The Spirit of Sacrifice

The Spirit of Sacrifice

Eid al Adha will be celebrated across the world on Saturday, the 2nd of September, 2017 or the 10th of Dhul Hijjah. Eid ul Adha is essentially, among other things, the commemoration of the spirit of sacrifice. In the Islamic schema and history, Hazrat Ibrahim(AS) willingly and gladly agreed to sacrifice his son for Allah. But, this was a test by Allah. As Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) was about to sacrifice his son, a sheep appeared which was then sacrificed. Eid al Adha then commemorates this spirit of sacrifice. Its implications are then both substantive as well as symbolic. The symbolism of Hazrat Ibrahim’s(AS) is then repeated and recreated by Muslims on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, that is on the day of Eid al Adha. Sacrificing lambs and/or other halal animals on Eid al Adha , besides being a duty or incumbent upon Muslims who can afford to do so, is well and good but we, Muslims, must understand the spirit of sacrifice and the philosophy behind it. If Hazrat Ibrahim(AS) was willing to go ahead with the supreme sacrifice, we Muslims must understand and be ready to overcome our egotistical and selfish selves and work toward the greater good of society- especially its vulnerable and poor segments- in the spirit of Islam. However, what is observed in practice, in the context of Kashmir is that some people defy the spirit of Eid al Adha and indulge in extragavances. Some even go to the extent of preying on people by jacking up prices of food and other items, the brunt of which is disproportionately borne by the poor and the vulnerable of society. This is not to say that Eid should not be celebrated; yes, it must be and should be but a sense of proportion and responsibility towards the deprived sections of society must be paramount in our minds, attitude and behavior. In the final analysis, Islam is a religion and faith that stresses and emphasizes upon sobriety and prudence, and ihsan(good deeds). Focusing on Ihsan makes us aligned with Allah and purifies ourselves and souls. What better day than Eid al Adha to reorient ourselves to the Divine and take recourse to Ihsan, in both word and deed. Let us then make a pledge that we will do our utmost to correspond and confirm ourselves to the spirit of Islam during the days that precede Eid and on it. Surely, we will be better for it!

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