Column: Eid ul-Adha Celebration Begins Today

September 1, 2017

[Written by Shabnam Jheengoor]

Today, September 1st, 2017, holds special meaning for Muslims in Bermuda and around the world as Eid ul Adha, the festival of sacrifice Prophet Abraham [peace be upon him] is celebrated. The main event of the celebration is the sermon delivered by the Imam at the mosque which is followed by a short prayer. Families and friends usually exchange greetings and gifts and partake in a meal together on the day. Animals are also sacrificed and shared among relatives, friends and the less fortunate.

Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated in honour of Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Ishmael [peace be upon them] and to remember the obedience of Ishmael [peace be upon him] who willingly offered himself to God. The offering of animal sacrifice on the day commemorates this spirit of obedience and sacrifice.

Eid-ul-Adha comes at the end of the Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims, which must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey.

Pilgrims participate in many rituals during the Hajj, the main one being the circling of the sacred site of Kaaba in the city of Mecca. The Kaaba is a cubic-shaped building originally built by Prophet Adam [peace be upon him] for the worship of God Almighty. It fell into ruins and was rebuilt by Prophet Abraham and Ishmael [peace be upon both of them]. Since then, it’s been a well-known site of pilgrimage.

One of the most enthralling aspect of the Hajj is the way the rituals are designed to bring people of different races, status and nations together. During the circling of the Kaaba, for instance, all pilgrims wear simple white clothes and circle the Kaaba together, shoulder-to-shoulder. All distinctions in power, race and status disappear at that moment. At that moment, every pilgrim is simply an obedient servant of God Almighty.

It is grievous that this unity is not observed in real life in the Muslim world. The hatred and conflict between supposedly Islamic countries is simply astounding. There is no lack of inter-sectarian violence either. Add to that the rise of extremism and one is left with a bleak and dark picture of present day Islam which is completely contrary to the original teachings of Islam.

Hope however comes in the form of the prophecies in the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet Muhammad [peace and blessings of God be upon him] who gave the glad tidings of a Messiah who will revive the pure teachings of Islam. That Messiah is Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad [peace be upon him] who appeared in Qadian, India more than 100 years ago.

The community he founded known as the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is now led by his fifth successor, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad. The salvation of the Muslim world thus lies in the acceptance of the Messiah and complete devotion to the original teachings of Islam, as expounded in the Holy Quran and practised by the Holy Prophet Muhammad [peace and blessings of God be upon him].

Eid Mubarak!

- Shabnam Jheengoor, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Bermuda

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