Source: Huffington Post
Eid al-Adha, also called the Festival of Sacrifice, falls on Monday, Sept. 12, 2016 in North America. It is one of two annual feast festivals Muslims celebrate and coincides with the annual pilgrimage to Mecca known as the hajj.
The timing of the holiday depends on when Saudi Arabian religious authorities see the new moon at the start of the Dhu al-Hijjah month, according to the Islamic calendar. For weeks, some U.S. Muslim leaders worried it would fall on Sept. 11, raising concerns that non-Muslims might misinterpret celebrations occurring on the solemn anniversary of the 2001 al Qaeda attacks.
Those fears dissipated in early September when authorities announced the holiday would take place on Sept. 12.
Muslims celebrate the Eid al-Adha to commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael in obedience to God in scripture. Today, celebrants frequently mark the day by slaughtering animals to feed the poor.
According to the Quran, when Ishmael (known as Isma’el in Arabic) was 13, his father, Abraham, or Ibrahim, began having dreams in which God instructed him to sacrifice Ishmael (Quran Surah 37). Unbelievable as the dreams were, Abraham decided to follow Allah’s instructions — but not before asking Ishmael if he would agree to this.
His son did not hesitate, showing ultimate submission to God’s will by telling his father to go through with the sacrifice. But at the very moment that Abraham raised the knife, Allah told him to stop — they had passed the test — and to replace Ishmael with a sacrificial ram. In the Quran, Abraham is rewarded for his faith with a second son, Isaac.
Muslims observe and prepare for Eid al-Adha in a number of ways. Before the festival, the faithful acquire new clothing and visit with family and friends. At dawn on the day of Eid, Muslims recite the traditional declaration of faith, the Takbir, followed by the pre-sunrise communal prayer, Salat al-Eid, which is also said on Eid al-Fitr. Worshipers then greet friends with the traditional Arabic salutation of Eid Mubarak (“Have a blessed Eid”) and exchange gifts.
In a symbolic act, some Muslims who can afford it slaughter a cow, goat, sheep or camel, keeping a portion to feed themselves and distributing the rest to friends, family and those in need. Those who can’t afford it frequently buy meat from a halal butcher to distribute. Giving out this meat, in addition to the morning prayers, is considered an essential component of Eid al-Adha.
Categories: Hajj, The Muslim Times, Universal Brotherhood
Eid ul Adha 2016 sermon by Ahmadiyya Khalifah (a.t.) : The True Eid
Peace be on you…Hazrat Khalifatul Messiah V (a.t.) said that we read in Holy Quran and mention in our speeches and sermons repeadetly, and I have mentioned it many times in my sermons that God the Exalted states the purpose of making human:
Wa ma khalaqtul jinna wal insa illa leya’bodoon
[51:57] And I have not created the Jinn and the human that they may worship Me.
If there is any purpose of birth of human, it is that he should adopt full devotion / worship to Allah the Exalted and become perfect ‘abd’ of Him. What does it mean to become ‘abd’? What is meaning of ‘ya’bodun’? It means perfect servitude and serving with all powers and faculties, to pay right of worship i.e. worship with bottom of heart and with unique love and it is not felt as weight, perfect obedience and humility.
We observe there is numerous creation of God the Exalted and He has assigned them various works. All of them are working in their sphere as if that they are obeying Him. Compared to them is human, God the Exalted said to him I have assigned this work to you and what is that work?….It is to recognize and obtain your purpose of creation.
How many people are there in the world who act on it? Leave alone other people, see from we Muslims. How many of them fully act on directives, obedient, worship Allah the Exalted with having a special passion of love. If we collect numbers there will be very few who do so, even those who worship Him does customarily or with superficial heart. Majority does not offer Salaats.
It is strange that other things were assigned work and they are doing it and are not disobeying. But human was told clearly that there is purpose of your life which God the Exalted has placed before you which you have to fulfill but human does its disobedience and violation. It is as if other things are doing assigned work with obedience but that obedience is not in human. Why it is so? It is because Allah the Exalted gave the right of choice to only human among His creation that he can do as he wishes. And if he understands his purpose of life by acting on directive of Allah the Exalted which is to adopt full humbleness, and to show full God-fearing and humility, to devote all his love and relations to God, to leave evils and arrogance and bow before God the Exalted. As the result God the Exalted too lean towards human and comes towards him and grant him His love and affection.
It is as, God the Exalted gave two spheres by creating human; disobedience and obedience. And by telling purpose of life of human He said if you will remain in the circle of my obedience by being my servant, you will get my benefactions which have no limit, you will get progress in it — while there is only one circle for other creations and they have to work within it. They do not have any other way except obedience, hence they do not have reward and prize. They have no power and substance to chose one thing from two.
So Allah the Exalted has given this property to human only that he has two ways which he can adopt; one is to get his puprsoe of creation, to get love of God the Exalted and to adopt humility for Him – and — second, by not fulfilling this purpose and by being included in disobedients of Him, by going out of His servitude, and becoming servant of Satan. As the result of it human become worthy of His punishment.
Thus by acting on the directives of Allah the Exalted and by fully obeying His commandments, human can become true abd / servant of Allah the Exalted and this property is given to human only even the angles are not given this status.
It is benevolence of Allah the Exalted for human that He gave him such a purpose of life, by obtaining it he can be included in very much beloveds of Him. Rather he can reach at the station where even the angels cannot reach.
Thus human is fortunate that by making him, God the Exalted made him superior than His other creation but with the condition: If you will use — the powers, faculties, capacities and the brain and thought I granted you (which are not given to any other creation) — in My love, full obedience of My commandments, and in My worship and will fulfill your purpose of life, you will get My love.
As said earlier, human is given choice, which path of virtue or evil he may choose. Evils or worldly attractions pull human to them. Sometimes these things as trial, sometimes human is doing virtues, something comes up which make him astray from the path. In todays world, such things are present at each step which attracts or try to attarct a virtuous person too. If the person avoids and he remembers his purpose of creation, Allah the Exalted Who grants His servants a lot, raises many stations of that person who avoided worldly attraction.
After telling human the purpose of creation, Allah the Exalted have done the greatest favour to His servants is that He sends His Messengers, His callers who guide people to their purpose of creation who save human from falling in evils and make effort for this, who save human from skidding from straight path, who inform human about making distinction about virtue and evil. Allah the Exalted mentions such people in Holy Quran as (which is as a prayer) :
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