Monday, January 9, 2006

Significance of Eidul Adha

The day of Eidul Adha is known the world over as Eidul Kabir, or the Major Feast. It is distinguished from Eidul Fitri, which is the Minor Feast, known also as Eidul Saghir. The Eidul Adha is actually celebrated by Muslims two months and ten days after the Minor Feast.

The word eid’ means a recurring festival. The name of Eidul Adha means the Feast of Sacrifice. It is celebrated on the tenth day of the lunar month of Dzulhijjah.

On the ninth day of Dzulhijjah, pilgrims proceed to the plains of the Mount of Arafat, outside Makkah and they spend their time totally in worship. This is infact the core of the worship of Hajj, without which no Hajj is said to have been performed. On that evening, pilgrims proceed from Arafat to Muzdalifah.

Early in the morning of the 10th day of Dzulhijjah, the pilgrims having offered their prayers at Muzdalifah proceed to the three pillars to cast seven stones at the symbols of Satan. This ceremony of casting stones has been performed since the days of Prophet Ibrahim [Abraham].

It is a ceremony, which indicates one should cast away the evil of Satan repeatedly and resolve never to listen to him again, nor to succumb to temptations. In fact, the word for the casting process in Arabic is ‘rajm’, which means throwing of stones or stoning to death.

Then, pilgrims return to Mina, with a pure slate of mind and heart, where they perform the sacrifice of animals. This process commemorates the event when Prophet Ibrahim known as the Companion of Allah [Khalilul Rahman] was about to sacrifice his most beloved treasure, his son.

It was his only son then, whom he begot in old age after sincerely having implored Allah, for a son for a very long time. It was Isma’il, his beloved and righteous son who was destined also to become a prophet. He is known as Dhabih Allah, or the chosen sacrifice of Allah. Hajj is in fact, considered a reaffirmation of the faith of Prophet Ibrahim, whom is considered the Father of all prophets.

For those who did not go to Hajj, like most of us, it is celebrated as a feast. We begin with the prayers of `eid, following which, sacrifices of animals are made and the meat is to be shared with the poor.

It is a pity that over scores of years, the act of sacrifice lost its meaning. It has become a mere ritualistic performance among Muslims who sometimes slaughter goats, sheep and cows annually and mechanically, without understanding the underlying significance.

There is a difference between mere charity and sacrifice. Charity is a regular all-time practice of helping the needy and no particular day is fixed for it. In the case of sacrifice is an annual ritual, which is to be performed on the prescribed days commencing with Eidul Adha.

Ibadah korban akan dilaksanakan bagi memperingati ketaatan Nabi Ibrahim S.A.W kepada Allah S.W.T. untuk menyembelih anaknya, Isma'il selepas bermimpi melakukannya sebagai menerima perintah Allah S.W.T yang juga ditaati oleh Isma'il. Ketaatan itu dibalas oleh Allah dengan menggantikannya dengan seekor kibas.

Di Pakistan, unta antara ternakan utama yang menjadi pilihan untuk dibuat korban selain kambing, lembu dan kerbau.

Eid Mubarak to all.

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