Moomin Ahmad Rather
Eid ul- Azha or Eid-i-Qurban also called as the festival of sacrifice is celebrated on the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah with utmost devotion and respect, love, joy and happiness, passion, enthusiasm and the spirit of self-sacrifice.It honors the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (As) to sacrifice his son Ishmail as an act of obedience to God’s command. But, before Ibrahim could sacrifice his son, God provided a lamb to sacrifice instead. In commemoration of this intervention, an animal, usually a sheep, is sacrificed ritually and divided into three parts. One share is given to the poor and needy, another is kept for home, and the third is given to relatives.Eid-ul-Azha thus carries a special importance. To the Muslims, this occasion has both religious and social significance. Apart from being an obligatory religious responsibility, Eid-ul-Azha is considered to have a spiritual merit in the sense that it provides the muslims with an opportunity for self-renewal. Eid ul Azha is mainly centered around the event of sacrificing animals also called”Qurbani”-to consecrate to the Almighty. The purpose of Qurbani or Sacrifice in Eid al-Adha is not about shedding of blood just to satisfy Allah. It is about sacrificing something devotees love the most to show their devotion to Allah. It is also obligatory to share the meat of the sacrificed animal in three equivalent parts – for family, for relatives and friends, and for poor people. 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.The celebration has a clear message of devotion, kindness and equality. It is mentioned in the Quran that “meat will not reach to Allah, nor will the blood, it is your piety that reaches him(Qur’an 22:37). The Eid-ul-Azha enlightens the Muslims with the true spirit of righteousness and rectitude.The festival of Eid ul Azha is a time for the Muslims to learn the value of self-denial by making the sacrifice of an animal for the sake of the Almighty. This sacrifice is purported to developing a proper sacrificial attitude among the Muslims through giving up bestiality in their mind. Such a sacrifice strengthens their inner spiritual and moral spirit, thus helping to develop qualities of character which are essential to their struggle at every stage of life. They need to nourish the spiritual values of sacrifice so that they can learn to rely on the dictates of the Almighty rather than on the things they have materially built or acquired for themselves. It is a part of submission to Him. It reinforces the Muslims’ loyalty and faithfulness to the Almighty, as all other loyalties become then secondary. This sacrifice is essential for development of all ideal moral qualities, especially for showing patience and piety.
Eid-ul-Azha celebrations are about cessation and Eradication of wrong beliefs, ideas and wrong thinkings.
The faith and spiritual ascension of a true Muslim is to sacrifice every aspect of his life, his soul, his family, his precious possessions, material and immaterial, tangible and intangible things in the way of God without hesitation, and to put one’s desires, likes and dislikes, adornment and comfort in God’s way.This Eid, let’s pledge to help the needy and provide your utmost service in Gods way. Eid-ul-Azha promotes brotherhood among Muslims. On this big day, Muslims remember the deceased, visit the sick, forget all sorts of grudges, help the needy and show kindness and generosity to all. That overcoming the common grievances against each other it helps promote mutual co-existence is another inspiring lesson. The meat from the sacrifice on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha is mostly distributed among those who genuinely deserve the share in it. Eating or consumption of the whole of it by those who have the capacity to buy the animals for sacrifice, is not its purpose.Eid-ul-Azha, can help the Muslims inculcate in themselves the spirit of true belief in peace, tolerance, equality and harmony influencing the followers of all other religions. The Muslims must not forget the true significance of the Eid-ul-Azha. They need to engage themselves in unceasing pursuit of love and piety. This is critically important to help nurture in everyone’s mind the value of happiness. The real joy of the Eid-ul-Azha lies in being more tolerant and forgiving. Eid-ul-Azha gives us the lessons of sacrifice, care, obedience, discipline, brotherhood, love, cooperation, patience, peace, piety, unity, equality, generosity, tolerance, forgiving, humility, submission, contentment, gratitude. It teaches us about sharing our bounties with people who are not blessed as us. The message of Eid-ul-Azha is also, that one should sacrifice his desire, ego, pride and joy for the bigger cause of Allah. Just as Prophet Ibrahim(AS) proudly presented to sacrifice of his most beloved and dear son on the command of almighty Allah. Eid-ul-Azha celebrations are about cessation and Eradication of wrong beliefs, ideas and wrong thinkings. The faith and spirituality demands that a Muslim sacrifices every aspect of his life, his soul, his family, his precious possessions, material and immaterial, tangible and intangible things in the way of God without hesitation, and put human desires, likes and dislikes, adornment and comfort in God’s way. This Eid, let’s pledge to help the needy and those who are in distress.
(The author is a content writer and regularly writes for Kashmir horizon. Views are his own) [email protected]