By Rameez Bhat
Eid-ul-Adha – as we all know – is an Eid of sacrifice. It is celebrated for two and a half days. The festival is observed by the Muslim ummah who remember and commemorate the trials and triumphs of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S);
“Surely Ibrahim was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. We choose 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.’’ (Al-Quran 16:120-121)
One of Ibrahim’s (A.S) main trials was to follow the command of Almighty Allah to sacrifice his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah’s will. When he was all set to do it, Allah revealed to him that his “sacrifice” had already been accepted. He did show that his love for his Lord was above all other considerations and that he would offer his own life or the lives of those dearer to him and submit to God. At that time Almighty Allah sent an animal from the heaven and commanded Prophet Ibrahim (A.S), to sacrifice the animal instead of his son. All Muslims follow the same path. Every Muslim or Muslimah offers sacrifice of allowed animals to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s (A.S) sacrifice and follow Allah’s command.
In Kashmir, 96.4% constitutes the Muslim population who celebrate this Eid, but the fact is that, we are in a state of anguish stemming from September floods and last year’s unrest; therefore we are not in a condition to celebrate Eid with ebullience and splendor.
Coming to the September floods, we not only faced the devastating flood but the loss was heavily hefty; some of the families in central Kashmir as well in south Kashmir are yet to come out of the trauma. Somehow the locals, NGO’s and government tried to help these flood victim families. But the unrest 2016 was another jolt for the people of Kashmir; in the 2016, unrest we lost more than 110 lives for the sake of right to self-determination and 18000 people were injured in which more than 500 persons lost their vision due to the relentless use of pellet guns.
The Eid Gah’s of the valley during the 10-days of Zil-Haj are likely to remain busy where innumerable people will buy and sell sacrificial animals. Countless people will have planned for the celebration but are we in a condition to celebrate Eid with exuberance? The visible trail of killing and injuries of our youths would hardly stir these affected families into festive spirits. Reminiscence of the pellets, PSA, apprehension, nocturnal raids and killing of our young generation makes the Eid celebrations of Kashmiri people a difficult affair where one can hardly celebrate it the way it was traditionally celebrated. Muslims should help others in this excruciating time and it is the only after that their sacrifices may be rewarded.
Our generation is in a state of agony, as we have seen the bloodshed of our dear ones. In 2005, a massive earthquake hit Uri and parts of Kashmir where more than 1500 people died and more than 6000 got injured. We are yet to recover from the pangs of distress, we again faced the agitation of 2008 and 2010 in which our 214 loved ones lost their lives.
After passing this harsh period, we again faced the devastating development of 2014-floods in which we not lost our properties but also our darling ones. And, 2016 unrest and 2017 student protests have further rendered us miserable. Are we still able to celebrate Eid with enthusiasm? I don’t think we are. It is time to assist each other, as Almighty Allah says that we should be the first to take initiative and do well to others, but if others have been kind to us, in the first place, we have no choice, but to return the favor. The reward of goodness is nothing but goodness. (Al-Quran 55:61)
Whosoever can , should to give charity on this EID; I make a humble request to them give more charity this time and hopefully your charity will put some balm on the faces of the people of Kashmir and celebrate this Eid with austerity.
The author is a student of the University of Kashmir. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org