Eid Al Adha: A day of blessing and togetherness

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Eid Al Adha: A day of blessing and togetherness
Eid decorations and lighting at Municipality roundabout is a part of Eid Al Adha celebrations in Sharjah.

Dubai - For 13-year-old Imaz Ahmed, Eid is the best time to meet, greet and hangout out with friends and family.

By Saman Haziq

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Published: Thu 31 Aug 2017, 9:25 PM

Last updated: Sun 3 Sep 2017, 12:41 AM

As millions of Muslims around the world come together to commemorate Eid Al Adha, Khaleej Times caught up with a few Dubai residents and find out what Eid Al Adha means to them and how they celebrate it.
For 24-year-old Imam Mohammed Al Hasan Khan, Eid is a day of blessing and has an added reason to celebrate the occasion. 
"My Nikah (marriage) took place just three days before Eid in 2014. Every Eid Al Adha now reminds me of my special day as all our relatives came together, blessed us and supplicated for us. New bonds were made and fresh relationships were established."
Talking about his Eid schedule, Khan says: "What better way to celebrate than to see people gather and unite in the place of prayer." Khan will be leading the Eid prayers at a mosque in Dubai.
What special he does on Eid? "I design Eid posters and render Eid wishing videos to connect to my friends and family via social media.
For 13-year-old Imaz Ahmed, Eid is the best time to meet, greet and hangout out with friends and family. "The best thing about Eid is the morning prayer, as the feeling of being together with the whole community, bowing our heads and praying to Allah is beautiful. While going to prayers in the morning, we also realise that what a blessing it is celebrating Eid in the UAE as even the police don't fine us when we have to sometimes (because of overcrowded mosques) park incorrectly. There is no fear of being fined that day. And that's like an Eid gift for the public of the UAE." 
"We then go to do 'qurbani' - sacrificing the animal - and that step reminds us of the story of sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). Me and my cousins and friends then collect Eidi from our elders and begin who has the highest Eidi competition." 
Arshiya, 22, describes Eid Al Adha as a perfect time to enjoy food and family or rather food with family. "It starts with a grand breakfast at home and then my three elder sisters (all married) come home for an even grander lunch which my mother prepares.
"To make it more festive, I decorate the house with lights and décor. I feel that if we can have great celebrations for birthdays then we should also have good celebrations for our festival. I prepare special gifts for my niece and nephews. Earlier it was me collecting Eidi but since I am all grown up and working, I now have to shell out Eidi for the kids of the family."
This Eid is special for Arshiya as she is heading to India to celebrate Eid with her grandmother after a gap of ten long years. 
"I am very excited about this Eid as I will get to meet a lot more people and family back in Mangalore. My father is happy as he will get to celebrate Eid with his mother and I am happy to celebrate a different kind of Eid than what we have celebrated here for the last ten years."

Eid in the park
Over 650 New Muslims and born Muslims from more than 15 different nationalities attended the Eid gathering organised by Kalemah Centre in Dubai's Mushrif Park. The guest speaker was Shaikh Sajid Umar from Zimbabwe, who came for the event. Sweets were distributed to the attendees after the event and the kids were engaged with bouncing castles and cotton candy machines so that the mothers can freely enjoy the Eid Khutba.

New beginnings 

Sharing his Eid experience, an Indian convert to Islam, Abdullah Shetty, says: "As a new Muslim, Eid experience only gets better every year. In the initial years, I would miss my family during Eid as they were not happy with my decision of being a Muslim. But by God's grace, my mom and sister became Muslims and now we celebrate Eid together. 
"For the past two years Kalemah Centre in Dubai organised gatherings for new Muslims at the Mushrif Park which helped us meet other new-comers and share happiness on this day. One of the beautiful thing about Islam is that no celebration or festivity causes any form of wastage in money or any kind of pollution," said Shetty.
British convert to Islam Lewis (Ismail) Bullock, 40, a TV presenter, says Eid is a time of happiness especially as not only the family, but also the whole community comes together. "That is the first thing we do in the morning. We go for Eid prayers in a congregation. After the prayers, we go out to some restaurant where the whole family gets together for a feast." 

New Muslim converts at Mushrif park
Talking about his first ever Eid experience, Ismail, who has been in the UAE since 1994, says: "I felt amazed on my first Eid to see so many people pray together in a congregation. And what was overwhelming and uplifting at the same time was that even strangers came up to me, hugged and greeted me by saying, Eid Mubarak. That feeling will stay on with me as I felt for the first time that all Muslims are brothers in Islam."
Ismail says different sweets make way into their house on Eid. "Depending on what's available in the market we buy Arabic sweets, Belgian chocolates and even Indian sweets like jalebi and laddoo."

Preferred rituals on Eid Al Adha

> Waking up early before Fajr prayer and performing Tahajjud prayers and Sunnah prayers
> Bathing, perfuming oneself and donning the best attire
> Not eating anything until the end of prayer
> Leaving early to perform Eid prayer, preferably walking towards a Mussallah; if not possible then to a mosque 
> Taking the entire family to perform the Eid prayers 
> Reciting the Takbir loudly until the commencement of prayer 
> Listening the kutbah after the Eid prayers
> Leaving the prayer place without performing any extra prayers since there are no voluntary prayers before or after the Eid prayer 
> Greeting and congratulating as many people as possible 
> Taking different routes to and from the place of prayer
> Slaughtering the sacrificial animal and eating from its meat, and distributing one-third to relatives and the other third to the poor. It is also permissible to delay the sacrifice until the Asr of 13th of Dhul Hijjah. 
> Visiting relatives, friends and strengthening the bonding between them 
> Having delicious meals and enjoying leisure activities within the limits of permissible acts
> Since the Eid day is falling on a Friday, the one who offered the Eid prayer in congregation with the Imam has a choice to prayJuma'ah prayer in congregation or pray fourrakath of Dhuhr prayer 

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