Eid-ul-Azha and its spirit of sacrifice
Eid-ul-Azha, the second largest religious festival of the Muslims, will be celebrated on August 1 this year. However, this year's celebrations will be limited and rather grim against the backdrop of an uncertain future. The pandemic has brought our lives to a standstill. The frontline fighters, particularly the doctors will be busy treating patients while the infected will be struggling to get well. People who are in quarantine will probably have to spend Eid utter isolation. And the families who had lost their loved ones in the pandemic - we express our heartfelt condolences for them - their lives will not go in vain.
Moreover, the recent floods have taxed more miseries to our life. Especially, the people of northern region are the worst victims of inundation. Many of them have lost their havens, cattle and livelihood. Indeed, to lessen their sufferings, our assistance and prayers are needed. And this is also a test for us to stand beside those victims.
Eid arrives every year to show love and compassion towards all mankind and our attitude towards them should be a testimony. Not to mention, Eid-ul-Azha revives the memory of the Prophet Ibrahim's (PBUH) faith in Allah and his complete willingness to sacrifice his dearest son as a token of surrendering himself to the Divine spirit. This year we will probably be celebrating Eid with lesser extravagance as many of us will not be able to procure sacrificial cattle.
An important lesson, however, sacrificing of animals on this day symbolises the supreme sacrifice of his beloved son that Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was willing to make to honour the wishes of his Creator. It was a test of faith as well as an act of supreme sacrifice. More to it, Corona has taught us nothing is everlasting in life.
This is also a festival for those who are materially better off to share with those less fortunate, their food, symbolised by the distribution of meat from the sacrificed animals and their wealth.
For what is the point of a festival if everyone cannot take part in it? Let us remember that there are many of our brothers and sisters and children who go hungry every day and do not have the means to wear new clothes or eat nourishing meals. This is the perfect opportunity for Muslims to prove their humanity which is the basic value of Islam, by refraining from vulgar display of wealth and sharing it with others.
Last of all, we request our fellow citizens to carry out slaughtering of cattle in a clean, hygienic way, and without harming the environment. This must be ensured by the respective city corporations in cooperation with the public.