Un­der­stand­ing the “Essence of Eid-ul-Adha”

The Miracle - - Editorial -

Dur­ing the an­nual Hajj in Mecca, Mus­lims all over the globe com­mem­o­rate the tri­als and tri­umphs of Prophet Ibrahim (Abra­ham PBUH). How­ever, the mis­in­formed peo­ple carry on with un­wanted prac­tices such as at­tempt­ing to pur­chase the most ex­pen­sive sac­ri­fi­cial an­i­mals in com­pe­ti­tion with oth­ers just to show off fol­lowed by un­just dis­tri­bu­tion of meat among the re­cip­i­ents. Greed and sac­ri­fice can’t go to­gether: The mis­in­formed or the most ig­no­rant ones among the Mus­lim com­mu­nity tend to be ma­te­ri­al­is­tic enough to keep the best por­tion (goat thighs) for self or giv­ing it away to the IN LAWS of daugh­ters in many in­stances. The Mus­lims should know: “It is nei­ther their meat nor their blood that reaches Al­lah; it is your piety that reaches Him.” (Qur’an 22:37) Mus­lims keep de­bat­ing when to cel­e­brate. ‘Dif­fer­ent groups dif­fer­ent an­swers’ is the on­go­ing at­ti­tude mainly re­spon­si­ble for the “Mus­lims’ dis­unity. Ridicu­lously, a huge di­vide among 1.7 bil­lion Mus­lims is a laugh­ing mat­ter for “the nonMus­lim world against Mus­lims.” In fact, the re­gional cus­toms or moon sight­ings may cause a vari­a­tion of the date for Is­lamic hol­i­days, which start at sun­down the day be­fore the date spec­i­fied for the hol­i­day. Since, the Is­lamic cal­en­dar is lu­nar and the days start at the sun­set, so there is usu­ally one-day er­ror de­pend­ing on when the New Moon is first seen. Ac­cord­ing to the Fiqh Coun­cil of North Amer­ica, Eid ul-Adha will be cel­e­brated on Septem­ber 1st the (based on as­tro­nom­i­cal cal­cu­la­tions). Some Cana­dian Mus­lims fol­low Fiqh Coun­cil, while some fol­low Saudi Ara­bia. Like oth­ers, for the Cana­dian Mus­lims, Eid-ul-Adha is an an­nual Is­lamic ob­ser­vance of im­mense sig­nif­i­cance. It is also known as the feast of sac­ri­fice or fes­ti­val of sac­ri­fice as it com­mem­o­rates Prophet Ibrahim’s will­ing­ness to sac­ri­fice his only son to Al­lah the Almighty. Fur­ther­more, Eid is cel­e­brated by the Mus­lims through­out Canada around the 10th to the 13th days of the Is­lamic month of Dhul Hi­jja). It is a time marked by spe­cial prayers and many Mus­lims gather to­gether for spe­cial prayers. Many Mus­lims also visit fam­ily and friends, ex­change greet­ings and gifts, and make do­na­tions to the poor and the needy gen­er­ously. No doubt, Eid-ul-Adha of­fers the best op­por­tu­nity for for­give­ness and com­pas­sion. Per­form­ing the Hajj ap­plies to all phys­i­cally and fi­nan­cially able Mus­lims world­wide at least once in life­time. Some Mus­lims from Canada have gone for per­form­ing Hajj. The Qur’an fur­ther de­scribes Prophet Ibrahim as fol­lows:

“Surely Abrahim was an ex­am­ple, obe­di­ent to Al­lah, by na­ture up­right, and he was not of the poly­the­ists. He was grate­ful for OUR boun­ties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in this world, and in the next he will most surely be among the right­eous.” (Qur’an 16:120-121) In­deed, one of Abrahim’s main tri­als was to face the com­mand of Al­lah to sac­ri­fice his only son. Upon hear­ing this com­mand, he pre­pared to sub­mit to Al­lah’s will. When he was all pre­pared to do it, Al­lah revealed to him that his “sac­ri­fice” had al­ready been ful­filled. He had shown that his love for Al­lah su­per­seded all oth­ers, as he was sin­cerely pre­pared to lay down his own life or the lives of those dear to him in or­der to sub­mit to God. This sym­bol­izes obe­di­ence to Al­lah. And, the fair dis­tri­bu­tion of meat of the sac­ri­fice to oth­ers is an ex­pres­sion of gen­eros­ity; it’s one of the es­sen­tial pil­lars of Is­lam. In short, Eid ul Adha re­minds us of Prophet Ibrahim’s readi­ness to obey God right af­ter hav­ing en­vi­sioned that he was to sac­ri­fice his only son. Al­though,tion­wideyet the de­vout pub­lic Eid-al-Adha Mus­lims hol­i­day takeis in not Canada,timea na- off from work in or­der to per­form sac­ri­fice af­ter Eid prayer in the AM hours. The sym­bol­ism is in the “at­ti­tude of will­ing­ness” to make sac­ri­fices in our lives in or­der to stay on the right­eous path. Les­son/ mes­sage here is each one of us makes small sac­ri­fices, giv­ing up things that are fun or im­por­tant to us. And a true Mus­lim is the one who sub­mits com­pletely to the will of Al­lah the Almighty and re­mains will­ing to fol­low His com­mands com­pletely and obe­di­ently. It is this strength of heart, pu­rity in faith, and will­ing­ness in obe­di­ence that Al­lah wants from us. Dur­ing the Hajj, Mus­lims re­fresh mem­o­ries of the tri­als and tri­umphs of Prophet Abra­ham. The Hence, the tra­di­tion of sym­bolic sac­ri­fice be­gan. The non be­liev­ers need to know: Dur­ing the cel­e­bra­tion of Eid-ulAdha, Mus­lims com­mem­o­rate and re­mem­ber Abra­ham’s tri­als by sac­ri­fic­ing an an­i­mal such as a sheep, camel, or a goat. As this ac­tion is very of­ten misun­der­stood by the non be­liev­ers, it’s our obli­ga­tion to fully ex­plain the essence of sac­ri­fice. Im­por­tantly, af­ter the slaugh­ter of the sac­ri­fi­cial an­i­mal, all meat of sac­ri­fice must be mixed up to be dis­trib­uted in three ways; self, rel­a­tives and the poor. It is a sym­bolic act of shar­ing with peo­ple who are mal­nour­ished and are be­low poverty line. In­deed, Al­lah loves our pu­rity in faith and our un­con­di­tional obe­di­ence of HIM.

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