Beginning on the evening of Monday July 19, Eid ul-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice) marks one of the most important festivals in the Muslim calendar.
Remembering the prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son when God ordered him to, Eid ul-Adha celebrates the time when Ibrahim had a dream which he believed was a message from Allah asking him to sacrifice his son Isma'il as an act of obedience to God.
In some countries, Muslims sacrifice a sheep or goat (in Britain the animal is killed at a slaughter house) and the meat is then shared equally between family, friends and the poor.
Muslims celebrate Eid ul-Adha on the last day of the Hajj - a pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia which occurs every year and is the Fifth Pillar of Islam (and therefore very important). All Muslims who are fit and able to travel should make the visit to Makkah at least once in their lives.
During the Hajj the pilgrims perform acts of worship and renew their faith and sense of purpose in the world. They stand before the Ka'bah, a shrine built by Ibrahim, and praise Allah together.
In the UK, in many towns and cities, Muslims celebrated Eid with outdoor prayers – due to the Covid-19 pandemic – with up to 400 people attended the event for Eid al-Adha at Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham, after organiser, the Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre (GLMCC), decided not to hold its usual gathering at Small Heath Park due to rising Covid rates.
Organiser Sidra Awan said: "A lot of Muslims are avid cricket fans so that is a draw in itself to come to the cricket ground and be able to pray here, it was extra special." "We want to be part of the community, not just sit in it,” Stuart Cain, Edgbaston's chief executive, said. “We are not a spaceship that just to sort of appears to play cricket a dozen times a year."
Eid usually starts with Muslims, dressed in their best clothes, go to the Mosque for prayers and to thank Allah for all the blessings they have received. It’s a time when they visit family and friends, whilst Muslims also give money to charity so that poor people can celebrate too.