As Eid Al Adha approaches, Dubai and the other emirates of the UAE are all geared up for the festivities. One of the holiest and most significant events in the Islamic calendar, Eid Al Adha, is celebrated with great enthusiasm across the Muslim world. But if you are an expat living in the UAE, you might wonder what Eid Al Adha is all about, how is it celebrated, and what does Eid mean to Muslims? We answer those questions and more in our guide to a very special religious celebration.
WHAT EID MEANS TO MUSLIMS
Also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, Eid Al Adha is one of the most popular UAE public holidays. It is a day that 1.6 billion Muslims across the world celebrate together. But before we get into the details of the celebrations, here’s a little history about Eid Al Adha.
To answer the question of ‘what Eid Al Adha means to Muslims,’ we must first know why it is celebrated. This festival commemorates the historical event when Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) was willing to sacrifice his son to prove his faith in Allah. Eid Al Adha is celebrated for three days — starting from the 10th until the 12th of Zul Hijjah, the last month in the Islamic Lunar calendar.
At its core, the Eid Al Adha celebration is honoured by Muslims as a day of remembrance of the consent to submit to Allah’s will. It’s celebrated the same way across the world — Muslims sacrifice animals in commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim’s consent to sacrifice his son by following his Lord’s commands. This is the history of Eid Al Adha.
In most Muslim countries, the Eid Al Adha holiday is celebrated by preparing various dishes, visiting friends or relatives and exchanging Eid Al Adha wishes and greetings.
So, what does Eid Al Adha mean to Muslims? It simply means sacrificing your greatest belongings for a greater cause.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT EID AL ADHA PRAYERS
On the first day of Eid, devotees prepare themselves by:
- Performing ablution and offering Fajr or the first of the five obligatory daily prayers.
- Taking extra care of cleanliness.
- Dressing up and wearing new clothing.
Following the regular morning (fajr) prayer, a special Eid prayer is obligatory for Muslim men and women. This is performed in congregation in an open-air enclosure reserved for Eid prayers or mosques.
After Eid Al Adha prayers are over, Muslims perform an Eid Al Adha sacrifice, which includes sacrificing a cow, goat, camel, sheep, or buffalo. According to Islamic rules, every financially able adult is expected to perform a sacrifice during Eid ul Adha. The animal can be male or female; however, those conducting the sacrifice must follow certain rules.
Remember that the sacrificial animal:
- Must be above a certain age (varies for different animals)
- Must be free from disability
- Must be in good health
Many people use Qurbani services in Dubai to complete their religious duty.
After the sacrifice, devotees divide the meat into three parts. Families keep one share, another part is distributed amongst close relatives, and the remaining is given to those less fortunate. Charitable donations are a big part of the spirit of Eid Al Adha. When we ask what Eid Al Adha means to Muslims, we can look at all the donation drives carried out during this period.
WHEN IS EID AL ADHA CELEBRATED ACROSS THE WORLD?
The observance of Eid Al Adha varies across the globe since it is subject to the moon’s appearance. Local authorities start the process of moon sightings on the 29th of Dhu al-Qi’dah.
The Eid Al Adha date changes every year. It is approximately 11 days earlier each consecutive year.
According to religious authorities in the UAE, Eid Al Adha 2022 will likely fall on Thursday, 9th July. Based on this prediction, residents in the private and public sectors can look forward to a four-day break.
Another thing to remember is that this Eid coincides with the annual Hajj pilgrimage – a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime, provided that they are financially and physically capable of undertaking the journey.
WHAT TO DO DURING EID AL ADHA IN THE UAE?
Different emirates in the UAE come alive during Eid — especially during the last few days in which Muslims, both men and women, go out and celebrate. Cinemas are packed, and for restaurants, the Eid Al Adha holiday is a time when they see big business. You can also expect to see huge crowds in the major malls. Shopping hubs and malls get into the spirit of the festive season by announcing discounts, while big clothing brands offer sales for Eid collections.
One of the best ways to celebrate Eid Al Adha 2022 is with a staycation. Several famous hotels in the UAE offer exciting hotel deals for patrons looking to make the most of their days off. Before making your choice, check out our review of the best staycation deals for Eid Al Adha in Dubai.
There are plenty of dining deals to take advantage of during the Eid Al Adha holidays! Many restaurants offer special brunches or set menus to join in on the festivities.
That’s a wrap of things to know about Eid Al Adha. Until next time, Happy Eid Ul Adha.