This is a bit early, but here’s wishing all Over A Cuppa Tea Muslim readers a blessed Eid Al Adha and happy holidays to the rest of you in Malaysia. Here’s my take on Eid Al Adha. I’m not the brightest crayon in the box, so please feel free to correct me on facts on Eid Al Adha if there’s any flaws in my writings.
Eid Al Adha takes place roughly seventy days after the end of Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month and coincides with the day that pilgrims performing the Hajj. The Edi Al Adha day starts very early. Muslims all around the world would dress in their best clothes, and go to a communal morning prayer.
As Ibrahim did, all financially able Muslims must make a sacrifice (Qurban). Families who are not financially able may get together to pool their money and buy an animal. The animal sacrificed must be of a certain age and quality. As Muslims make the sacrifice they will recite a prayer. One third of Qurban meat will be given to the poor and needy, one third to the extended family while one third will be for his own household.
Like Eid Fitri in Malaysia, the holiday is also a time for visiting and greeting friends and family, for eating (hmm, Malaysians can be such glutton at times) and for giving pocket money to young children and the elders. Open house during Eid Al Adha is also common practice in Malaysia.
Yours truly never fully understood the real meaning of Eid Al Adha. However, I’ve been told that it’s a Festival of Sacrifice. And it’s actually religious festival observation celebrated by Muslims and Druze worldwide in commemoration of the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. The devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey God and spare his son. As Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, God intervened and instead provided a lamb as the sacrifice. Here’s an excerp of the sacrificial story that you guys might want to have a look at:
Ismail (Isaac) looks up lovingly at his father, Ibrahim (Abraham). there’s no fear written on his expression despite the knife in his father’s hand – a knife which, he believes, will soon be slithered on his throat and take his life. A grimace of pain is hidden behind the father’s beard. The father ignores the ethereal whispers that surround him, coming from the very devil himself, urging him not to do it, to disobey God’s order. But Ibrahim (Abraham) persist.He knows what must be done.
The father looks at the boy one last time, then, slowly, reluctantly, raises his knife to strike the boy down.
The strike is never made. Instead, God, who, in order to test Ibrahim’s(Abraham’s) faith, had ordered Ibrahim (Abraham) to kill his son, intervenes, sending a lamb to be sacrificed in his place. From this day forth, no human sacrifice would ever be made by the people of the book.
This is why today all over the world Muslims who have the means to, sacrifice an animal (usually a goat, sheep, cows or camels), as a reminder of Ibrahim’s obedience to God. The meat is then shared out with family, friends (Muslims or non-Muslims), as well as the poor members of the community. (Do note that the child of the sacrifice was known as Ismail whereas the Judeo-Christian name was Isaac).
Distributing meat among the needy or poor is considered an essential part of the festival during this period. The main point for sharing the meat with the poor is symbolic of sharing wealth with others and to remind the devotees that everyone is equal in the eyes of God, and the only things that differentiate one devotee and another is not wealth, but the good deeds.
Cleffairy :Make the sacrifice for God’s sake, not political gains. Eid Mubarak and happy holiday to all.