By Oneeba Afzaal

Eidul-Azha the festival of sacrifice, also known as Bakra Eid, is celebrated all over the world in the last month of Zilhajj. It is the second most important festival of Islamic calendar. Muslims celebrate this Eid on 10th Zilhajj after performing Hajj.

This Eid is also known as, Eid-e-Qurban. This sacrifice recalls us the old holy and spiritual occasion when the Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) exhibited his willingness to sacrifice his son when Allah ordered him.

The holy festival celebrates the occasion when Allah appeared to Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S) in his dream and asked to sacrifice his son Hazrat Ismail (A.S) according to the orders of Allah. The devil tried to tempt Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S) by saying, disobey Allah and spare your son. He did not pay attention to him. And when Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S) attempted to sacrifice his son, Allah saved Hazrat Ismail (A.S) by the replacement of a sheep and consequently a lamb was slaughtered in the name of Allah.

On this festival Muslim sacrifice their domestic animals like goat, sheep, cow, camel etc. After sacrificing the animal the meat is distributed among fellows, relatives, neighbors and the poor people. No matter, which Eid is, it is always the day of happiness and celebration for Muslims all over the world.

Eid starts on 10th Zilhajj with sacrificial process in morning, and lasts till the sunset of 12th Zilhajj. Usually, people offer Qurbani on the 1st day and other offers on later two days.

Eid usually starts with Eid prayers, dressed in their new finest clothes and thanking Allah for all the blessings they have received. After Eid prayers everyone greets each other by saying two words that is ‘Eid Mubarak.’ These two words bring joy and excitement to kids and adults. It is also a time when they visit family and friends as well as offering presents. It is obligatory to give a proper amount of money to charity, so that poor can also buy cloths and celebrate Eid with full zeal.

The meat from the sacrifice animals is mostly given away to others. Normally one-third of the meat from sacrifice is eaten by the immediate family members, one third is usually kept for friends and relatives, and the rest is donated to the poor. This distribution is according to the Sunnah of Muhammad SAW.

Distributing the meat from the sacrifice animal helps us to realize how we can share things and possessions that are very important for us. Some people have been known to donate a lot of money to the poor in the name of Allah to earn Allah's blessings. The act also portrays a clear example in which we just give up things that are dear to us in the way of Allah just to follow his command. This act also promotes brotherhood in the Muslim society. This act also refreshes our faith in Allah and allows the people to realize that they should be thankful to Allah for all the bounties that have been provided. The meat is then cooked as part of a celebration to share with family and friends.

 Published in Young Nation Magazine on September 2, 2017