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Eid-ul-Adha: Remembrance and festivity

Published : Friday, 9 August, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 1010
Md Saifullah Azad

Eid-ul-Adha is one of the holiest festivals and is celebrated annually which takes place at the end of the Hajj. It is the 10th day of the month Zill-Hajj which is the 12th month of Islamic calendar. In Bangladesh it is also called 'Korbani Eid' as it is the festival of the sacrifice. It's also known as Eid ul Baqarah in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and in the Middle East, as Eid Qurbon in Iran, Kurban Bayrami in Turkey, Baqarah Eid in India. In Islam two great festivals, Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha are celebrated annually.

Eid-ul-Adha is the 2nd biggest festival of the Muslims community around the world which is mainly centred with the event of sacrificing animals to Almighty Allah. Through this holiest event we have the remembrance of the unique memory of Hazrat Ibrahim (As) and his dearest son Ismail (As). This sacrifice of animals is the religious obligation for every capable adult Muslim. Once in a year the Muslim world commemorates the deep, wondrous love of Ibrahim (As) for Allah in being willing to spare not even his own son to give a full, effectual proof of that love. Eid-ul-Adha 2019 in Bangladesh will be celebrated on Monday, 12th of August 2019.

To the Muslims, Eid-ul-Adha is associated with spiritual as well as social significance. Apart from being an obligatory religious responsibility, Eid-ul-Adha is seen to have a spiritual merit that provides Muslims with an opportunity of self-renewal. In Muslim countries, Eid-ul-Adha is a public holiday that involves animal sacrifice, remembrance, prayers and family gatherings. Muslims exchanges a common greeting named Eid Mubarak means "blessed celebration". The day begins with morning prayers, followed by visits to family and friends and the exchange of food and gifts.

Muslims are obliged to share food and money with the poor so that they can take part in the celebrations. This is also a day on which Muslims remember the deceased, visit the sick, see relatives and friends, overlook grudges, help the needy and show kindness and generosity to all. The meat from the sacrifice of Eid-ul-Adha is mostly given away to others and it is to divide among those who honestly deserve the share of it rather than consuming all among ourselves.
Overcoming the common grievances against each other that prevent the mutual co-existence is another spirit of remembrance of the peace and prosperity of the Muslim community.

Eid enlightens our path with true spirit of righteousness and rectitude. A sacrifice, usually taken to be the slaughtering of animals, is more than that. The physical act of sacrificing of the animals is just a ritual, is just a tradition and is just a sacred practice whereas the essence lies far beyond it and the spirit of it goes far beyond common human perception. This act of sacrifice symbolises our will to give up some of our own rewards. It is to train us how to surrender ourselves to the will of Allah. Muslims recognise that all blessings come from Allah, and they should open our heart and share with others.

Eid-ul-Adha is a time for Muslims to learn the value of self-denial by making a sacrifice of something living to Allah. The sacrifice of an animal for the sake of Allah, development of a sacrificial attitude amidst the Muslims through giving up their bestiality in mind is also attained. Sacrifices strengthen our inner spiritual and moral resources and develop qualities of character which are essential to our struggle at every level of our existence. We need to practise the spiritual effect of sacrifice so that we learn to rely on Allah's provisions rather than the things we have built for ourselves. It is a part of submitting to Him.

 It reinforces our loyalty and faithfulness to Allah, for all other loyalties become secondary as they are sacrificed for the sake of this loyalty. Sacrifices are essential for the development of all moral qualities, especially for the development of patience.

Eid-ul-Adha has huge impact on socio-economic aspect. The performance of Hajj and the sacrifice of cattle during Eid celebration, in essence, generate money supply, expansionary in nature, promote trade and business, create job, and at large bring boom for the economy. The economy of Eid-ul-Adha seems to be the most dynamic of all other celebrations in generating business and temporary employment. The multiplier effect of billions spent on the occasion has long term effect on the economic area. Besides achieving the blessing of Allah, the event generates additional demand for a wider variety of goods and services. It is the rural Bangladeshis who raise sacrificial animals and receive the major chunk of the spending.

During Eid-ul-Adha, the main family spending is focused on Qurbani, unlike Eid-ul-Fitr when the major chunk of shopping is on dress, shoes, jewellery and other personal affects. Hide collections, animal feed sellers, animal doctors and makeshift stalls spring up all over Bangladesh employing thousands of people.

In various dimensions both urban and rural socio-culture has also made an impact on the occasion. In early ages, on the Eid day, boat race, kite flying, horse race etc. were held in various places in Dhaka. Even now-a-days, along with Dhaka, friendship football match, cricket match, Eid reunion party and many other cultural events take place all over the country.

Sometimes, in rural areas, some mini stalls of sweetmeat, mini idol shops and various kinds of shops with useful household materials are shown centering the Eidgahs. Therefore, both the Eid festivals become some sort of cultural occasion blending the religious and cultural zeal in Bangladesh irrespective of cast, creed and race.

The dwellers of Dhaka city are passing critical time due to Aedes aegypti, the mosquito which carries dengue virus. The mosquito-borne viral disease already spread all over Bangladesh, especially by travellers (reaching by human transports) to and from the capital city Dhaka ahead of the festival. The situation has significantly reduced the scope of desired festive mode and may affect further adversely while celebrating Eid-ul-adha. The risk of mosquito dispersion outside Dhaka may rise highly during Eid when hundreds of thousands of people will leave the city. So, we need to raise awareness among the people, especially transporters, to stop the disease from spreading further outside Dhaka. Bus, train, aircraft and launch operators must take required initiatives for killing mosquito and cleansing operations in the terminals, vehicles and vessels to fight the spread of dengue. They are advised to spray mosquito repellents on the vehicles and vessels when they leave Dhaka. The travellers leaving Dhaka must be "utmost careful" to safeguard themselves from   Aedes mosquito and enjoy Eid-ul-Adha festival.

According to the scholars, the remembrance would be to give and forgive, share and care, and mull over the sacrifice which dates back to the time of Ibrahim (As). The sacrifice associated with Eid-ul-Adha is perceived as an unwitting remembrance of the revelation Allah gave Ibrahim (As) of his salvation. As such, the remembrance of scarifies and celebration of Eid-ul-Adha can help us to inculcate among ourselves the increased belief in peace, more favourable attitude, and in equality and harmony among adherents of different religions.

Let us not stop learning from this Eid-ul-Adha the peerless love and faithfulness of Allah towards mankind which moves our heart to wonder, joy and happiness. This festival is meant to make a Muslim more virtuous in his or her deeds. So, we should share the joy of the Eid ul Adha by being more tolerant, forgiving, and distributing the meat of the sacrificed animals.  Eid should be meant to learn hidden lessons of freedom from selfish desires and to elevate a Muslim from anything that hinders his/her ability to fulfill his/her responsibilities as a Muslim.

The writer is a CERM from Frankfurt School of Finance, Germany

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