Muslims mark Eid-ul-Adha

BY: Suleiman Mustapha
Muslims mark Eid-ul-Adha
Muslims mark Eid-ul-Adha

Muslims around the world are today celebrating Eid-ul-Adha, one of the two most important festivals on the Islamic calendar.

Eid-ul-Adha is a festival celebrated among Muslims in remembrance of the sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim made out of his strong faith in Allah, the Most High.

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It marks the willingness of Ibrahim (or Abraham) to sacrifice his son on God’s command and Muslims celebrate the day by slaughtering animals such as sheep and goats, whose meat is shared among family and friends and also given to the poor.

Ibrahim showed a willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail, but his son was replaced with a lamb by Allah, who was so pleased with Ibrahim’s submission to Him that He made this demonstration of sacrifice and faith a permanent part of a Muslim’s life.


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Therefore, on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah every year, Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid-ul-Adha and a sense of generosity and gratitude colours this festival.

Significance

The festival is meant to make a Muslim more virtuous in his or her deeds. It is not meant only to offer sacrifices; rather it is meant to learn the hidden lessons of freedom from selfish desires and elevate a Muslim from anything that hinders his ability to fulfill his responsibilities as a Muslim.

Allah says in the Quran:

“Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. Thus have we subjected them to you that you may glorify Allah for that [to] which he has guided you; and give good tidings to the doers of good.” (Surah Hajj:37).

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The 10 days preceding Eid-ul-Adha have great significance, as they are meant to motivate and encourage Muslims for Eid. A Muslim must do maximum worship and prayers in these days, and then as an expression of reward, one celebrates Eid-ul-Adha.

Unlike Eid-ul-Fitr, the festivities for the Greater Eid last three days and Muslims usually start off the celebrations by reciting the Takbir at dawn before conducting the communal prayer, Salat-ul-Eid.

People then attend mosque for prayers in either their newest or best clothes to thank Allah for the blessings they have received. They also exchange the greeting "Eid Mubarak", meaning "Blessed Eid", with one another.

End of Hajj

The Greater Eid also marks the end of Hajj, the five-day religious journey that takes Muslims to the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Over two million Muslims made the pilgrimage this year, the activities of which span over a week and require the completion of a set of tasks, culminating in reaching the cube-shaped Kaaba inside the Grand Mosque.

It is, however, regrettable that in Ghana, such an occasion has been reduced by some Muslims to the display of exotic lifestyles, with brass band music, indiscriminate hooting of horns and other anti-social vices, thereby degrading the character of the Eid-ul-Adha.