what Eid Mubarak meaning: What the Eid al-Adha greeting means in Arabic ahead of this year's festival
MetiNews.Com - However Eid al-Adha is celebrated this year, Muslims around the world will taking the opportunity to wish each other the traditional Arabic ‘Eid Mubarak’ greeting
Eid al-Adha falls this week, with Muslims hoping to find a way to celebrate despite the coronavirus restrictions in place around the world.
The Covid-19 pandemic meant that the earlier Eid festival, Eid al-Fitr, was a drastically different affair to usual, as was the holy month of Ramadan.
This week’s Hajj pilgrimage was also severely restricted, with only a “small and very limited” number of worshippers able to make the journey to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
However Eid al-Adha is commemorated, families and friends will take the opportunity to wish each other the familiar “Eid Mubarak”, even if it’s over Zoom rather than in person – and here’s what the traditional greeting means.
An Indian Muslim devotee offers prayers during Eid al-Adha at Jama Masjid in New Delhi on October 6, 2014. Muslims across the world are preparing to celebrate the annual festival of Eid al-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice, which marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and in commemoration of Prophet Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his son to show obedience to God. AFP PHOTO / CHANDAN KHANNA (Photo credit should read Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images)
The usual communal worship of Eid al-Adha will be impossible for many Muslims this year (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
What does ‘Eid Mubarak’ mean?
“Eid Mubarak” is the traditional phrase used by Muslims to greet each other during the Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr celebrations.
The Arabic word “mubarak” translates as “blessed,” while “Eid” means feast, festival or celebration, so “Eid Mubarak” can literally mean “blessed celebration” or “blessed feast”, although it is widely interpreted as simply wishing somebody a “happy Eid”.
In exactly the same way, Muslims will often wish their fellow observers “Hajj Mubarak” during the pilgrimage or “Ramadan Mubarak” at the start of the holy month and throughout the fasting period.
“Ramadan Kareem” is less commonly used during the month, but translates as “Generous Ramadan” – while the phrase can be used as a greeting in a similar way to “Ramadan Mubarak”, it can also describe Ramadan when referring to it in a wider context.
TOPSHOT - Egyptian Muslim devotees perform the morning Eid al-Adha prayer outside al-Sedik mosque in the northeastern suburb of Sheraton in the capital Cairo, on September 1, 2017. (Photo by KHALED DESOUKI / AFP) (Photo by KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images)
The ‘Mubarak’ greeting is used by Muslims at many festivals (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
There is some debate around whether using “Ramadan Kareem” is appropriate, given that the expectation of generosity can be considered against the principles of fasting and prayer central to observing the holy month.
However, others argue that the greeting can appropriately refer to the generosity of acts towards others.
Both “Mubarak” and “Kareem” are also given names in Arabic, which carry the same meanings as bestowed in the Eid and Ramadan greetings.
What is Eid al-Adha and why is it celebrated?
Otherwise known as the “Festival of the Sacrifice”, Eid al-Adha is considered the holier of the two Islamic Eid festivals.
It honours the famous story of the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim (known in the Christian Old Testament as Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command.
However, before Ibrahim carried out the heartbreaking request, God, known as Allah in Islam, produced a lamb for him to sacrifice instead.
To commemorate this, an animal is traditionally sacrificed and divided into three parts in an act known as Qurbani. One part of the sheep is given to the poor, one to the immediate family at home and one is reserved for relatives.
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 21: Children enjoy a ride during an Eid in the Park celebration marking the start of Eid Al-Adha at Burgess Park on August 21, 2018 in London, England. The traditional four-day celebratory festival marks one of the holiest days in the Islamic religious calendar. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
The date of the Eid celebrations is not set and changes every year (Photo: Getty Images)
Some Muslims may give money to charity to give poorer families the chance to have a proper Eid feast. Mosques and community groups will often arrange communal meals.
Eid al-Adha falls on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic Hijri calendar. Because this is based on the lunar cycle, in the more commonly used Gregorian calendar, this date shifts from year to year, moving forward around 11 days annually.
The nature of the Hijri also means that it’s not possible to predict its date exactly – in 2020 it was predicted to begin on either Thursday 30 or Friday 31 July, lasting for four days.
According to Saudi Arabia, whose moon sighting lead is followed by many Muslims around the world, the new moon for Dhu al-Hijjah was not seen on Monday 20 July – this meant that the date for Eid al-Adha was confirmed for Friday 31 July.