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Eid Al Adha - Sacrifice in the way of Allah
15 Oct 2013 Eid Al Adha is the annual Islamic festival that coincides with the culmination of Haj – the annual pilgrimage to Makkah. It commemorates the zenith of sacrificial spirit demonstrated by Prophet Ebrahim when he willingly offered to sacrifice his son Prophet Esmail upon Allah’s injunction. “The word ‘Adha’ means sacrifice in Arabic, and in Islam it signifies the sacrifice offered by Allah’s beloved Prophet Ebrahim who was put on a series of trials by Allah. One of the trials was an injunction to sacrifice his beloved son Esmail who he begot at the age of 90. When the father and son both agreed and tried to commit the act, Allah stopped them, pleased with their dedication. He sent down a sheep from heaven which was then sacrificed,” said Khaleeq Ahmad Mufti, Islamic scholar and presenter at Sharjah TV. This symbolic practice of sacrificing animals has stayed ever since and will be continued until the end of the world as a reminder and an example for all believers to follow in the footsteps of Prophet Ebrahim. “Islam tries to inculcate among its followers the willingness to sacrifice anything in the way of Allah. The honorable act of Prophet Ebrahim, who was an old man of 100 at the time, to willingly offer his young son in the way of Allah, is an example for all believers to follow. This act signifies that when necessary, believers have to give even their most beloved objects in the way of Allah,” added the Mufti. The Quran explains the true meaning of sacrifice in chapter 22, verse 37: “Their flesh and their blood reaches not Allah, but the devotion from you reaches Him. Thus have we made them subject unto you that you may magnify Allah that He has guided you. And give good tidings (O Mohammad) (PBUH) to the good.” Explaining the above verse Shaikh Ahmad Al Kubaisi, Head of the Islamic Education section at the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Deparatment, Dubai, said: “Eid Al Adha is a religious festival celebrated for the sake of Allah as ordained by Him. The festival calls on all believers to give up their whims and fancies for the sake of Allah and follow the true path. It calls on people to do good and shun evil and this is the biggest sacrifice which the verse points at that it is the devotion towards Allah that is counted and nothing else matters.” There are certain things related to sacrifice. Pointing to another important aspect of Eid, Al Kubaisi said: “Eid also calls on people to look after the community which is fulfilled by giving to the poor and taking care of family and friends.” Eid begins with prayers in the morning when all believers come together, following which they are enjoined to meet and greet each other, encouraging the community spirit and brotherly feeling. “After the prayers people are enjoined to meet and greet which spread warmth and when the animal is sacrificed it has to be divided into three equal portions, one given away to the poor, the second is given to relatives and friends and the third portion is kept for the person who has sacrificed the animal. This act encourages the spirit of giving and caring,” explained Al Kubaisi. Eid Al Adha is also strongly connected with Haj, one of the main pillars of Islam. It is marked on the 10th day of the Islamic month of Dhu Al Hijjah, when Haj pilgrims sacrifice animals that culminate their pilgrimage. Both Haj and the act of sacrifice have strong historic bonds with Prophet Ebrahim, as practices started by him reaffirm his religion and his role as the father of all prophets. Eid Al Adha is celebrated for four days beginning from the 10th day of Dhu Al Hijjah until the 13th day. Animals are sacrificed on all four days. Source: Gulf News