Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Eid Mubarak :: Greetings of Blessed Holiday

Eid Mubarak to all the visitors. It means Blessed be the Holiday.

Today is 'Eid here in Singapore (saying Singapore because its based on Lunar calendar and thus obsereved at different days around the globe). Its one of the major celebration in Islamic Faith. This is the Feast of Sacrifice in holy memory of Prophet Abraham.

The word 'Eid is an Arabic name to mean a festivity, a celebration, a recurring happiness, and a feast. In Islam, there are two major 'Eids namely the feast of Ramadhan ('EId Al-Fitr) and the Feast of Sacrifice ('Eid Al-Adhha). The first 'Eid is celebrated by Muslims after fasting the month of Ramadhan as a matter of thanks and gratitude to Almighty Allah. It takes place on the first day of Shawwal, the tenth month of the lunar calendar.

The second 'Eid is the Feast of Sacrifice and it is to be celebrated for the memory of prophet Abraham or Ibrahim (peace be upon him) trying to sacrifice his son Isma'il (Ishmael or Eshmael). This 'Eid lasts four days between the tenth and the thirteenth day of Zul-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the lunar calendar.

The night of Eid is a blessed night. Its recorded by Prophet Muhammad (peace), "If a person enlivens the nights of Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha with prayers , rememberance, recitation of Qur'an, or similar activities his heart will be alive on a day when all hearts die." : Credit

The History of Eid-al-Adha:
The history behind Eid-ul-Adha follows the story of the faithful Abraham, who was instructed by Allah in a dream to raise the foundations of Kaaba, a black stone, the most sacred Muslim shrine in Mecca (Saudi Arabia), which the Muslims face during their prayers (salat). Immediately responding to the Lord’s call, Abraham set off for Mecca along with his wife and son, Ishmael. At that time, Mecca was a desolate and barren desert and Abraham had to face a lot of hardships. However, he supplicated Allah’s commands uncomplaining. In a divine dream, he also saw himself sacrificing his son Ishmael for Allah’s sake. When he told this to Ishmael, the latter immediately asked his father to carry out Lord’s commands without faltering and assured that he was completely ready to give up his life for God. But miraculously enough, when Abraham was about to sacrifice Ishmael, Allah spared the boy’s life and replaced him with a lamb. And this is what Abraham ultimately sacrificed.

To commemorate this outstanding act of sacrifice (qurbani) by Prophet Abraham, people sacrifice a lamb, goat, ram or any other animal on Eid-ul-Adha and give the meat to friends, neighbors, relatives and the needy. People who are away from the holy pilgrimage, Hajj, also carry out this traditional sacrifice. Hence Eid-ul-Adha is also known as the Feast of Sacrifice or the Day of Sacrifice. Eid-ul-Adha begins from the 10th day of the 12th Islamic month Dhul-Hijjah. But the date of Eid-ul-Adha depends on the visibility of the moon each year. Eid-ul-Adha is known by different names in different parts of the world. For instance, Eid-ul-Adha is known by the name Hari Raya Aidiladha in south-east Asia. In Singapore, the local name for Eid-ul-Adha is Hari Raya Haji and in Malaysia, people refer to this festival as Id al-Adha and has made it a national holiday there. Indians know Eid-ul-Adha as Id al-Adha or Idu’z Zuha. And in Bangladesh, Eid-ul-Adha is known as Eid-ul-Azha or sometimes even Id al-Adha. But whatever the name, the celebration spirit of Eid-ul-Adha runs high among Muslims all over the world, the geographical variations notwithstanding.

Ref: Univ of Souther California Compendium of Muslim Texts. :: History Credit.
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