Religion

Saudi Arabia Announces June 16, 2024, as Eid al-Adha Celebration After Crescent Sighting

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Saudi Arabia Announces June 16, 2024, as Eid al-Adha Celebration After Crescent Sighting

In a significant religious development, Saudi Arabia has declared June 16, 2024, as the date for the celebration of Eid al-Adha, following the sighting of the Dhul Hijjah crescent. This celestial event, which marks the beginning of the 12th and final month of the Islamic lunar calendar, sets the stage for one of the most important religious observances in Islam.

Key Dates and Significance

  • June 7, 2024: The holy month begins, marking a period of spiritual reflection and worship for Muslims worldwide.
  • June 14, 2024: The Hajj pilgrimage for the year 1445 AH (2024) commences, drawing millions of Muslims to Mecca for a journey of faith and devotion.
  • June 15, 2024: The Day of Arafah, considered the most important day of the Hajj pilgrimage, falls on this date. It is a day of profound prayer and supplication.
  • June 16, 2024: Eid al-Adha, also known as the “Festival of Sacrifice,” will be celebrated.

The Crescent Sighting

The announcement came after the Dhul Hijjah crescent was sighted on Thursday. This sighting is a pivotal moment, as it determines the beginning of the month of Dhul Hijjah and the corresponding dates for Hajj rituals and Eid al-Adha. The Saudi Arabian Supreme Court had previously called on Muslims across the kingdom to participate in the crescent sighting, emphasizing its importance in the Islamic calendar.

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The Holy Month and Hajj Pilgrimage

The commencement of Dhul Hijjah marks the beginning of a deeply spiritual period for Muslims. The Hajj pilgrimage, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is a journey every Muslim is expected to undertake at least once in their lifetime, provided they are physically and financially able. The pilgrimage involves a series of rituals including Tawaf (circumambulation of the Kaaba), Sa’i (walking between the hills of Safa and Marwah), and the standing at Arafah.

The Day of Arafah, falling on June 15, is a day of immense significance. Pilgrims gather on the plains of Arafah to pray and seek forgiveness, commemorating the final sermon of the Prophet Muhammad. It is a day of introspection and supplication for Muslims worldwide, even for those not on pilgrimage.

Eid al-Adha Celebrations

Eid al-Adha, celebrated on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah, is the largest festival in Islam. It commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son in obedience to God’s command. Muslims around the world observe this day with the sacrifice of animals, typically sheep, goats, cows, or camels. The meat from the sacrifice is distributed among family, friends, and the needy, emphasizing the values of charity and community.

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Global Observance

Eid al-Adha is a time of joy and festivity for Muslims globally. The day begins with special prayers held in mosques and open spaces, followed by feasts and the sharing of meals with loved ones. It is also a time for Muslims to renew their faith and reflect on the themes of sacrifice, compassion, and generosity.

Conclusion

The announcement of June 16, 2024, as Eid al-Adha by Saudi authorities underscores the significance of the Dhul Hijjah crescent sighting in the Islamic faith. This period will see millions of Muslims around the world engage in acts of worship, reflection, and celebration, marking the culmination of the Hajj pilgrimage and the profound festival of Eid al-Adha. As Muslims prepare for these sacred events, the spirit of unity, devotion, and sacrifice will resonate across the global Muslim community.

Source: Sahara Reporters

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