Eid ul Adha is an Eloquent Reminder of Sacrifice. Let’s celebrate it in this Very Spirit!

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Sameer Ahmad Thoker

Eid-ul-Adha is a festival celebrated by millions of Muslims around the world on the 10thday of the holy month of Zilhaj. The word Eid-ul-Adha comprises of two separate words: Eid and Adha. The word Eid means something which returns over and over. Hence, Eid refers to the kind of happiness which comes again and again. Adha means sacrifice; therefore, Eid ul Adha is a festival of sacrifice.

In the holy Quran Almighty Allah states in chapter 9,verse 11:

“Surely, Allah has purchased of the believers their persons and their property in return for the Garden they shall have”.

Similarly, the last verses of Chapter 61 of the Holy Qur’an clearly explain that those who sacrifice in the way of Allah shall have a great reward from Him and shall see great happiness.

Sacrifices are of two types: individual sacrifice and communal sacrifice. Eid-ul-Fitr is a celebration and reminder of personal sacrifice, whereas Eid-ul-Adha signifies communal sacrifice. Eid-ul-adha or festival of sacrifice is celebrated by Muslims to mark the occasion when Allah appeared to Ibrahim(AS) in a dream and asked him for the sacrifice of his beloved son , Ishmael(AS) to demonstrate his devotion to Almighty Allah , ignoring the advice of the Shaitan , who tried to tempt Ibrahim into disobeying Allah by saying he should spare Ishmael. Ibrahim(AS) was about to press ahead with the sacrifice when Allah stopped him and gave him a lamb to scarify instead of Ishmael(AS ). Today this event is remembered on Eid by sacrificing an animal.

Traditionally, Muslims will sacrifice cows, goats, lambs or other animals on the day, and divide the meat; one third is consumed in a feast by family and friends; one third is given to neighbors, and one third is donated to the poor and the hungry. The act symbolizes our willingness to give up things that are of benefit to us or close to our hearts, in order to follow Allah’s commands. It also symbolizes our willingness to give up some of our own bounties, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need. We recognize that all blessings come from Allah, and we should open our hearts and share with others. It is very important to understand that the sacrifice itself, as practiced by Muslims, has nothing to do with atoning for our sins or using the blood to wash ourselves from sin. This is a misunderstanding by those of previous generations: “It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him” (Qur’an 22:37).

The day of Eid has a special connection with the meeting of loved ones. It is a day when we not only go to the houses of our relatives, but we embrace even those who we may not know personally, after the Eid prayers. The real Eid is for those who are able to develop a relationship with their beloved Allah. The occasion is also a reminder that some meetings, some relationships, are temporary, and though we find happiness from these temporary acquaintances, the real happiness is meeting one’s beloved permanently and being one with Him forever.

Eid ul Adha is a a time for Muslims to thank Allah for the blessings they have received, and to celebrate with their families, friends and relatives. It is also a time to remember the less fortunate and well-off through the act of Qurbani, donations and gifts, so they can also celebrate the occasion. It is the right time to revive your bonds and connections with those people who don’t have enough resources to celebrate this event with clothes as good as ours.

They are deprived of true happiness and enjoyment of most awaited Islamic festival. As the Eid ul-Adha approaches, I hope everyone is done with their Eid shopping but the rich community should not forget that souls who are living in slums, having no roof to live under, no proper and healthy food to eat, no clothes to dress up and having nothing to celebrate Eid.

Every year, Almighty Allah gives us a golden chance to create harmony and to cover the difference between upper and lower classes. But, we miss the chance just for our own happiness. We waste money on the Chaand Raat and we get out in bazaars for fun and waste a lot of money. Alas! We have forgotten the core values of Islam and true meaning of this religious accession. Dear friends, why not on this Eid, we choose to spend our time with those poor and needy people who are waiting for us? Why not we join our hands to make their Eid a special one? Let’s celebrate these memorable moments with them and let them know they are our part; that they are not alone; we are with them. And, above all, we care for them

The author is a Ph.D Research Scholar at the School of Studies in Botany at the Jiwaji University Gwalior. He can be reached at: sameerbotany@gmail.com