THE MESSAGE OF HAJJ AND EID AL ADHA

REFLECTION: Eid ul Azha  is not just a day of celebration but it is the day of remembrance of the trials and devotion of prophet Ibrahim

Muslims account for about 14 per cent of the population in Goa. As Goa celebrates Eid Al Adha, or Bakri Id as it is often known, MEENAZ BHANU shares the story behind the celebration and calls people to implement the qualities of the prophet

HAJJ is the pilgrimage by a Muslim to Makkah during the 10th month of Islamic calendar.  It is obligatory on those who are fit and who can afford the journey. It is not just a pilgrimage of rituals but the rituals  ordained by Allah during hajj are for the commemoration of the obedience, piety, gratitude, patience and sacrifice epitomised in the life of Ibrahim (A.S). It is the fifth pillar Islam and  if it is performed with the pure intention of pleasing Allah Almighty a Muslim gets his all sins forgiven by  God.

The sacrifices, devotion and piety of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was loved by Allah Almighty so much that Allah himself gave him the title of ‘Khalilullah’ i.e ‘Allah’s friend’ in the Quran. If we study the life of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) his life is full of exemplary sacrifice and  trials. Prophet Ibrahim since his childhood (peace be upon him) understood the reality of life and God and devoted himself in obedience of God in such a way that when the rebellions threw him into the fire just because of his devotion and steadfastness towards the real Creator that  he fearlessly entered it having complete faith in Allah, who  saved him by making the fire cool for him. This was the trial of faith.

When Prophet Ibrahim’s (peace be upon him) people turned hostile towards him (peace be upon him) just because of his trust and submission towards the Creator he migrated from his own country just for the sake of Allah. It was the trial of sacrificing the love of the land. He sacrificed his hometown and started his journey with his trust on Almighty.

Later in his life when Allah ordered him to leave his wife and infant baby, who  was  born during his old age, , in a barren secluded desert, he did not think twice  to submit.. He left his wife and newborn in an unsafe and uninhabited  place. This was the trial of fear of sustenance, shelter and protection and he passed it by surrendering to Allah‘s orders.. And Allah Almighty pleased with the sacrifice He blessed Makkah with various kinds of his blessings .Till the end of this world millions of people everyday will be visiting that single blessed place i.e the place where the Kaaba is  which was built by Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). The Kaaba today is the direction to which the Muslims from all over the world turn towards during their prayer (namaz).

When the same child (prophet Ismail (peace be upon him)) grew little older, again Allah tested him by asking him to sacrifice his son for his sake. It was the most demanding trial but Ibrahim’s (peace be upon him)  faith, piety and quality of sacrifice never let his trust on Allah go down. And with his son’s consent he became ready to sacrifice his son. It was the trial of   testing the love for an offspring. He passed this trial as well. Allah saves his son Ismail (peace be upon him) from this sacrifice and Allah gets a goat sacrificed at his son’s place. And this sacrifice is called as the greatest sacrifice.

From the life of prophet Ibrahim we get much to learn. That if the world understands the reality of this materialistic world where people forget all the ethics just for the sake of acquiring  wealth and the comfort or fame of his own self, and his family then the evils which we find in today’s world can be eradicated very easily.  Second thing which we learn from his life is that this worldly life is the provision of Allah Almighty and only obedience and submission to His will, commandments, his plans and his rules can save us from his punishment. Thirdly, he was the teacher for the humanity who passed all the trials of life easily and taught us to be obedient and    focus on  the life hereafter which is permanent and full of everlasting happiness  Allah blessed the family of Ibrahim so much that  from his children there emerged lots of prophets and they all strived hard to call people towards the truth. This blessings towards the prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him)  was not  favouritism  by  Allah almighty but it  was  because of  his  faith, loyalty, piety, sacrifice, patience and obedience… The pilgrims who go to hajj do recall the life of Ibrahim (peace be upon him) while performing the rituals.  Each ritual is performed at  a  specified place as mentioned in the Quran   this  makes one remember the life of prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him).  

The people who do not go to hajj during those days stay back at their places and celebrate Eid on the 10th day of Islamic month dhulhijja. This day Muslims from all over the world offer sacrifice if they can afford. Eid ul Azha  is not just a day of celebration but it is the day of remembrance of the trials and devotion of prophet Ibrahim’s (peace be upon him) life which we need to study and follow to get peace  in this world and salvation in the life hereafter. Allah wanted the entire humanity after him to follow, obey and implement the qualities of prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) which never let him down during the trials of this life. By doing so that the humanity is encouraged to prepare themselves for the life hereafter.

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