How to perform Eid-ul-Adha Prayer
Eid al Adha, which is otherwise known as Bakra Eid or Bakr-Id, is the second of two Islamic festivals celebrated worldwide each year. The festival celebrates the willingness of Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) to follow Allah's (God's) command to sacrifice his only son Ishmael. Before Abraham could sacrifice his son, God provided a ram for the sacrifice instead. This incident is commemorated during Eid al Adha.
Islam means "submission" in Arabic, and follows the teachings of Muhammad, who lived in Arabia in the early 600s AD. It is one of the youngest monotheistic religions practiced today. There are approximately 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide making it the second largest religion after Christianity.
Muslims follow five fundamental aspects of their faith: the testimony of faith, prayer, giving alms (or charity), fasting during Ramadan, and making a pilgrimage (Hajj) at least once in a lifetime.
Eid ul Adha is one of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year. The festival celebrates the willingness of Ibrahim (known as Abraham) to follow Allah's command to sacrifice his only son Ishmael before God provided a ram for the sacrifice. This story is commemorated during Eid ul Adha. Eid al-Adha also marks the end of Hajj, which is an annual Islamic pilgrimage by Muslims to visit Mecca.
Eid al Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al Hijjah, the last month in the Islamic calendar. The Eid ul Adha prayer is performed in congregations in open areas like any plain and clean ground, mosques or at Eid Gah.
The main part of the Eid ul Adha Prayer lasts for almost 20-30 minutes and consists of 2 Raka'ahs (6 Takbeers included) followed by a sermon (khutbah). Here is an example of how the prayer may be conducted:
Right before performing the prayer, there are some things you have to do:
Before starting to pray one should make Niyyah (intention) for Eid ul Adha prayer must be said with all sincerity.
Niyyah simply means that one's intention should not be like that he is praying for showing off and demonstrating to others. Once the Niyyah is made then one should go to the Imam (Leader) or pray on his own; then one says Allahu Akbar while going into Ruku (the bowing position). One has to make sure he does not push himself up from the ground, but instead, it should be a slow and gentle movement. Then one recites 3 Takbeers and says Sami Allahu liman Hamidah once again in Ruku saying this phrase which means Allah hears those who praise Him. After you come out of your bowing position say Allahu Akbar three times followed by Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad two times while standing straight with your hands at your side.
The prayer itself consists of two parts: a series of set positions and movements, followed by a more free-form group of supplications spoken in the vernacular language. Each position is accompanied by an emphasis on physical exertion to emphasize spiritual profit from the motions. Participants stand in a single file to perform the actions together as one body. The following are the postures and supplications that make up this portion of the prayer, translated into English from original Arabic:
- Takbeeratul Ihram    : God is greater [4x]. I bear witness that there is no god except Allah (God) alone with no partner or associate. I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God. Come to the prayer, come to success (by following Prophet Muhammad). God is greater [5x]. There is no god except Allah.
- Rukoo': Bending at the waist while standing, keeping your back straight and your head up looking forward with hands hanging naturally at your sides or slightly above/in front of your knees with fingers facing the Qiblah (direction of prayer). The supplications which follow are spoken during this position:
- Sujud: Prostrating on all seven limbs in a demonstration of submission and humility to Allah, symbolizing that everything belongs to God alone. All earthly power and possessions are under His authority. Supplications are said during this position, preceded by the phrase "Rabbanaa wa lakal Hamd" ("Our Lord! All praise be to You.").
- Tadahhud: This is a transitional stage from Sujud to the next position. One brings his left foot forward and toes point out while keeping one's hands where they were placed during Sujud.
- Qawmah: Standing back up from Tadahhu with feet together, pressing toes firmly into the ground and knees straight but not locked. Keeping hips, shoulders, and head in alignment, look forward at eye level without dropping or raising your gaze. Both arms are raised to shoulder height with palms facing each other and fingers close together. Supplications said during this position include "Rabbighfirli" ("Myd: Sitting on one's heels with hands resting on one's knees or in ones lap with fingers facing the Qiblah. This is usually done after Sujud and before saying Salam (greeting Muslims at the conclusion of prayer), but no strict rules are governing its performance. The supplications that follow are spoken during this position:
- Tashahhud: Sitting cross-legged while turning slightly to your right, finishing off the prayer by speaking directly to God in submission and gratitude for all His blessings. Supplications made at this stage include "Rabbighfirli and Allahumma Rabbana wa lakal Hamd" ("Our Lord! All praise be to You.").
- Salam: The formal greeting spoken by Muslims at the end of the prayer.
In English, it means "Peace be with you." While you are still sitting at Tashahhud, say these words quietly to yourself while looking forward and then stand up. This completes the Eid Prayer. You may now resume your regular activities.
The Eid al-Adha prayer is performed by Muslims worldwide on the holiday of Eid al Adha to commemorate Abraham's sacrifice of his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God. The three main aspects of Eid al-Adha are; the statement of intention, celebration, and distribution of meat.
Muslims perform Eid Prayer in the congregation to celebrate the yearly occasion (Eid). The prayer consists of two parts: Part one is called "Fard" which means compulsory, this part consists of standing before God giving Him praise and thanks for all His kindness towards us culminating with an act of prostration.
Part two is called Sunnah which means to follow the path shown by Prophet Muhammad. This part contains a short sermon then after that Muslims pray individually or in small groups taking time to meditate over what they have heard during the sermon. The final part involves distributing meat from an animal to family members, relatives, neighbors and friends, it is also very important to pay the Zakat (charity) before distributing meat. After praying, Muslims hold a big family or community gathering with special food dishes prepared on this day.