Learn more about the meaning, traditions, and wishes for Eid El Kabir from the article below. An easy and comprehensive article about the holiday.
Have you ever wondered and asked questions like “When is Eid El Kabir?”, “What is the meaning of the holiday?” and “What is the date of Eid El Kabir?” If so, then this article is exactly what you need to read to see the real picture of one of the most important holidays of Muslims from all over the world.
First of all, let us start with the date of the holiday named Eid El Kabir. The date is changeable. It is all because the Muslim holidays are celebrated according to the lunar calendar. That is why Eid El Kabir is supposed to be celebrated on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah. On top of that, the festival lasts for over than two days. The approximate calculations state that the date is going to be about eleven days earlier than the previous year according to the lunar calendar.
You should also know that Eid El Kabir holiday can also be known as Eid al-Adha. These are different names for the same holiday. This holiday is celebrated all over the world and is considered to be the most important Muslim holiday followed by the end of Ramadan. A name Muslims also give to this day is “sacrifice feast.”
The meaning of Eid El Kabir is connected to the name of Ibraham and his story. In Jewish and Christian traditions Ibrahim is known as Abraham. According to the story, the Muslims believe about this holiday, God told Ibrahim to take his wife (the Arabian one called Hagar) and her son Ishmael to Arabia, which at that time was not the best place to live at. It was all dry and hot, and there was a significant lack of water in the area.
Once Ibrahim took his wife and her son Ismael to Arabia, God commanded him to get back to Canaan leaving his wife and his son in the deserted place. As he was about to leave them, his wife asked him whether God left them there to die, but her husband could not even look into her eyes, as he was too sad to do what God told him to.
However, at the end Hagar looked at him and comforted him that God is mighty to let them live and survive, so her husband could leave them and not worry about doing what God had told him to. Ibrahim left them food and water hoping that it would be enough for them to survive there. However, everything he had left them once was gone, and Hagar together with her son started feeling the cravings and suffered from hunger and thirst.
As she was looking at her son, she could not help it but think of what to do to help them. So Hagar got up and ran from one hill in the area to another looking for water. She had not found anything and got back to her son. She fell on her knees and started praying that God would help them out as they were in great trouble and were about to die.
God heard her prayer and provided them with water. There two versions that Muslims commonly believe about the source of the water. First ones believe that God made a spring in the middle of a desert. The others believe that God sent his angel named Gabriel who stroke the ground and the water came to the surface. Now Hagar and her son had enough water, so they made a well and traded water for food and other good from those people that traveled through the desert.
The well was called Zamzam Well, and after the miracle, Hagar and Ishmael eyewitnessed in the wilderness, allegedly, Ibrahim was commanded by God to go back to that well and make a place of worship next to it. Ibrahim obeyed God, and that is how the Kaaba worship area emerged. As Muslims state, all those who want to make their faith stronger have to go to Kaaba at least in their lives. This way they would obey God and would continue the pilgrimage that was once begun by Ibrahim.
Eid El Kabir festival today is followed by several days of the feast. One of the Eid El Kabir traditions is to slaughter a ram, the best one you can find in your household. Then the meat of the ram is divided into three parts. The first one is to be eaten at home with your family. The second one is to be taken to your relatives’ houses to share with them. Finally, the third one is to be shared with those in need.
All this tradition is connected to the story when Ibrahim was asked by God to sacrifice his only son for Him. Ibrahim took his son on the mount, and as he was going to sacrifice him, God called him and said that He saw his heart and that he was ready to give the most precious part of his life to God, so He provided Ibrahim with a ram to sacrifice instead.
That is what Muslims want to be reminded of on this holiday: God is able to provide you with whatever you need once your heart is in the right condition before the Lord. Moreover, this holiday is a great chance to practice what it means to be really charitable; that is why food is shared with homeless and poor.
People that celebrate this holiday start the celebration with a special prayer. Those of them who can afford to get a unique blue gown to pray in try to get it beforehand in order to come to the mosque or a different worship place to pray on the Eid El Kabir festival. The luckiest ones that have enough funds go for a pilgrimage around the celebration time to be able to get to Kaaba and meet this holiday in the holy place.
An interesting fact is that the overall spending on this day is incredibly high. The numbers are astonishing: some specialists state that Muslims spend at least $3 billion on rams and other animals that can be used for the sacrifice throughout the world. Amazing numbers!
President Buhari stated that he has high hopes that this holiday would serve as an encouragement for the Nigerians. This is a reminder, according to his words, that God is able to provide for the needs even when the situation seems desperate. His words are addressing the weak economy of Nigeria at the moment, as the foreign affairs as well as internal conflicts weaken the economic condition of the state.
Unfortunately for the Muslim faithful people, not everyone was able to celebrate Eid El Kabir festival in 2016. Given the emergency state in regions that are under the control of Boko Haram, people there are afraid of organizing the massive celebration, as it might only attract the attention of the militants who could consider attacking the places with the massive amount of individuals.
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