Difference Between Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha: Significance, History, and Celebrations Explained

Difference Between Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha: Significance, History, and Celebrations Explained

Difference Between Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha

The literal meaning of Eid is festival or celebration. Eid is the most important festival in Islam. There are two kinds of Eids. Eid ul-fitr and Eid al-Adha. People get confused between Eid ul-fitr and Edi al-Adha. These two Eids are not only celebrated separately but they hold different meanings and reasons to celebrate. Both festivals have different stories and parts of history behind them. Eid ul-fitr is also called small or lesser Eid or Meethi Eid while Eid al-Adha is called big Eid, Qurbani Eid,  Bakra Eid or Eid al-Kabir. 

When is Eid ul-fitr celebrated?

Eid ul-fitr is celebrated at the end of Ramadan month, the month of rigorous fasting and spiritual growth. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Hijri Calendar. It marks the start of Shawwal, the 10th month of Islamic calendar. Eid ul-fitr comes before Eid al-Adha. On the first day of Shawwal, small Eid is celebrated. 

When is Eid al-Adha celebrated?

Eid al-Adha is celebrated after completing the annual Hajj Pilgrimage at the time of Qurbani. It comes on the 10th day of Dhu-al-Hijjah, the 12th and final month of Islamic Lunar calendar. The celebration of this day depends upon the moon sighting, after the completion of the annual Hajj Pilgrimage which is a must to do things for every muslim. Holy Hajj Pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam. 


What is the History of Eid ul-fitr and Eid al-Adha?

The roots of the celebration of Eid ul-fitr are connected back in 624 CE when Prophet Muhammad celebrated it the very first time. After the victory in battle of Jang-e-Badar Prophet Muhammad celebrated Eid with his relatives and friends. This event was the key turning point in the life of Prophet Muhammad. He rejoiced his victory over the Quraish in Mecca with his family and friends which was a symbol of the end of their struggles. To commemorate this occasion Muhammad started this tradition of one month fasting and prayer during Ramadan which shows his struggle when he came to Madina from Mecca. And to sum up the Holy month the festival of Eid ul-fitr was celebrated. 

The celebration of Eid al-Adha is connected to Prophet Ibrahim. It is celebrated to commemorate the devotion of Prophet Ibrahim towards Allah that he sacrificed his son Ismail for him. According to the legend when Ibrahim was going to slaughter his son Ismail suddenly he was replaced with a ram. This was a test of Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion, commitment and willingness by Allah to follow his lord’s command without any hesitation. That’s why Eid al-Adha is celebrated as the festival of Qurbani in which an animal is sacrificed to commemorate prophet Ibrahim’s sacrifice. During the festival an animal is slaughtered as Qurbani which is known as Udhiya. This festival can last for 3-4 days depending on the place and traditions. 

How do people celebrate Eid ul-fitr and Eid al-Adha? 

Eid ul-fitr is observed after the end of Ramadan. It is celebrated for one day. It is celebrated to show gratitude to Allah for giving people strength for rigorous fasting and prayers. People wake up early in the morning and greet their family saying Eid-Mubarak. They perform Salah, a special prayer and ghusi (ablution). After the prayer they prepare their new finest clothes and get dressed up. They use the finest fragrance and wear unique accessories. They have breakfast with family in which they eat special mouth-watering Eid cuisines. They visit their friends and family houses to greet them with Eid Mubarak and give them gifts and Eidi to youngsters. People go out to give Zakat-ul-fitr before Eid Salah. In Zakat-ul-fitr they give necessary things, food, clothes and money to the less fortunate. People perform special prayers in the evening with everyone at some huge gathering generally in some mosque or big ground. After it they enjoy Eid with family and friends going out to some big Eid event or Eid party. If someone broke or missed the fast during Ramadan they need to pay Fidya or Kaffarah and ask Allah to forgive them, show mercy and give them strength to complete the fasting. 

Eid al-Adha is celebrated differently. It is celebrated for at least 3-4 days. People perform Eid special Prayer (Eid Salah) in congregation at the nearest mosque or in some big ground first thing in the morning. After it they perform the act of Qurbani, in which they slaughter an animal to mark the Sacrifice of prophet Ibrahim. This act is known as Udhiya. The festival goes on for 3 days from 10th to 12th day of month Dhu-al-Hijjah. The animal which will be sacrificed should be lamb, goat, sheep, cow, bull, or camel. Sheep, goat and lamb are equal to one share of Qurbani while a bull, cow or camel is equal to seven share per animal. For qurbani the animal should be at a certain age and must be healthy. The animal is slaughtered in a halal, a friendly Islamic way of slaughtering animals. The meat of Qurbani is divided into 3 equal parts, one third for your family, one thing for friends and one third is for donation to the less fortunate. 


Regardless of having different significances both Eids are similar in terms of charity. Zakat-ul-fitr is essential during Eid ul-fitr and Eid al-Adha for poor people. Eid al-adha is related with Qurbani which is the sacrifice of an animal that marks the devotion of Prophet Ibrahim’s sacrifice, while Eid ul-fitr is celebrated to mark the victory of prophet Mohammed and his journey from Mecca to Madina. Despite many differences the devotion to Allah prayers and charity are essential for both Eid festivals. Both Eid festivals teach love and devotion for Allah, healthy relationships with our family and friends and compassion for the less fortunate. 

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