Eid UL Adha:
This festival is celebrated at the end of Hajj. There are 12 Islamic months in all. Each month begins with the sighting of the new moon. The new moon is shaped like a crescent and marks the beginning of the month. Eid ul Adha is celebrated in the month of Dul-Hajj. It is celebrated to remember the sacrifice made by Hazrat Ibrahim, which is the Arabic name for Abraham.
From the Fajr of 9th of Dul-Hajj to the Asr of the 13th of Dul-Hajj, Hajj is performed. After Hajj is completed, Muslims celebrate Eid ul Adha.
Who was Hazrat Ibrahim and what was the sacrifice made by him? In a far off land in Babylonia, a boy named Ibrahim was born. His father made statues. The people of Babylonia worshipped the moon, stars, sun and idols.
Hazrat Ibrahim was an intelligent boy. He questioned his father about the statues. Why do you worship things that cannot move or speak? ‘Because our forefathers worshipped them’, he replied.
Hazrat Ibrahim was not satisfied and he smashed all the idols except the biggest one. When the people returned from a celebration they were shocked to see their Goda smashed. When they asked Hazrat Ibrahim, he said, ‘ask the biggest statue?” the people knew they could not defend themselves because the statue could not move or speak.
However, they were very arrogant and the King of Babylonia, Nimrod ordered Hazrat Ibrahim to be burnt alive. But Allah knew that Hazrat Ibrahim was saying what was true and so he cooled the flames for him.
Now Hazrat Ibrahim had a wife named Sarah and and a nephew, Lut. He did not have any of his own children. Hazrat Ibrahim left Babylonia with his family and entered Egypt. The wicked King of Egypt wanted Sarah as she was very beautiful. However, Allah did not let it happen and Sarah was safe. The Kings hands froze as soon as he came near Sarah. Fearful he freed her and presented her with a gift- Hajar (an old woman)
Sarah let Hajar marry Ibrahim. They had a son called Ismael. One day Allah asked Ibrahim to leave Hajar and Ismaeel in the desert of Mecca. There was no water and Hajar had no milk. She ran desperately between the hills of Safa and Marwa, looking for food and water. There was then a miracle and water started to flow from the ground like a spring. This water was called Zam Zam. A nearby tribe Jurham also shared the water with Hajar.
While Ismaeel was growing up to be a young man, his father Ibrahim had a dream to sacrifice him in the name of Allah.
Hazrat Ibrahim was sad but when he told of this dream to Ismaeel he willingly accepted. Ismaeel was a brave boy and had a strong faith. His father was sad but he knew he had to obey Allah. When Ibrahim was about to make the sacrifice , Allah stopped him. Instead Allah put a big ram there, because Allah is the Most Merciful.
Ismaeel lived in Mecca and chose a young wife for himself from the tribe of Jurham. After many years Ibrahim returned to meet his son Ismaeel. Hajar had died by that time. He saw Ismaeel seated near the spring of Zam Zam. They were delighted to be reunited. And it was then that Allah told them to build the Ka’bah, the house of Allah.
Adam and Hawwa were the first humans on earth. They were created by Allah. They lived in heaven until one day they ate the fruit of the forbidden tree. Allah had asked all the angels to bow before his creation. All listened to Allah except Iblis who was arrogant and proud. Iblis or Satin misguided Adam and Hawwa. He fooled them by saying that if they eat the forbidden fruit they will live forever in the Heaven which is a beautiful place with fountains and fruits and rivers. Allah forgave Hazrat Adam and Hazrat Hawwa but sent them down to earth which was to be a place of test for them. Allah told them to be wary of Iblis who will guide them away from the right path.
Allah sent all his bounties-fruits, animals, birds and trees, sun and moon and clouds and stars to Adam and Eve. From thence own, Adam and Eve taught all their children to worship Allah. Many years after the deaths of Adam and Eve, Allah sent down many Prophets to guide mankind and keep him from following Iblis. Hazrat Gabriel, Hazrat Ibrahim, Hazrat Musa, Hazrat Esa, etc and the last prophet was Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w) with the final word of Allah in the shape of a book called Qur’an.
Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w) was born in Makkah to a noble family in the land of Arabia in which stood the Ka’abah, the house of Allah. Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w) was chosen to be a prophet like all other prophets. He was proected by Allah from birth to adulthood. Hazrat Muhammad was the son of Abdulla. His grandfather was Abdul Muttalib. His mother was Aminah.
Muhammad (s.a.w) was taken care of by his foster mother Halima who lived in the desert and had many children of her own. She was very poor. However, Allah sent his blessings on Halimah’ family and after many months of droughts came rain bringing with it plenty of food and water for the sheep and camels and for her whole family.
Muhammad(s.a.w) was orphaned at the age of 6. His grandfather also died when he was 8. Abu Talib, his ucle then became his guardian. Muhammad (s.a.w) was not happy with the Quraish’s way of living. They also worshipped idols.
When he was 12 years of age, his uncle Abu Talib took him on his firsttrade journey to Syria.
Muhammad (s.a.w) was known as Sadiq and Al Ameen (the honest and the truthful) in and out of Makkah. When Muhammad was 25 he worked for a noble woman Khadija, who sent hom to Syria on a trade journey.
