Why Celebrate EID?
By the Honorable Mr. Samah Helal, U.S.A.
Traditionally, Druze celebrate only one “RELIGIOUS” holiday; ostensibly, “Eid al-AdHa” (Festival of the Sacrifice).
A time to give thanks to God for His bounty and mercy, celebrate the holy days, and wish each other well. So what
is the religious significance?
Among a people who are classed as sectarian (uqqal) or secular (juhhal), it is the secularists who ask this question
of the sectarians. By definition Druze are a sect of Shi’a Islam so any explanation has to tie back to the “mother”
religion. It is altogether proper, especially for emigrant Druze, to join other Muslims in celebrating this holiday. In
various Arab countries the holiday may last from one to three days.
When one participates he is acknowledging the Biblical and Qur’anic event of Abraham’s obligation to sacrifice
his “only” son at God’s command. This “command” turns out to be a test of Abraham’s faith. The holiday is a
celebration of God’s act of mercy whereby the practice of human sacrifice is condemned.
It is the genius of TawHid’s theosophy that phenomena (an event in this case) is interpreted on three levels of
understanding; outer (literal), inner (allegorical), and real (true or intended). These are viewed as ascending steps
in a “ladder of faith”. Some identify these levels in a political sense of Sunni, Shi’a, and Druze. It is the latter that is
of interest to Monistarians (MuwaHHidun).
An underlying precept is belief in progressive revelation. The latest (revelation) is the more comprehensive one.
The five pillars of Islam are accepted as literally true at the time of their disclosure. It is in the obligation of
“pilgrimage” (hajj) where the real level of understanding interprets the journey as one to the House (of the
knowledge) of God (as One). Because such a proclamation is often viewed as “innovation” (heresy), those who
embrace it resort to simulation (taqiya).
Druze understanding varies from superficial to profound. The secularist is aware of an ethical aspect of the
profound and asks for its “real” meaning which is revered and protected from contamination by the knowledgeable
From a superficial viewpoint the celebration is a cultural tradition for fun and rejoicing. The activities vary slightly
from village to village depending on whether neighbors are Christian or Muslim. People dress in new attire, visit
the homes of older relatives and neighbors, exchange gifts, or go to a planned party. The typical Druze greets
another with the traditional phrase “Inshallah bitkunu min al-ayyadin al-maqbulin wa EID Mubarak alaykum” (God
willing, may you be among the celebrants who are acceptable to Him and may you have a joyful holiday).
From the profound point of view it is the future (this Age and a new Day) that is celebrated. Based on the
knowledge (belief) that the Day of Reckoning will begin on this holiday (Islamic Calendar), the five Limitaries will
reveal themselves, and the nights of power (laylat al-Qadar) begin ten days prior to the holiday, the pious begin the
celebration early. The eighth day is referred to as the minor devotion, the ninth as the major devotion, and the tenth
as the great day. The ten days begin seventy days after the Islamic “Eid al-Fitr” celebrating the end of fasting
during the month of Ramadan. Depending on the degree of piety all ten days may be spent in prayer and
contemplation with the community invited to participate in portions of it.
For the religious minded this day serves as a reminder that materialism is an obstacle to entering the presence of
God. They seek the purification of the heart on their journey to union with the One. It is a time for evaluation and
rededication, determination to place worthy long range goals ahead of immediate pleasures, foregoing personal
gain for benefit of the community, performing good deeds, and thanksgiving for all of God’s blessings. It is a day to
remind ourselves to cultivate truth, forgiveness, and love in our lives.
Why celebrate the EID? It is a moment in eternity when the hope of human perfection is realized in the conviction
that humanity as the pinnacle of His creation will persevere! Thusly is the nobility of the Druze perspective.
2011 Nov 7th Sunday
2012 Oct 26th Friday
2013 Oct 15th Tuesday
2014 Oct 4th Saturday
2015 Sept 23rd Wednesday
2016 Sept 11th Sunday
The date of Eid al Adha always falls
seventy (70) days after the end of the
Fasting month of Ramadan.
|There are some traditional or
common Arabic greetings that one
may use or come
across on the Eid al-Adha holiday:
“Kul ‘am wa enta bi-khair!”
(“May every year find you in good
“Taqabbala Allahu minna wa minkum.”
(“May Allah accept from us, and from