that consists of two rakats (units) generally performed in an open field or large hall.
In Calgary, Muslims usually perform Eid prayers at the Stampede grounds.
Sweets, money, and often times gifts are given, and extended family members are typically visited and welcomed.
The story of Eid Al- Adha
Before Abraham could sacrifice his son, God provided him with a lamb which he was supposed to kill in his son’s place because of his willingness to sacrifice his own son in the name of God.
In commemoration of this intervention, animals are ritually slaughtered.
Part of their meat is consumed by the family which offered the animal, while the rest of the meat is distributed to the poor and the needy.
In the Islamic lunar calendar, Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah and lasts for four days.
In the Georgian calendar, the dates vary from year to year, shifting approximately 11 days earlier each year.
Like at Eid Al-Fitr, sweets, money and gifts are also given, and extended family members are visited and welcomed as well.
Hajj, which translates to “to attend a journey” which means both the outward act of a journey and the inward act of intention, is a pilgrimage made to the Kaaba, the “House of God”, in the sacred city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
It’s a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and of supporting their family during their absence from home.
Hajj is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, alongside Shahadah (oath to God), Salat (prayer), Zakat (almsgiving) and Sawm (fasting of Ramadan), and is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to God.
Hajj is linked back to the life of the Islamic prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him, from the 7th century AD.
However, the pilgrimage to Mecca is considered by Muslims to stretch back thousands of years to the time of Abraham.
During Hajj, pilgrims join processions of millions of people, who simultaneously converge on Mecca for the week of the Hajj, and perform a series of rituals.
Once the rituals are done, the sacrifice of an animal which could be either a sheep, cow, goat, buffalo and/or camel takes place and the celebration of the four-day global festival of Eid al-Adha proceeds afterwards.
Hajj is livestreamed via YouTube for those interested in watching.
How to greet Muslims on Eid
There are a variety of ways in which people can greet each other on Eid.
One of the most commonly used ones in the west is Eid Mubarak which translates to, Blessed Eid, the second is Happy Eid and/or the general Arabic congrats, Kullu Aam Wa Antum Bikhair, which means best wishes for a happy new year.
The LiveWire Calgary team wishes everyone celebrating an Eid Mubarak, and
كل عام وأنتم بخير