She was very pleased with his success and soon after they got married. They had four sons and four daughters. Except for Fatimah, the rest of his children died before him.
The walls of the Ka’abah were damaged because of floods in the Makkah valley. The question of who should rebuild it caused a quarrel. I was decided that whomsoever enters the Ka’abah first will be chosen to perform the task.
It so happened that Muhammad (s.a.w) was the first one to enter. Everyone was really happy because he was known as Sadiq and Ameen. He was wise and he used his wisdom so that no disagreement would occur over placing Hajr-e-Aswad (the black stone) in the Ka’abah. He decided that a cloth be spread and the stone be placed in its center. Then the leader of each clan would lift each corner of the cloth and firmly place it in its position.
The first revelation came to Muhammad (s.a.w) in a cave in mount Hira. Angel Gabriel (known as Jibra’eel in Arabic) came to him one day when he was in deep thought and asked him to ‘Read.’
“I cannot read”, replied Muhammad (s.a.w)
The angel repeated his command thrice and then said:
Read in the name of thy Lord,
Who createth man from blood coagulated.
Read thy lord is wondrous kind,
Who by the pen taught mankind.”
Muhammad (s.a.w) repeated it after him. However, he was so sacred that he went home to his wife Khadija. He was shivering. Khadija believed his story without any question or doubt. She took him to her cousin Waraqa bin Nawfal, who was a knowledgeable man. Waraqa told him that Jibra’eel was the same angel sent to Hazrat Musa before him. After this waraqa died and angel Jibra’eel was not seen for sometime.
The first one to accept Islam was Hazrat Khadija. His free slave Zaid, his best friend Abu Bakr, and his cousin Ali all accepted Islam.
Muhammad taught the Muslims about Islam secretly in a house owned by Al Arqam.
One day Hazrat Jibra’eel came to tell the prophet to rise against the idol worshippers i.e. the Quraish.
Muhammad stood on the top of mount As-Safa and called to te Quraish. He asked them, if he said they were about to be attacked from behind, would they believe him? They answered “Yes.”
He then warned them of the terrible punishment for those who did not worship Allah alone.
Abu Lahab, his uncle, cried in anger “May you perish.”
Abu Lahab and his wife were the worst troublemakers. They would call him a liar, a magician. Hazrat Abu Bakr would free slaves being harassed by their masters. The orphans, the poor and needy and the slaves readily accepted Islam.
The Quraish approached Abu Talib, asking him to warn his nephew from breaking their families. Abu Talib vowed to protect his nephew.
The Quraish made the life of Muhammad and his followers difficult. They threw stones and made life very tough, especially Abu Lahab. The Quraish offered him all the wealth and to become king of their land if only he would stop preaching Islam. However, Hazrat Muhammad (s.a.w) did not stop.
Finally when the Quraish made the life of the people miserable the Prophet asked them to migrate to Abyssinia with the permission of the King Najashi. The Quraish still bribed the king to return the Muslims. However, the king supported the Muslims and rejected their plea.
During this time two of the strongest men in Arabia, Hamza (the prophet’s uncle) and Umair bin Al Khattabwho originally came with the idea of killing Muhammad. The Quraish forced the Muslims to live in the eastern part of Makkah without any food or water. They spent three long and hard years in the eastern part of Makkah.
Finally the Quraish let them return. The Muslims returned with the help of Allah the Most Merciful. 10 years after his call to Islam The prophet lost his closest companions, Abu Talib and Khadijah.
He was very sad. He left for Taaif with his slave, Zaid. The people of Taaif were very harsh on Muhammad (s.a.w). They left Taaif and came to a fruit orchard. A Christian slave gave them some fruit. When he heard Muhammad (s.a.w) recite ‘Bismillah’ before eating he was amazed. He accepted Islam too.
Angel Gabraiel came and asked Muhammad if Allah should punish the people of Quraish. However, Muhammad asked him to pardon them and make their children good Muslims. They returned to Makkah with the call of Islam and amongst the new followers were seven from Madinah.
The Quran tells the story of how Ibrahim was commanded by God to take his son, Ishmael, to the mountaintop and there to sacrifice him to Allah. Allah wanted Ibrahim to prove to him that he truly was obedient. Ibrahim took his son to the mountain with a heavy heart. He built a fire. He bound Ishmael. As he was about to kill his son, Allah sent Jibra’eel, a messenger angel, to stop him. He brought the message that by being obedient, Ibrahim had truly made a sacrifice. Muslim people gather in the Mosque to remember Ibrahim’s sacrifice. They gather in their homes later to feast and to share gifts.
Eid ul Adha is a public holiday in Muslim countries.
Today Muslims all over the world who can afford it , sacrifice a sheep (sometimes a goat) as a reminder of Ibrahim’s obedience to Allah. In Britain, the animal has to be killed at a slaughterhouse.
They share out the meat among family, friends and the poor, who each get a third share.
Eid usually starts with Muslims going to the Mosque for prayers, dressed in their best clothes, and thanking Allah for all the blessings they have received.
It is also a time when they visit family and friends as well as offering presents.
At Eid it is obligatory to give a set amount of money to charity to be used to help poor people buy new clothes and food so they too can celebrate.