Eid al-Adha Mubarak to all Muslims! Alhamdulilah, Muslims from every corner of the globe are celebrating this meaningful festival every year. Yes, we knew that most of you know what Eid al-Adha is all about. But a little revision wouldn’t hurt, right? Let’s ponder on the celebration of this beautiful day.
Eid-al-Adha is a day of remembrance. Even in the most joyful times, Muslims make a fresh start of the day with a session of congregational prayers to Allah in an open space. Muslims use the occasion to pray to Allah and to glorify His Name to demonstrate the remembrance of His Grace and Favours. Especially in a Muslim majority country, you’ll see a lot of Muslims taking part in the prayer (maybe including those you’ve never seen in a mosque before. Oops!)
In learning the lesson of Eid al-Adha, we can’t run away from talking about hajj and qurban (sacrifices), and their relations to the spirit of self-sacrifices (chill, bro. It’s not that kind of self-sacrifice).
Hajj is a massive undertaking in a person’s life. It costs a lot of money and for most Muslims it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Hajj however is not a vacation for recreational pleasures. It is a sacrifice. Indeed, the biggest part of the lesson that’s meant to be learned is sacrificing your comfort, your worldly concerns, your preoccupation with material things. One sacrifices all of this to focus purely on God and one’s connection to one’s Creator.
Hajj teaches us humility, humbleness, self control, sacrifice, patience, how to do more with less, but most importantly, how to reconnect with God in pure devotion and worship. This ibadah tests Muslims in different ways of hardships. For some the physical aspects are a big test. For some others it is about discomfort that comes with large crowds. Yet for others the test is more in adapting and accepting to be treated the same as everyone else. For instance, a rich person will still be praying and living in much the same conditions as a poor pilgrim. Their high social status and/or wealth will not give them any advantage over anyone else.
In addition, the qurban (sacrifices) teaches us to share the wealth we have with others. The food that we eat on this day should remind us of the many who are dying of hunger in Yemen, Gaza, Rohingya, Darfur, Chechnya, Kashmir, and all over the world. For some, it is not easy to give away and share their fortune with strangers. The qurban teaches us that in the end, it is not what we have that matters; it is what we give.
Eid al-Adha Mubarak!