Eid-ul-Azha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, is one of the most important religious holidays celebrated by Muslims worldwide. It is observed on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar. The occasion commemorates the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail as an act of obedience to Allah. Eid-ul-Azha is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion by Muslims around the world, including in Pakistan.
History and Significance
The story of Eid-ul-Azha dates back to the time of Prophet Ibrahim, who was commanded by Allah in a dream to sacrifice his son Ismail. Despite the emotional challenge, Prophet Ibrahim was willing to submit to Allah’s will and sacrifice his son. As he was about to carry out the sacrifice, Allah sent a ram in Ismail’s place, which was sacrificed instead. This event is commemorated every year by Muslims during Eid-ul-Azha, as a symbol of faith, obedience, and sacrifice.
Celebrations and Traditions
Eid-ul-Azha is celebrated for three days in Pakistan, starting on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah. The festivities begin with Muslims waking up early in the morning and taking a bath, wearing new or clean clothes, and offering Eid prayers in the congregation. After the prayer, Muslims greet each other and exchange gifts, sweets, and food items. Families also visit each other and celebrate the occasion together.
One of the most important rituals of Eid-ul-Azha is the sacrifice of animals, particularly goats, sheep, and cows, to symbolize Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son for Allah’s pleasure. The meat of the sacrificed animal is then divided into three equal parts, with one part given to the poor and needy, one part shared with family and friends, and the remaining part kept for personal consumption.
Apart from the traditional rituals, Eid-ul-Azha also offers an opportunity for Muslims to strengthen their bonds of brotherhood and promote unity and harmony in society. It is a time for forgiveness, compassion, and generosity, as Muslims are encouraged to give to charity and help those in need.
Eid-ul-Azha is a significant religious holiday that celebrates the spirit of sacrifice, obedience, and brotherhood. It is a time for Muslims to come together and celebrate the occasion with joy and devotion, while also reflecting on the values of Islam. As Muslims around the world prepare for Eid-ul-Azha, let us all remember the message of this occasion and strive to emulate the spirit of sacrifice and compassion in our daily lives.