Monday, November 07, 2011

Ritual that 'sacrificed' the spirit

Eid-ul-Adha is the festival in Islam that marks the end of annual Hajj pilgrimage. The ritual of sacrificing an animal is in fact an irony of this festival!

This ritual has its roots in an event that supposedly took place 4000 years ago. Prophet Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice something that is most dear to him. For Abraham, his son Ismael was most dearest since after several decades of yearning and prayers he was blessed with his son Ismael. So, he chose to sacrifice Ismael. Ismael, as an obedient son, consented to his father's wish and willingly chose to give up his life. God, supposedly pleased with this devotion, spared Ismael's life and happily accepted sacrifice of a lamb instead.

The spirit is that the believer must give up something that is dear to him/her for the needy (personifying God). The spirit also highlights the willingness and obedience of a son in fulfilling his father's wish. In today's material world it is very much applicable where a father may want to sacrifice something precious that his son may not want him to or vice-versa.

The ritual of sacrificing an animal has sadly 'sacrificed' the spirit itself. Today, one goes and buys an animal, kills it and distributes it amongst the needy, friends and family.

What would you really give up to uphold this spirit? In today's material world,  material possessions are most dearest. Instead of an animal, even if I give up fraction of my material possession for the needy, it would be upholding the spirit of this Eid ul Adha. 

Eid ul Adha Mubarak to you all.

Do share this with your friends to make this world a better place.

- Musten Jiruwala

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