Remembering Sacrifices: Eid-ul-adha

Eid-ul-adha is the festival of ‘sacrifice’, which originates from an instance of the Islamic past. During the Eid-ul-adha celebration, Muslims commemorate and remember Prophet Ibrahim’s expression of love for his Lord which superseded all others,through his act of laying down his own life or the lives of those dear to him, in order to submit to God.

The instance was such, that once, Prophet Ibrahim got The Almighty Lord in his dream, asking him to sacrifice his most precious possession. He was ready at once and sacrificed whatever was precious to him. But he still continued to dream the same, daily. At last, he recognized that the most precious thing he had was his only son. Discovering this, he prepared himself to submit to the Lord’s will and when he was all prepared to do it, Allah revealed to him that his sacrifice had already been fulfilled, by sending a sheep/ goat, in place of his son, leaving his son safe aside.

In the remembrance and honour of that sacrifice and love for the Lord, Muslims sacrifice animals, (whose meat is lawful to eat in Islam, such as sheep, goat, camel, buffalo etc.) the same way, taking the name of Allah every year at a certain period of time. This act is very often misunderstood by those outside the faith.

People offering Namaz
People offering Namaz

On the first morning of Eid-ul-adha, Muslims around the world offer the morning prayer at Mosques. Prayer is followed by sacrifice of the animal and then visits with family and friends, to exchange greetings and meat.The meat from the sacrifice is mostly given away to others. It is divided into three equal parts, of which, one is distributed among the relatives and friends, the other one is kept for the own family while the third part is given to poor, who rarely get the chance to have proper food or meat etc.

The act signifies the willingness to give up for the sake of following the Lord’s command. On the other hand it also symbolises the willingness to give up and sacrifice, in order to strengthen the ties of friendship and help the needy. We recognize that all the blessings come from our Lord and we should open our hearts and share with others. It is this strength of faith, purity of heart and willing obedience, that our Lord desires from us.

Aapka Times wishes all of you a happy and prosperous Eid.

[This is written by Areeba Seraj Khan, student of Aligarh Muslim University pursuing B.Sc in Chemistry]