According to their traditional, each family would sacrifice a domestic animal, such as a cow, sheep, goat, or camel, by slaughter. The meat would then be divided into three equal parts to be distributed to others. The family eats one third, another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbours, and the other third is given to the poor & needy as a gift.
Eid al-Adha is the latter of two Eid festivals celebrated by Muslims, whose basis comes from Sura 2 (Al-Baqara) ayah 196 in the Qur'an. Eid al-Adha begins with a Wajib prayer of two Raka'ah followed by a sermon (khuṭbah). The word Eid appeared in Sura al-Maida, Table Spread, chapter 5 meaning a solemn festival.
Eid al-Adha is celebrated annually on the 10th day of the 12th and the last Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah of the lunar Islamic calendar. Eid al-Adha celebrations starts after the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims, descend from Mount Arafat. The date of Idu’l Juha is decided on the basis of Islamic Calendar and varies every year based on the position on moon.
The history of festival says that about Four thousand years ago the valley of Mecca was a dry and uninhabited place. Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) was instructed to bring his wife’s handmaiden, Hagar (Hajira) and their child Ismael to Arabia from Palestine by Allah’s command, as his first wife Sarah started to get jealous after Hagar got her baby. With some supplies of food and water he left them without wanting, his wife Hagar asked him: “Who ordered you to leave us here”, Ibrahim replied :”Allah”, she said: “than Allah will not forget us, you can go”. However the supplies quickly ran out and within a few days Hagar and Ismael were suffering from hunger and dehydration.
In her desperation Hagar ran up and down two hills called Safa and Marwa trying to see if she could spot any help in the distance. Finally she collapsed beside her baby Ismael and prayed to Allah for deliverance. Ismael struck his foot on the ground and this caused a spring of water to gush forth from the earth. Hagar and Ismael were saved. Now they had a secure water supply they were able to trade water with passing nomads for food and supplies. After a while the Prophet Ibrahim returned from Palestine to check on his family and he was amazed to see them running a profitable well.
The Prophet Ibrahim was told by Allah to build a shrine dedicated to him. Ibrahim and Ismael constructed a small stone structure – the Kaaba – which was to be the gathering place for all who wished to strengthen their faith in Allah. As the years passed Ismael was blessed with Prophethood and he gave the nomads of the desert the message of surrender to Allah. After many centuries, Mecca became a thriving city thanks to its reliable water source, the well of Zam Zam. In the year 628 the Prophet Muhammad set out on a journey with 1400 of his followers. This was the first pilgrimage in Islam, and would re-establish the religious traditions of the Prophet Ibrahim.
On this auspicious day, men, women, and children are expected to dress in their finest clothing to perform Eid prayer in mosque. Muslims who can afford to do so sacrifice their best domestic animals (usually sheep and goats) as a symbol of Ibrahim’s sacrifice. The sacrificed animals, called Qurbani, have to meet certain age and quality standards or else the animal is considered an unacceptable sacrifice. Generally, these must be at least a year old.
At the time of sacrifice, God’s name is recited along with the offering. According to the Quran, the meat has to be divided into three shares, one for the poor, one for the relatives and neighbors and the last to keep to oneself. A large portion of the meat must be given towards the poor and hungry people so they can all join in the feast which is held on Idu’l Juha. The remainder is cooked for the family celebration meal in which relatives and friends are invited to share. The regular charitable practices of the Muslim are demonstrated during Idu’l Juha by the concerted effort to see that no impoverished person is left without sacrificial food during these days. Idu’l Juha is a concrete affirmation of what the Muslim community ethic means in practice. People in these days visit their relatives, starting with their parents, then their families and friends.
In Quran it is said that, it is very important to understand that the sacrifice itself, as practiced by Muslims, has nothing to do with atoning for our sins or using the blood to wash ourselves from sin. This is a misunderstanding by those of previous generations: "It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him."
The symbolism is in the attitude - a willingness to make sacrifices in our lives in order to stay on the Straight Path. Each of us makes small sacrifices, giving up things that are fun or important to us. A true Muslim, one who submits his or herself completely to the Lord, is willing to follow Allah's commands completely and obediently. It is this strength of heart, purity in faith, and willing obedience that our Lord desires from us.
On the first morning of Eid al-Adha, Muslims around the world attend morning prayers at their local mosques. Prayers are followed by visits with family and friends, and the exchange of greetings and gifts. At some point, members of the family will visit a local farm or otherwise will make arrangements for the slaughter of an animal. The meat is distributed during the days of the holiday or shortly thereafter.
As it’s the festival of Sacrifice, there is a feast of dishes been prepared for this occasion like the Shami kebab, Mutton pepper fry, Kheema, Kashmiri Biryani, Mughlai Chicken curry, Mutton biryani, Fish kebab, Chicken tikka, Lamb kebab, Boti kebab and many more.