The Sanctified Eid

Almighty Allah cannot be pleased only by sacrificing an animal but included should be the character and temperament of obedience and submission to His commands which He has given in Holy Quran Sharief.

Eid-ul-Azha, the most prominent festival among Muslims holds a great religious significance. Almighty Allah, the most Compassionate and Merciful has provided us with yet another opportunity to celebrate the much blessed Eid-ul-Azha. Commonly known as the festival of sacrifice, it commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) willingness to sacrifice his son to the will of God. On the occasion of Eid ul Azha Muslims offer animal sacrifices to remember the spirit and submission of Prophet Abraham (A.S) towards Allah. The sacrifice reflects that we submit ourselves to Allah. Eid-ul-Azha is about celebrating the triumph of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) over evil who tried to deceive him from carrying out the command of Almighty. It is a symbol of faith and loyalty which the prophet showed towards his Lord. This festival reminds of the submission to God and the feeling of obedience attached to it. The underlying truth is that, the festival brings man and his Lord together. In fact it is not the sacrifice of animals but of one’s own self, happiness and comfort, to seek the pleasure of the Lord. The traits of truthfulness, loyalty, obedience, sincerity, and moreover of submitting to the will of God symbolise this festival. The Muslims are reminded of the great sacrifice which the Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) made to please his Lord and the benefit which he attained thereafter. Almighty Allah bestowed him with his choicest blessings. It is indeed a merry making occasion for all Muslims who tend to celebrate it gracefully. It revives the Islamic traditions and refreshes the faith of Muslims. To gain penance for our sins, express warm greetings to all and spread the message of love, this occasion provides a healthy chance to all Muslims to lead a Nobel and dignified life which not only mesmerises their present but also shapes their future for a bright and promising outcome. This day is not only for merry making but a day to celebrate spiritual and religious values.

It is celebrated on the 10th day Zil-Hijjah, the last month of the Muslim year. Eid-ul-Azha marks the completion of the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca (Hajj), a course in which Muslims hearken to the eternal voice of Allah. They use this occasion to pray to Allah and glorify His name. Besides offering prayers and visiting others, Eid-ul-Azha is celebrated by slaughtering sheep, goats, or camels. Slaughtering animals is Wajib to every Muslim provided that he has the capacity to do so. According to a Hadith, the Apostle of Allah, (SAW) said: “Whoever has the capacity to sacrifice and does not do so, should not come to the place where the Eid prayer is offered.” (Ibn Majah). In yet another Hadith it has been clearly mentioned that there is no other action which is more pleasing to Allah than shedding of blood of animal. It is neither flesh nor the blood that reaches to Allah, but our piety. Even the useless parts that are thrown away such as hair carry a reward and there is one reward for every hair strand. The blood of the Qurbani reaches the stage of acceptance even before it flows on the surface. Such is the virtue that Almighty Allah has blessed it with. Since the Almighty Himself has glorified the rites and rituals associated with this festival, there lies an immense responsibility on our shoulders to carry out these rituals in the same way as directed. We pay our tributes by the way of sacrificing animals, so there are certain things that we need to evaluate before going for Qurbani which completely fulfils the requisite obligations meant for it. One needs to be careful in selecting animals and must keep in view the conditions that render an animal ineligible for Qurbani. It is also worth to note that whether the animal has attained the required age which usually differs from one to other. The preferred time to make Qurbani is right after the completion of Eid-ul-Azhaprayers till the sunset of 12th of Zil-Hijjah. If for some reasons the animals are not slaughtered, then they should be donated alive to charity. The meat from the sacrifice must be given away in the suitable proportion. One thirds of it should be consumed by the immediate family, one thirds donated to the poor and the remaining distributed among relatives and friends. 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. One needs to have the purity of heart while carrying out the rites that are due to him. It is not the action that speaks, but the intention with which the action was made. The intent should be to please The Almighty and seek His refuge from what He has forbidden. 

Eid-ul-Azha is a harvest day as well as forgiveness day. All the good work done in the service of Allah is rewarded and all faithful believers reap the fruits. On the other hand when Muslims assemble in congregation and ask for their forgiveness whole heartedly, surely, The Almighty listens, as He Himself has assured those who approach him with sincerity, of His mercy and blessings. A true Muslim, who submits his self completely to the Lord, is willing to follow Allah’s commands completely and obediently. It is this strength of heart, purity in faith, and willing obedience that our Lord desires from us. We must keep in mind the relevance and importance of such a festival and thereby celebrate the same in a decent manner. People should avoid being spendthrift. Instead we must search for needy and help them so that they too could enjoy this festival. It is time to introspect ourselves as to know what we are lacking in and trying to imbibe the required. It provides an opportunity to repent for our past sins and makes the way for a more blessed life. It is an occasion to remember the sacrifice and devotion which prophet Ibrahim (A.S) showed and definitely not a one to show off.

Almighty gets pleased when we disengage ourselves from immoral activities, evil doings and other irreligious activities. We must show humility to others. May we be blessed with what is good for us. May this Eid be a source of peace, joy and prosperity to all and enlighten our lives with success and brilliance. Aamen.

The author from Ghaziabad Anchidora Anantnag is B. Tech-MBA (ECE) from Lovely Professional University, Punjab.

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