Have you noticed that I didn’t post anything for quite a long time? I just got lazy and didn’t do anything fascinating for last few days, just played with sony vegas and I just celebrated Eid ul Adha in Korea without family member and friends, sorry with friends.
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It was a good opportunity to think about some real spirit behind celebrating eid adha (Bakra Eid). You would have noticed that Muslims around you would sacrifice sheep, buffalo (bull or cow), and camels. Don’t mind if I say cow, I said it because in many places in India its legal to sacrifice cow and in all places you can sacrifice an old cow, usually govt. does it too. And also slaughtering ammonals is not a strange ritual for us as we see almost all religions have this. Some of them call it Bali, Sacrifice and some call it Qurbani. Apart from all sociopolitical issues and discussions related to sacrificing animal lets spend sometime to understand the essence of doing a sacrifice especially in Islam.
Eid ul Adha is celebrated in remembrance of sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham in Bible and Tawrah) Alaihissalam. Instead of telling a long story and boring you I present two verse from Quran that mention all in a beautiful and most concise way, which is impossible to concise any further. Here it is
“O my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)!” So We gave him the good news of a boy, possessing forbearance (gentle). And when (his son) was old enough to walk and work with him, (Abraham) said: O my dear son, I see in vision (dream) that I offer you in sacrifice: Now tell me what is your view!” (The son) said: “O my father! Do what you are commanded; if Allah wills, you will find me one practicing patience and steadfastness!” So when they both submitted and he (Abraham) threw him down upon his forehead, We called out to him saying: O Ibraheem! You have indeed fulfilled the vision (command); surely thus do We reward those who do good. Most surely this was a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice. And We perpetuated (praise) to him among the later generations. “Peace and salutation to Abraham!” Thus indeed do We reward those who do right. Surely he was one of Our believing servants. Quran [37:100-111]
This tells all about the sacrifices and trails prophet Ibrahim was put on and on how he fulfilled his commands and as a reward God praised it by making it a compulsory for generations. This is story is more or less same with all people of book (Ahl e Kitaab), the one who have revelation and book from God, like Muslims, Christians and Jews.
The real reason for celebrating the festival is to celebrate the spirit of following the commands of God the same way prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismail has done. Sacrificing an animal is just a physical form but the actual learning is to remind everyone that how one needs to be ready to follow the commands of Allah SWT. As its clearly mentioned in another place in Quran
Their flesh and blood do not reach God: it is your piety that reaches Him. Thus God has subjected them to you, so that you may glorify Him for the guidance He has given you. Give glad tidings to those who do good. Quran [22.37]
These two verses give a clear idea of what Eid ul Adha is and why Muslims practice it, though most of them just enjoy having delicious food and get into the discussions of cow, buffalo, a bull or a sheep sacrifices.
The real sacrifice is the determination of leaving things behind which you like the most for the sake fulfilling the commands of the God. The way prophet Ibrahim had shown dedication when he was commanded to sacrifice his son. And the way prophet Ismail had shown his faith when he was informed of his sacrifice.
Now let me give a broader look. This story makes it true for everything in life. You are determined to work harder for achieving your goals. If you don’t have guts to stop wasting time on watching movies, dramas, chatting with friend and internet,how can you fulfill your dreams? Something is commanded to you from your inner consciousness and you believe in it. How come you can succeed without following it?
The real test is to scarify your desires for something you believe in, then everyone will remember you as people remember prophets and legends. Just visualization is nothing without being acted upon. Having desire to reach to IITs is nothing but a dream without sacrificing cricket matches, movies, drama, TV programs and all other worthless time wasters. With this I call you to be more determined for your future though you need to walk through a way which most of others think is crazy.
Wish you all a great Eid ul Adha time and great future ahead
There were two important questions I wanted to address for a long time in this regard. 1. What is the spiritual significance of slaughtering and 2. Why not just donate the amount instead of slaughtering. You can read further to know about it (updated: 12.09.2016)
There is a misunderstanding about slaughtering animals for eating in India, as a good number of Indians are vegetarians. I think this is totally because they think its cruel and should not be done that way or some other reasons. But over ninety percent of the world use animals for daily food. That way there is an argument against vegetarians too on killing plants and their fruits and eating the food to animal newborns in the form of milk and it’s by products. I leave it to people for their choice of food and don’t want to get into that.
There is no spiritual connection to slaughtering an animal it’s the sprit behind slaughtering the animal have that connection. If you understand why you are slaughtering an animal, you will know what is important to take care and what to do after you have meat from it. The rule of thumb is two third of the meat goes to poor who cannot afford and relatives and you are entitled to only one third of it.
Just to showoff slaughtering more animals and wasting food is neither part of Islam nor from the sprit of festival. Rather these kinds of acts are highly discouraged.
Second Question can come to mind why not just donate that money to some poor people. The simple answer to that is the sacrifice is symbolic remembrance of the sacrifice of Ibrahim (Abraham) AS. You can understand it by the example birthday. We celebrate and cut a cake and without that there is no celebration. Even small cup will do but there is a symbolic attachment to it. Similarly different events in life have symbolic attachments we need to follow them. The sacrifice have a symbolic attachment to it and cannot be complete until you give away two third of it to poor and needy. So the essence of whole festival is to sacrifice and help need and poor people, remember family and seek forgiveness and blessing through it.