is also known as Bakrid,and it coincides with the Muslim piligrimmage called Hajj. To greet Muslims on this day
you may say “Happy Eid” or “Eid Mubarak” or "Eid Greetings" - meaning happy festivities.
On the occasion of this Eid, I urge fellow Muslims to stop and salute every one of the fire fighters, police and our armed forces to honor them for their sacrifices and their love for the humanity. Let them know that as a Muslim you appreciate their sacrifice, and this festival is about appreciation for such sacrifices.
note that, I have been blessed to write about the essence of every festival from a
universal perspective, so that you can relate with it, regardless of your faith.
Indeed, I have written about every faith from Bahai to
Zoroastrian and every one in between, so that we understand each other, rather
than build myths about the others.
|We appreciate your sacrifices and |
salute you on this festival of sacrifices
ESSENCE OF EID AL ADHA
the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, known as Hajj, Muslims throughout the
world celebrate the holiday of Eid-al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice).
During the Hajj, Muslims remember and commemorate the trials and triumphs of
Qur'an describes Abraham as follows: An-Nahl (The Bee) 16:120 – “VERILY, Abraham
was a man who combined within himself all virtues, devoutly obeying God's will,
turning away from all that is false, and not being of those who ascribe divinity
to aught beside God:”
the Hindu Vedas have proclaimed God, the ultimate creator, the cause behind
creation has come to be known as God. Whether it is evolution, big bang or
creation, a singular cause rolled out what we see today.
Abraham is ascribed as the one who marketed the idea of one God; it is a
unifying idea that we are part of the large family. Hinduism calls it Vasudaiva Kutumubukum – the
whole world is one family, Qur’aan
describes that we all originated from
the same couple (Darwin = source) and were made into different races, nations
and communities so that we know each
other and re-create that harmony, one of the Christian tradition calls it as
reconnecting with the creators lineage. The Wicca traditions sum it up, from the
mother earth we come and to the mother we go. The Baha’i faith has done an
outstanding job in describing the oneness of the creator.
We are all a product of a singular cause, from
one singular source of creation, and that we are an integral part of the great
harmony and balance with which this planet operates, when the harmony is lost,
we have to rebuild it for the long term good of all its parts like the Native
Americans suggest, if it befalls on one strand, it affects the entire web. Look
what the swine flu or the chicken whatever does… it engulfs the whole world
Love and Sacrifice
A parent would risk his or her life to
protect the child. People in love have the passion to value their beloved's life
and are willing to get the bullet and save the life, they are willing to rescue
him/her from the freezing lake risking their own lives, even strangers do that.
It is the willingness to put the life of the loved one’ above one’s own life.
Every day our Police officers risk their own lives to protect ours, the firemen
and women risk their lives to save a child, a pet or an aged person from a fire;
and every day our soldiers put their lives at risk to save fellow soldiers and
to save our freedom.
are not familiar with the Abrahamic faith, may find this story difficult to
consume, but if they can understand why one is willing to fight for the freedom
and safety of the family or the nation, they will see the picture.
wanted to test Abraham’s faith, love and devotion. One of Abraham's main trials
was to face the command of God to kill his only son (at that moment, as he had
one more after that). Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to God’s
will, firmly believing that God means good at the end. When he was all prepared
to do it, God revealed to him that his "sacrifice" had already been fulfilled.
So Abraham sacrificed a lamb as a symbol, which is to be shared with those who
do not have. He had shown that his love for his Lord superseded all others that
he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dear to him in order to
submit to God.
Thus the tradition of symbolic sacrifice
began, where one would sacrifice a lamb to continue the tradition of Abraham.
During the celebration of Eid-al-Adha, Muslims commemorate and remember
Abraham's trials, by sacrificing an animal such as a sheep, camel, or goat. This
action is very often misunderstood by those outside the faith.
does not need one to sacrifice; it has nothing to do with atoning sins or using
the blood to wash ourselves from sin.
Al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage) 22:37 [But
bear in mind:] never does their flesh reach God, and neither their blood: it is
only your God-consciousness that reaches Him. It is to this end that we have
made them subservient to your needs, so that you might glorify God for all the
guidance with which He has graced you. And give thou this glad tiding unto the
doers of good:
The act symbolizes our willingness to give up things that
are of benefit to us or close to our hearts, in order to follow God'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 God, and we should open our hearts and share with
others. The meat from the sacrifice of Eid-al-Adha is given away in three ways;
self, relatives and the poor. It is a symbolic act in the western countries, but
it becomes meaningful in those countries where people are under nourished and
don’t get to eat the meat as we do.
The symbolism is in the attitude - a
willingness to make sacrifices in our lives in order to stay on the right Path.
Each one of us makes small sacrifices, giving up things that are fun or
important to us. A Muslim is one who submits him/herself completely to the Lord
and is willing to follow God’s commands obediently. It is this strength of
heart, purity in faith, and willing obedience that our Lord desires from
God's ultimate will
God does not want anything
more from us than asking us to be just and truthful. It brings tranquility and
balance to an individual and what surrounds him; life and environment. The
creator would be pleased when his creation is nurtured, cared for and sustained.
Indeed, to be religious is to be a peacemaker, one who seeks to mitigate
conflicts and nurtures goodwill for peaceful co-existence.
Eid-al-Adha is one of two major Eid festivals
celebrated by Muslims, whose basis comes from the Qur'aan. Eid-al-Adha begins
with a short prayer followed by a sermon (khuṭba).
falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja (ذو الحجة) of the lunar Islamic
calendar. The festivities last for two to three days or more depending on the
country. Eid-al-Adha occurs the day after the pilgrims conducting Hajj, the
annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide, descend from
Mount Arafat. It happens to be approximately 70 days after the end of the month
Men, women, and children are expected to dress in their
finest clothing to perform Eid prayer (Salatu'l-`id) in any mosque. The regular
charitable practices of the Muslim community are demonstrated during Eid-al-Adha
by the concerted effort to see that no impoverished person is left without
sacrificial food during these days. Eid-al-Adha is a concrete affirmation of
what the Muslim community ethic means in practice. People in these days are
expected to visit their relatives, starting with their parents, then their
families and friends.
I am familiar with the practices in the Indian
Subcontinent, where the individuals visit the local cemetery to pray for the
loved ones, almost like the Memorial Day. In fact the formal prayer which most
Muslims recite asks God to forgive parents, teachers, those living and those
that are dead and everyone else. It is a sense of purification one goes through.
God in the Qur’aan says the one who forgives is dearest to him.
comes to food, I can share the practice of my family; the whole family gets to
eat the breakfast together, usually the Flat bread (Paratha, Naan or Roti) with
Meat balls (Kofta Curry). Then they would join the procession to a place outside
the town where they go and pray as a large congregation, usually it is the
cemetery grounds. Then everyone comes back home, and enjoys the Biryani (Indian
version of fried rice) and Shami kabob. Then visiting as many friends as they
can is part of the culture, have a bite to eat while meeting them and greeting
them with hugs.
I am pleased to invite you to join and experience these
congregational prayers at Mosques and around the world with Muslims of different
Honoring Police, Firemen and
the occasion of this Eid, I urge fellow Muslims to stop and salute every one of
the fire fighters, police and our armed forces to honor them for
their sacrifices and their love for the humanity. Better yet, call the Fire,
Police, City and other places and let them know that as a Muslim you appreciate
their sacrifice, and this festival is about appreciation for such
Eid Mubarak to all and Hajj Mubarak to those who are blessed
is committed to building a Cohesive
America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is
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is updated daily.