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  Updated: January 12, 2006

Eid-ol Adha brings further proximity to God Almighty

By: Faez Karimi

Eid-ol Adha – an important festival in Islamic calendar - is the day of commemoration of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him)’s obeying of God’s command to sacrifice his son Prophet Ishmael (peace be upon him).

In this regard, the holy Qur’an says in Ayahs 101 and 102 of Surah Saffat:

“So We gave him the good news of a boy, possessing forbearance. And when he attained to working with him, he said: O my son! Surely I have seen in a dream that I should sacrifice you; consider then what you see. He said: O my father! do what you are commanded; if Allah please, you will find me of the patient ones.”

In this lively conversation a world of sincerity, content and love is observed. Prophet Abraham and his son Prophet Ishmael (peace be upon them) displayed the highest phase of servitude that is self-sacrifice and submission to God.

Therefore, when Abraham (peace be upon him) lay down his son on the floor and prepared to slaughter, God appreciate his sincerity and miraculously sent a ram to replace Ishmael, saying as is preserved in Ayahs 104 to 111 of Surah Safaat:

“O Abraham! You have indeed shown the truth of the vision; surely thus do We reward the doers of good: Most surely this is a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with the great sacrifice. And We perpetuated (praise) to him among the later generations. Peace be on Abraham. Thus do We reward the doers of good. Surely he was one of Our believing servants.”

Eid-ol Adha is the peak of Hajj rituals. Eid and celebration in most cultures may be slackening of morals and indulgence in frivolities, but in Islam, Eid brings further proximity to God Almighty. It is the day of awareness. As Imam Ali (peace be upon him) has said: “The day when a person does not commit any sin is a day of Eid.” Thus, the day of Eid whether the end of the fasting month of Ramadhan that is celebrated with prayer and thanksgiving as Eid-ol-Fetr, or the Feast of Sacrifice, are days of rejoicing with a lofty spiritual purpose.

Eid is the day of repentance and recognition of the responsibilities. By sacrificing an animal on the day of Eid-ol-Adha we become more aware of the purpose of life and the message of Abraham and Ishmael (peace be upon them).

The Holy Quran in Surah Maidah points to the sacrificial animal and says it is a symbol of God’s blessings, unity and order among people and preventing the community from corruption.

Ayah 37 of Surah Hajj reminds Muslims that the attributing the meat of the sacrificial animal towards God means expression of piety in the way of God Almighty and not that God has any need of it. Therefore, the goal is that mankind by traversing the stages of piety strive towards perfection. This is one of the most important lessons that we learn from the magnificent Hajj pilgrimage.

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