A sheep standing out in the flock

Eid al-Adha and the Days of Tashreeq: A Time of Reflection and Celebration

Posted by Mariya Collins on

Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, is one of the most significant holidays in the Islamic calendar. It marks the culmination of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of obedience to Allah. However, Allah provided a ram to sacrifice instead, symbolizing His mercy and the importance of faith and submission.

Muslim pilgrims performing the Hajj around the Kaaba in Mecca

The Significance of Eid al-Adha

Eid al-Adha is observed on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah: the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The celebration extends over four days, also known as the Days of Tashreeq, during which Muslims around the world engage in various religious and social activities.

Muslims performing the Eid prayer in congregation

The Rituals of Eid al-Adha

  1. Prayer: The day begins with a special prayer, known as Salat al-Eid, performed in congregation at mosques or open fields. The prayer is followed by a sermon, where the imam reflects on the significance of Eid and the story of Prophet Ibrahim.

  2. Qurbani: The primary act of worship associated with Eid al-Adha is the Qurbani, or the ritual sacrifice of an animal such as a goat, sheep, cow, or camel. The meat from the sacrifice is distributed among family, friends, and those in need, emphasizing the values of charity, community, and compassion.

  3. Charity: Eid al-Adha is a time for giving. We are encouraged to engage in acts of charity and support those in need. This can include financial donations, providing meals, and participating in community service.

  4. Festivities: The holiday is also a time for joyous celebration. Families and friends gather for feasts, exchange gifts, and partake in various cultural and recreational activities.

Muslim celebrating Eid holidays with fireworks and sparklers

The Days of Tashreeq

Following Eid al-Adha, Muslims observe the Days of Tashreeq, which span from the 11th to the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah. These days hold special significance and are marked by specific rituals and observances:

  1. Takbeer: During the Days of Tashreeq, Muslims recite the Takbeer (Allahu Akbar - God is the Greatest) after each obligatory prayer. This practice serves as a reminder of God’s greatness and the blessings bestowed upon the believers.

  2.  Continuing Qurbani: While the primary sacrifice occurs on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah, the ritual can also be performed during the Days of Tashreeq. This extended period allows more flexibility for those participating in the sacrifice.
  3. Avoiding Fasting: It is prohibited to fast during the Days of Tashreeq. Instead, Muslims are encouraged to enjoy the blessings of food and drink as a sign of gratitude and celebration.

Muslims enjoying an Eid feast

Reflection and Renewal

Eid al-Adha and the Days of Tashreeq offer a profound opportunity for us to reflect on our faith, renew our commitment to Allah, and strengthen our bonds with the community. It is a time to remember the lessons of sacrifice, obedience, and mercy exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim and to embody these values in our everyday lives.

Muslims giving thanks during an eid feast

Celebrating Amidst Strife

This year, many our brothers and sisters are experiencing tremendous suffering in regions affected by conflict, such as Palestine, Sudan,and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The joy and peace typically associated with Eid al-Adha and the Days of Tashreeq are overshadowed by ongoing violence, displacement, famine, and soaring temperatures, with little or no access to clean water. The plight of our Ummah serves as a poignant reminder of the global need for compassion, empathy, solidarity, and advocacy. As we celebrate, we must remember these communities in our duas and do everything in our power to advocate for peace and justice as well as support humanitarian efforts to alleviate their suffering.

Muslims in Gaza holding Eid prayers amidst the destruction around them

As Muslims worldwide come together to observe these sacred days, we are reminded of the universal principles of compassion, generosity, and solidarity that define the essence of Islam.

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