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Eid al-Adha is one of the most important days in the Islamic religious calendar. Muslims in England were able to pray beside one another for the first time in months after social distancing restrictions were eased on Monday. Eid al-Adha is the latter of two official holidays celebrated in Islam honouring the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God’s command.

Eid al-Adha celebrations began in the UK on Tuesday, July 20.

Millions of worshippers in the UK and around the world enjoyed celebrations on Tuesday for the Festival of the Sacrifice – one of the most important festivals in the Islamic calendar.

The national day was marked with prayer, meals and charitable giving.

Eid al-Adha takes place on the 10th day of the 12th Islamic month.

Muslims in Pakistan celebrated its second Eid ul Adha under the shadow of coronavirus.

Eid celebrations in the country will continue until Friday despite a steady rise in Covid cases and the increasing threat from the Delta variant.

Eid has been labelled a super-spreader event and therefore the Government has urged citizens to scale back festivities.

President Dr Arif Alvi told people to extend all possible help and support to the poor and the needy on the auspicious occasion of Eid ul Adha.

Why does Pakistan celebrate Eid on different days?

Many Muslims began celebrations for Eid al-Adha on Tuesday, but many around the world instead began today (July 21).

The reason for this is due to differences in faith calendars.

Much like events in the Christian calendar, many significant festivals in the Islamic calendar are determined by a new moon.

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Many in Pakistan, the UK and Morocco will be celebrating Eid from July 21, following the lunar sightings in their own countries.

This is because these lunar sightings will place the beginning of Dhu-al-Hijjah as on July 12 rather than July 11 as per Saudi Arabia’s observations.

For UK Muslims, based upon the visibility of the moon in Britain, Eid actually began on Wednesday.

However, many have instead chosen to follow the date observed in Saudi Arabia, which is essentially the birthplace of Islam.

Why do some countries choose to follow the dates set by Saudi Arabia?

One key reason is because Saudi Arabia is known as the birthplace of Islam and it is where the major ritual pilgrimage, Hajj, takes place.

In addition, the country has strong governance around the moon sighting process which provides assurance it has been undertaken properly.

Local moon sightings are acceptable, but require a level of religious governance to ensure that it is done in accordance with Islamic requirements of verification.

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