The Islamic Garden
Eid al-Adha: The Festival
of the Sacrifice
Basics of Islam
The Festival of the Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha) is one of two major Islamic celebrations and takes place on the tenth day of the Islamic month Dhul-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar in which millions of Muslims from around the world make an annual pilgrimage to Makkah in order to worship Allah and to commemorate the willingness of the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) to sacrifice his son Ishmael in response to a command from God. Satisfied with Abraham's devotion, God replaced Ishmael with a sheep at the last second, and the sheep was slaughtered instead. While pilgrims in Makkah re-enact this scene by slaughtering sheep of their own, Muslims who can afford it in the rest of the world also participate in this rite by slaughtering sheep, camels and cows. One third of the meat is distributed to the poor, one third to neighbors and relatives while one third is kept by the person who offered the sacrifice for use within his or her own family.
India is home to approximately 150 million Muslims who celebrate the Eid in the same way as their non-Indian brothers and sisters in faith. It is a very happy time which is marked by special prayers, visits to family and friends, gifts to children and, of course by food. For many families, it may be one of the few times during the year that they have the opportunity to enjoy meat, and only the best dishes are served. The following are some recipes for Indian dishes which are popular on Eid al-Adha:
- Mutton Biryani
This dish is made with meat and rice, both of which are heavily seasoned. "Biryani" is the generic term for this type of dish which is a particular style of cooking saffron-flavored rice with meat, chicken, fish or vegetables.
- Mutton Korma
A type of stew which combines the unique flavors of braised mutton, coconut, ginger, cinnamon, chilis and other spices in order to make a scrumptious dish.
Spicy Indian meatballs cooked to perfection in a special gravy made with chili, tomatos and lots of spices.
Sweets, including dried fruits and sweetmeats, are also very popular on Eid al-Adha and they can be found everywhere.
Etiquette and Rulings
Visit this page to learn the etiquette of the Eid according to the examples of the Prophet Muhammed(peace be upon him) and his Companions.
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