From the Shipleys Tax Team!
Eid ul Adha
Eid ul-Adha is the latter of the two Islamic holidays (the first being Eid ul Fitr) celebrated worldwide each year. It honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of obedience to God’s command. At the point Ibrahim was to sacrifice his son, however, God provided a lamb to sacrifice instead.
Who Celebrates Eid ul-Adha in the UK?
With nearly 2.8 million Muslims living in the United Kingdom, which equals about 4.8% of the population, Islam constitutes the second largest religion in the country, after Christianity.
How is Eid ul-Adha celebrated in the UK?
On Eid ul-Adha, Muslims in the UK usually start the day by performing ghusl, a full-body purification ritual. They then dress in their finest outfits and attend a prayer service at an outdoor prayer ground or the local mosque. Afterward, it is customary to embrace and wish each other Eid Mubarak, which translates as “have a blessed Eid,” give gifts to children, and visit friends and relatives.
One of the central rituals on Eid al-Adha is “Qurbani”, the act of sacrificing a sheep, goat, or cow. The meat is then divided between family, friends, and the poor. Other Muslims give money to charity to give poorer families the chance to have a proper Eid feast.
Eid ul-Adha has a celebratory character, and the day may be rounded off by visiting funfairs or festivals held for the occasion in some British cities.
Eid ul-Adha Food
In contrast to Eid ul-Fitr, which is nicknamed the “Sweet Eid” for its variety of sweet dishes, Eid ul-Adha is often called the “Salty Eid” because the feast includes mainly savoury food.
Popular dishes include Kebab (boneless cooked meat), Haleem (a stew usually made from meat, wheat, and lentils), and Biryani (a spicy meat and rice dish originally from India). The meal is usually rounded off by a sweet dessert, featuring cakes, biscuits, or sweet pastries like Turkish baklava.
The Hajj – and its connection with Eid ul Adha
Muslims celebrate Eid ul-Adha on the last day of the Hajj. The Hajj is pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia. It 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.
This year it was reported around 2.5 million Muslims from all over the world visited Makkah for Hajj.
The Ka’bah (black cube) is the most important monument in Islam. Pilgrims walk around the Ka’bah seven times and many of them try to touch the Black Stone (deemed to be a stone from heaven) located at the corner. Contrary to popular belief, muslims do not worship the Ka’bah, nor does it actually house God, it is a symbol of faith and unity. The Kaba is the direction of their prayer, not the object of it. This misconception stems from the fact that Muslims are seen bowing and prostrating in front of the Kaba in pictures.