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Islamic Society ( 8 Jul 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Eid-ul-Azha: Importance and History

Eid ul Azha: A Day Not Only to Sacrifice Animals but Also to Promote Moral Standards and Spread Joy to Those In Need

Main Points:

1.    Eid-ul-Azha is a very meaningful and memorable day, and the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) has emphasised that the prayers on this day will be accepted.

2.    This day is known as the best day of the year because so many acts of worship are performed together.

3.    Eid-ul-Azha provides Muslims with a perfect opportunity to contemplate deeply the plight of the poor and cultivate a sense of generosity toward them.


By Kaniz Fatma, New Age Islam

9 July 2022

The Muslim world as a whole observes Eid-ul-Azha, (aka Eid-e-Qurban and Baqraid), one of the two most important Eids in Islam, on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah. Eid-ul-Adha began in 624 AD. The inception of Eid-ul-Azha is a reflection of the Prophet's intention to foster societal harmony, cultural celebration, and a sense of patriotism and solidarity. In accordance with a Hadith narrated by Abu Dawud, the holy Prophet (PBUH) felt strongly about the necessity for a feast upon his arrival in the city of Madinah to encourage unity, charity, brotherhood, equality, and great compassionate impulses for helping the needy. Thus, after obtaining divine guidance from Allah, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) proclaimed: "Almighty Allah has granted you two blessed Eids: Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha." (Abu Dawud: 1134)


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Eid-ul-Adha is a very meaningful and memorable day, and the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) has emphasised that the prayers on this day will be accepted. On the day of Eid-ul-Adha, we should all seek forgiveness and repent—not just verbally, but also practically. We should humbly pray to the Lord, ask for his pardon for our faults and sins, and try our best to please him. Remember, sacrifice has been an important part of all religions since the beginning of time.

It is stated that Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, responded, "It is a tradition that has come down to us from Abraham," when asked about the origin of Eid al-Adha.

The Feast of Sacrifice (Eid-ul-Azha) commemorates the historical moment when Prophet Abraham was given the order to sacrifice his son Ismail by God in the form of a dream vision. However, God sent the Angel Gabriel along with a massive ram as the Prophet Abraham was about to sacrifice his son. Gabriel told Abraham that his dream's prophecy had come true and gave him the command to offer the ram as a ransom for his son. The Holy Qur'an's Chapter 37 makes reference to this event.


Also Read:  Animal Sacrifice vs. Compassionate Eid: An Open Letter To Our Muslim Brothers and Sisters


Virtues of The Day of Eid-ul-Azha

“The day of Eid-ul-Azha is the greatest day in the sight of Allah” Azzawajal, according to a hadith (Abu Dawud 1064), and “it is also the greatest day of the Hajj”, according to another hadith. (Tirmidhi: 8191)

This day is known as the best day of the year because so many acts of worship are performed together, including the Eid prayer, the sacrifice, the recital of Takbeer (praising Allah), and the general remembrance of Allah. Making a sacrifice, stoning the Shaytaan (the devil) pillars, shaving one's head (men only; women simply clip a little piece of their hair), performing the Tawaaf (circumambulation of the Kaaba), and performing the Sa'ee are additional requirements for pilgrims in Makkah (running between the two hills of Safaa and Marwa).

The Arabic words for an animal sacrifice are Zabia and Qurban. The word ‘Qurban’ could have its origin in the Jewish word ‘Korban’. In countries, including Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, Qurbani is always used to describe Islamic animal sacrifice. An animal sacrifice, termed in the Islamic tradition as "Zabiha" or "sacrifice as a rite," is only made at Eid ul-Adha. Sheep, goats, or camels might be used as the offering animals. The animal must be sound and healthy. In the Qur'an, Allah Almighty commands the sacrifice of animals, saying, "Therefore turn to the Lord in Prayer and Sacrifice" (Quran 108:2). This is an Islamic directive for wealthy people to share their good fortune with the needy in their community.

Rich Muslims around the world observe the Sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) by sacrificing an animal on the occasion of Eid ul Azha. The meat is then divided into three equal portions. The one who sacrifices keeps a portion of the offering for oneself. The second portion is given to his family and relatives. The third portion goes to the needy and the poor in the community.

Eid-ul-Azha is more than only purchasing and offering animals, dressing up, indulging in delicious feasts, and pursuing petty pleasures and joys. Instead, it exhorts people to advance honourable and compassionate values throughout society. It stands for having a strong sense of brotherhood and compassion for the disadvantaged. The highest spiritual status is genuinely supposed to be acquired via acts of unselfish service to those who are less fortunate.


Also Read:  Is Universal Animal Sacrifice on Eid ul Azha A Bid’at (Innovation)? Animal Sacrifice Is Not a Pillar of Islam like Tauheed, Namaz, Roza, Haj and Zakat


Eid-ul-Azha provides Muslims with a perfect opportunity to contemplate deeply on the plight of the poor and the impoverished, cultivate a sense of generosity toward them, and engage in charitable giving. The fundamental principles that Muslims must observe during this holiday are Hazrat Abraham's greater devotion and total obedience to God's will. They are therefore reminded of the Prophet's willingness to make any sacrifice for the glory of God.

Muslims sacrifice the permissible animals and offer them to the hungry and poor in commemoration of Hazrat Abraham's devout sacrifice to God. However, the main objective of this celebration is not only animal sacrifice. God does not actually take pleasure in flesh and blood, as stated in the verse, "Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you." (22:37)

Therefore, Muslims should choose from a variety of ways to demonstrate their loyalty to Allah's will during this holiday in addition to animal sacrifice. To fulfil the lofty goals of Eid-ul-Adha, many virtuous and peaceful deeds based on the custom of generosity and giving should be carried out. A few of the many prophetic customs associated with Eid-ul-Azha include greeting and embracing neighbours, hugging people upon meeting or parting, visiting and consoling the sick, expressing sympathy to the bereaved, exchanging presents, and generally spreading joy and happiness through all available channels. On the Day of Eid-ul-Adha, such deeds that foster camaraderie, fraternity, and charity are highly regarded.


Kaniz Fatma is a classic Islamic scholar and a regular columnist for New Age Islam.


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