Eid al-Adha: Spiritual Exercises And Benefits

Eid al-Adha: Spiritual Exercises And Benefits

FormEid al-Adha is a significant Muslim festival observed worldwide. It spans a period of three to four days and is celebrated as a major holiday.

During this time, the majority of Muslims gather for special prayers held at various prominent mosques and Islamic centers.

It is customary for Muslims to wear new attire and exchange gifts among one another.

According to Prophet Muhammad, this tradition was passed down from the time of Prophet Ibrahim.

Speaking about the origin of Eid al-Adha, Sheikh Shakirulah Daud, the Chief Missioner of Ijabatu Da’wah Islamic Foundation, traced the celebration back to an event involving Prophet Ibrahim.

He stated that the prophet received a divine command in the form of a dream, instructing him to sacrifice his son, Isma’eel.

However, just as Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, angel Jubril appeared before him with a large ram. Jubril informed Prophet Ibrahim that his dream had been fulfilled and directed him to sacrifice the ram as a substitute for his son.

Sheikh Daud, popularly known as Alamu, further explained that Prophet Ibrahim faced numerous challenges, and one of them led to the tradition of celebrating Eid al-Adha by sacrificing a ram.

“He had made a solemn vow to sacrifice his child to Allah, and when his prayers were eventually answered after years of being childless, he received a ram instead,” he stated.

According to Sheykh Shakirulah Oriade, popularly known as Alam, this story of Prophet Ibrahim serves as a reminder for the Muslims to avoid making pledges they cannot fulfill, regardless of the circumstances.

“Eid al-Adha is also a period of deep spiritual reflection. The sacrifice of the ram goes beyond mere celebration; it is an act of worship,” he elaborated.

The Chief Missioner continued, emphasizing the lesson of patience taught by this celebration.

“Muslims are encouraged to maintain hope even when their prayers have not yet been answered by Allah. They should emulate Prophet Ibrahim, who eventually had thirteen children after years of infertility.

In relation to the significance of Eid al-Adha, Sheikh Saheed Oladele, the Head of Da’wah for Nasir-Lahi Fathil Society (NASFAT) Zone One, explained that the celebration serves as a revival of the traditions of Prophet Ibrahim.

Sheikh Oladele emphasizes that Eid is a time to glorify Allah, stating, “Had Allah not provided a ram as a substitute for Isma’eel, parents today would have had no alternative but to sacrifice their children to Him.”

He further elaborated, “The celebration also serves as a reminder for Muslims to adhere to Allah’s commands, just as Prophet Ibrahim did.”

Referring to Quran 22:37, he explained that the sacrifice of a ram is intended to foster piety among Muslims.

“For those Muslims who have the means to sacrifice rams, it should be done with sincere intentions, following the example set by Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W). Throughout his life, he performed sacrifices of cows, camels, and rams, which are all acceptable for the celebration of Eid-ul-Adha,” he clarifies.

In conclusion, Sheikh Oladele urged the Muslims, saying, “I encourage all Muslims to celebrate Eid with moderation. The most crucial aspect is our effort to assist the less privileged individuals in our midst. This is the true essence of the celebration,” he advised Muslims.

In his contribution, an Islamic scholar, Moshood Alabi, stated that Eid al-Adha symbolizes sacrifice.

“It is the remembrance of the great sacrifice made by prophet Ibrahim (A.S). It is an important festival that brings family members together,” he said.

He added, “Rams are slaughtered in order to practise what prophet Ibrahim did when Allah replaced his son Isma’eel, who was supposed to be sacrificed, with a ram. Making this practice come alive is the sacrifice of the ram.”

Speaking about the significance of the festival, he said, “There are lots of spiritual benefits as the prophet SAW says Allah rewards everybody that slaughters with each hair that the ram has. This sacrifice has a lot rewards.”

He advised Muslims who are capable of buying the ram to do so.

“It is part of the Sunnah that anyone intending to slaughter a ram or any of the specified animals should not cut his hair and his nail from the first to the tenth of Zhul Hijjah.”

On the spiritual exercise the Muslims are expected to do, Sheikh Alabi, said, “On the day, we are expected to observe a fast till the salatul EID is observed. Take a ritual bath in the morning and dress well. We are also expected to bring family members together.”

“To the Muslim Community, we need to make one another [happy] on this day so that nobody will feel oppressed. We also need to avoid sins on the day of EID and be moderate. May Allah accept it as ‘ibaadah,” he concluded.

Eid al-Adha holds a special significance as it coincides with the culmination of Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam.

This annual pilgrimage to Makkah and Madinah in Saudi Arabia is obligatory only for those individuals, both male and female, who possess the physical and financial capacity to undertake it at least once in their lifetime.

Akeem Alao

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