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The Lesson of Eid Al Adha

(Ahmed Shaaban) / 13 October 2013

Muslims show commitment and self-sacrifice by distributing meat to family and the poor.

Though it is time to celebrate and have fun, Muslims around the world can learn a lesson on the Eid Al Adha — or the Festival of Sacrifice — which falls on Tuesday.

Pilgrims offering Friday prayer at the grand mosque in the holy city of Makkah. — AFP

According to scholars and Imams here, the faithful need to give and forgive, share and care, and mull over the story of sacrifice which dates back to the time of Prophet Ibrahim (Peace Be Upon Him).

Muslims commemorate this unique example of commitment and self-sacrifice to Allah, and learn about his victory over devil’s temptation not to slay his sole son Ishmael as ordered by God.

Conversely, he was all prepared to fulfill the command which later proved to be just a test. “He had shown that his love for his Lord superseded all others that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dear to him in order to submit to God,” said Mohammed Yusuf, Imam of Diyar Mosque.

Eid prayer  timings across the UAE

The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (Awqaf) has announced that Eid Al Adha prayer will be offered at 982 Musallas across the UAE on Tuesday.

The Eid prayer will be offered at 642 Musallas and mosques in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, 190 Musallas and mosques in Dubai, 96 in Sharjah, 84 in Ajman, 22 in Umm Al Quwain, 65 in Ras Al Khaimah, 46 in Fujairah, and 21 in Khorfakkan.

 Prayers timings

Abu Dhabi  : 6.37am

Al Ain          : 6:35am

Dubai           : 6:46am

Sharjah        : 6.38am

Ajman          : 6.38am

Umm Al Quwain     :           6.40am

Ras Al Khaimah       :           6.32am

Fujairah      : 6.30am


Instead, Allah gifted him a great sheep to sacrifice, and that action has become a ritual for all Muslims henceforth to  remember this example and practice charity on the occasion by distributing the meat of the animal sacrificed in three thirds among family, friends and the poor.

Though it is a feast, Muslims are advised to follow certain steps to best celebrate the festival by starting the Eid day early in the morning, taking a shower, and wearing their best clothes — preferably in white colour.

“They are also advised to impart a pleasant fragrance, and all members of the families — be they men, women, old or young, boys or girls — head to the Musalla (an outdoor spacious open area) to perform the Eid prayers,” Egyptian Islamic researcher Dr Sheikh Mohammed Ashmawy said.

Echoing the same, Mohammed Salem, Imam of Al Taqwa Masjid, said feasts are known as times of joy and celebrations in all nations and cultures. “However, they are interrelated with worship in Islam and are aimed to develop and achieve piety, and make Muslims closer to God Almighty.”

Celebrating and having fun in a disciplined manner is allowed in Islam — which never contradicts human nature — to break the monotonous daily life routine. “As such, fasting this day is forbidden, and Muslims are advised to show mercy to others, give charity, be more tolerant and patient, and visit each other,” he added.  

Chanting Takbeer, Allah Akbar (Allah is the greatest), Muslims happily drive or walk to the Musalla individually or in groups. The joyous occasion is attached to religion, or more specifically the Haj (pilgrimage, the fifth pillar of Islam) as is the case with the Eid Al Fitr which marks the end of fasting in Ramadan.

“On the Eid days, special foods are prepared, friends and relatives are invited, gifts are exchanged, houses are adorned with lights and decorations, and parks are thronged with visitors,” said Ahmed Burei, Egyptian resident.  Sheikh Tariq M, Imam of Al Huda Masjid, said Muslims would rather take two different routes when going to the Musalla and coming back. “When meeting others, Muslims are advised to say: May Allah accept (worship) from both of us.”

Should a Muslim miss the chance to perform Haj this season, he may devotedly say Takbeer, and sacrifice a sheep, goat, cow, or whatever possible to get more rewards.

“As God Almighty has spared the life of Prophet Ishmael (PBUH), substituting him with a sheep, Muslims are to optionally slaughter an animal and distribute its meat, particularly to the poor in commemoration to the occasion, so that the poor enjoy this irregular luxury of eating meat in the Eid,” Tariq Ayub, Imam of Al Tawheed Masjid said, adding that Eid clothes are also given to the needy to make them happier in the festival.

“Still, Muslims can share the joy of the Eid in three days of the feast, by being more tolerant, forgiving, distributing the meat of the sacrificed animal. It is advised to divide the Adahi into three parts, one third for the poor, the second for the relatives, and the third for oneself,” said Imam of Tawheed Masjid Sheikh Ramadan Yunus. -ahmedshaaban@khaleejtimes.com

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