Wednesday, November 17, 2010
What is Eid-ul-Adha ??
Assalamu'alaykum warohmatullah wabarokaatuhu
Eid-ul-Adha is one of the two major yearly holidays of Islam. Eid-ul-Adha falls on the 10th day of the Islamic month of Zul Hijjah. It commemorates the willingness of Prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael for the sake of God. May Allah's peace be upon these two great Prophets.
"Salam (peace) be upon Abraham!" God says in the Quran (37:109).
In Islam, Prophet Ibrahim is the friend of God and the father of Prophets (Ismail or Ishmael in English and Ishaq or Isaac and the grandfather of Prophet Yaqub or Jacob). He is also one of the ancestors of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
Anyone who rejects Prophet Ibrahim is not a true believer in Islam. Prophet Ibrahim plays a key role in this regard.
In terms of beliefs, a Muslim must believe in all of the Prophets. This includes not just Prophet Ibrahim, but his sons Ismail, Ishaq, his grandson Yaqub and of course his descendant Prophet Muhammad.
When it comes to the five pillars of Islam, the importance of Prophet Ibrahim becomes even more evident.
The second pillar of Islam is Salah, the obligatory five daily prayers. Every Muslim who has reached the age of puberty is accountable for their prayers, be he male or be she female, whether they live in the desert of northern Arabia, a village of northern Pakistan or an urban center of North America.
During one part of each of these five prayers, Muslims must ask God to send His blessings upon Prophet Ibrahim. Now calculate this: you've got more than a few million Muslims, every day, five times a day, in virtually every time zone on this planet asking God to send His blessings on Prophet Ibrahim in the course of his/her prayer.
More importantly, the direction in which every Muslim must face when praying is towards a structure Prophet Ibrahim built with his son Ismail: the Kaba, in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
With regards to the Kaba, God says this about it: "The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka (another name for Makkah); full of blessings and guidance for all kinds of beings: in it are signs manifest, the station of Abraham-whoever enters it attains security; pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to God-those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, God stands not in need of any of His creatures"(Quran 3:96-97).
This leads to the second way in which this Prophet, described as the intimate friend of God (Quran 4:125), is revered: Hajj.
Hajj is the pilgrimage every Muslim must make to Makkah at least once in his/her lifetime. Hajj is also an obligation no Muslim is allowed to reject or ignore. It is in this rite that Prophet Ibrahim's importance becomes even more prominent.
In general, Prophet Ibrahim's centrality to this fifth pillar of Islam is indicated by the Prophet Mohammed's statement, You must adhere to the traditions and rituals (of Hajj), for these have come down to you from (your forefather) Ibrahim in heritage (Tirmidhi).
First, the Kaba is the central structure around which the Hajj takes place. No Hajj is valid without going around this structure built by Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail in counterclockwise fashion seven times.
Second, Muslims who perform the Hajj or Umra must run in the middle portion of the distance between Safa and Marwa (two hills close to the Kaba) seven times. This is a commemoration of the sacrifice of the wife of Abraham, Hajira (may God be pleased with her) for her son Prophet Ismail
Prophet Ibrahim had settled his wife and son in the valley of Makkah by God's order to pioneers a civilization. It was from this civilization that the Prophet Mohammed was born.
Finally, Prophet's Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his beloved son Ismail for the sake of God exemplifies not only his sincere devotion to God. The commemoration of this sacrifice is practiced with the sacrifice of an animal during Hajj and one of the two Islamic holy days: Eid-ul-Adha.
Both father and son willingly submitted to God's command. God substituted a ram in Ismail's place at the last moment. God talks about this incident in Quran 37:100-107.
The sacrifice that is offered by Muslims all over the world every year (at Eid-ul-Adha) is in commemoration of the supreme act and spirit of sacrifice offered by Prophet Abraham in lieu of his son Ismail.
TO ALL OUR BROTHER'S AND SISTERS !! EID MUBARAK :) !!
Wassalamu'alaykum wr wb