What to do on the day of Eid Al-Adha
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate.
All praise is to Allah, Lord of the Worlds.
And the blessings and peace of Allah be upon His Chosen Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad, his family, companions, and followers.
Islam has two major holidays, Eid al-Fitr (Post-Fasting Festival) and Eid al-Adha.
The word Eid itself is an Arabic word, whose root connotation is ‘that which comes back, time after time, and rejoicing.’ Its particular usage in Islam, for the two major holidays, is because these two days are meant to be days of rejoicing.
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “They are days of eating, drinking, and remembrance of God.” [Reported by Bukhari in his Sahih, an authoritative collection of the sayings of the Prophet.]
In this same spirit, the Qur’an mentions that, “Jesus, son of Mary, said: ‘O Allah, Lord of us! Send down for us a table spread with food from heaven, that it may be a feast (eid) for us, for the first of us and for the last of us and a sign from You. Give us sustenance, for You are the Best of Sustainers.’”(Qur’an, 5: 114)
Eid al-Adha is meant to be a recognition of the material and spiritual favors of God to His creation, manifested by the ritual slaughtering necessary for all able Muslims to perform, following the sunna (way) of the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him).
This is a manifestation of total submission to the command of Allah: one submits one’s mind, wealth, and body to the Command and Pleasure of Allah. On this day, Muslims all over the world thank God for the gift bestowed on them.
The lessons of the way of the Prophet Ibrahim, where, in utter submission to the Divine Command, he was about to slaughter is very own son, until at the last moment Allah sent an animal to be slaughtered instead, are many:
Complete submission to the command of Allah, out of thankfulness, love, and true slavehood. On this day, able Muslims slaughter an animal, whose meat is eating, and distributed to family, friends and the poor, and go early in the day to perform the Eid prayer.
Recognizing one’s blessings and thanking God for them: Muslims are encouraged to wear their best clothes, give gifts (especially to children) and celebrate with family, friends, and neighbors.
Remembering the plight of the poor and giving in charity: On Eid day, it is especially recommended to give in charity.
In this and other ways, Muslims seek to join between worldly and spiritual celebration, for it is said, “True rejoicing is not (merely) in wearing new clothes, but in becoming true in one’s devotion to Allah.”
The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “For every people there is a feast and this is our feast.” [Reported by Bukhari in his Sahih]
The sunnah of the Day of Eid al-Adha include:
1. To adorn oneself according to the Shariah, by:
a. Performing ghusl (this is a confirmed sunnah for the Eid prayer);
b. Brush one’s teeth, using a miswak if possible;
c. Apply perfume;
d. Wear the best clothing one possesses, without excess. White, when available, is optimal;
2. To wake up early, in order to prepare for the sunnas of the day;
3. To go early to the place the Eid prayer is taking place;
4. To delay eating until after the Eid al-Adha prayer;
5. To return from the Eid prayer by a different route to the one taken there, as established by the Prophet’s practice (Allah bless him & give him peace);
6. To walk, when reasonably possible without hardship;
7. To give the takbirs of Eid.
And Allah alone gives success.
Reference: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani