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Eid al-Adha begins with a prayer of two rakats followed by a sermon (khutbah). Eid al-Adha celebrations start after the descent of the Hujjaj, the pilgrims performing the Hajj, from Mount Arafat, a hill east of Mecca. Eid sacrifice may take place until sunset on the 13th day of Dhu al-Hijjah. The days of Eid have been singled out in the Hadith as "days of remembrance" and considered the holiest days in the Islamic Calendar. The takbir (days) of Tashriq are from the Maghrib prayer of the 29th of Dhul-Qadah up to the Maghrib prayer of the 13th of Dhu al-Hijjah (thirteen days and nights)
The scholars differed concerning the ruling on Eid prayers. There are three scholarly points of view:
- That Eid prayer is Fard Kifaya (communal obligation). This is the view of Abu Hanifa.
- That it is Sunna Mu’akkada (recommended). This is the view of Malik ibn Anas and Al-Shafi‘i.
- That it is mandatory (Wajib) on all Muslim men (a duty for each Muslim and is obligatory for men); those who do not do it without an excuse are considered sinners. This is the view of Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and was also narrated from Abu Hanifa.
Eid prayers must be offered in congregation. Participation of women in the prayer congregation varies from community to community. It consists of two rakats (units) with seven takbirs in the first Raka'ah and five Takbirs in the second Raka'ah.
Salat al-Eid differs from the five daily canonical prayers in that no adhan (call to prayer) or iqama (call) is pronounced for the two Eid prayers. The salat (prayer) is then followed by the khutbah, or sermon, by the Imam.
At the conclusion of the prayers and sermon, Muslims embrace and exchange greetings with one other (Eid Mubarak), give gifts (Eidi) to children, and visit one another. In non muslim countries, many Muslims also take this opportunity to invite their non-Muslim friends, neighbours, co-workers and classmates to their Eid festivities to better acquaint them about Islam and Muslim culture.
The l-hamdu (praise with lip) and other rites
The l-hamdu is recited from the dawn of the ninth of Dhu al-Hijjah to the thirteenth, and consists of:
Allāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar الله أكبر الله أكبر
lā ilāha illā-Allāh لا إله إلا الله
Wallāhu akbar, Allāhu akbar والله أكبر الله أكبر
walillāhi l-ḥamdu ولله الحمد
Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest,
There is no god but Allah
Allah is greatest, Allah is greatest
and to Allah goes all praise.
Multiple variations of this recitation exist across the Muslim world.
There is a peculiar tradition in Islam during Eid Al Adha. On the first day of the festival, Muslims visit local mosques for their morning prayers. While returning home, they are encouraged to take a different route than what they took to go to the mosque from home.
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