By Izzie Norwood –
This week, Muslims in Kirklees and around the world have been celebrating Eid al-Adha, a holy festival for those of the Islamic faith.
Two months ago, the end of the observance of Ramadan was marked by Eid al-Fitr, otherwise referred to as the ‘Festival of the Breaking of the Fast’.
This week has seen the second of these traditional Islamic celebrations, Eid al-Adha, which this year is celebrated from the 19th – 23rd of July through the practice of blessings, prayers and feasts with loved ones.
What is Eid al-Adha about?
As well as marking the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, Eid al-Adha commemorates Prophet Abraham’s faithfulness to God; after being tested by the devil with the command to sacrifice his own son, Abraham instead sacrificed a Lamb due to God’s intervention.
In commemoration, there is also the act of Qurbani, in which an animal – typically a goat or a sheep – is sacrificed and given out in three parts.
One part of the animal is given to immediate family members, another is given to other relatives, and the final part is traditionally given to the poor.
Also known as the ‘Festival of Sacrifice’, Eid al-Adha is celebrated worldwide; many people have visited the Holy Pilgrimage of Hajj in Saudi Arabia, while those at home attend prayers, and have a traditional feast in which they share meals and celebrate with family and friends.
If anyone you know is celebrating Eid al-Adha, you may greet them with ‘Eid Mubarak’, a traditional Arabic phrase meaning “blessed celebration”, “blessed feast”, or simply “happy Eid”.
Pray also forms an important part of the ceremonies.
Worshippers in Huddersfield were invited to partake in 15 – 20 minutes of prayer at approximately 05:24 am Tuesday morning.
Eid al-Adha prayer is performed after sunrise, with Huddersfield residents gathering in local mosques to pray after the sun had risen to the traditional height of approximately two metres from the ground.
Masjid Omar, one of Huddersfield’s largest mosques, hosted Tuesday prayer times of 7:30 am, 8:30 am and 9:30 am.
Easing of restrictions
Although mosque attendance is strongly encouraged, the Masjid posted a list of regulations regarding the spreading of coronavirus, advising those unwell to stay home and pray, in order to safeguard the rest of the worshippers.
Eid al-Fitr was unfortunately marked during a period of strict lockdown earlier in the year, which meant many people celebrating had to do so either in isolation or otherwise separated from family members.
Thankfully, restrictions have eased since then, which has allowed for celebrations to open up further, and many families have been able to come together as is tradition.
Regardless, there was still the advice of many doctors and medical practitioners to practice a more limited and therefore safer Eid this year.