UAE | General

The true meaning of festival of sacrifice

Muslims give to the needy during Eid Al Adha

  • By Fatma Salem, Staff Reporter, Gulf News
  • Published: 00:00 November 28, 2009
  • Gulf News

Symbolic
  • Image Credit: Abdul Rahman, Gulf News
  • Saying the name of Allah at the time of slaughter helps to bring to mind that life is sacred. The meat from the sacrifice of Eid Al Adha is mostly given away to others.

Dubai :At the end of Haj — the Muslim annual pilgrimage to Makkah, Muslims throughout the world celebrate the occasion of Eid Al Adha (the Festival of Sacrifice). This year the first day of Eid Al Adha was on Friday and the holiday will last for three days.

During the Haj, Muslims remember and commemorate the trials and triumphs of the Prophet Ebrahim. One of Ebrahim's trials was to face the command of Allah to kill his eldest son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah's will. When he was fully prepared to do this, Allah revealed to him his ‘sacrifice' had already been fulfilled, and that he had shown that his love for Allah superseded all others that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those precious to him in order to submit to Allah.

Sacrifice

During the celebration of Eid Al Adha, Muslims commemorate and remember Ebrahim's trial, by slaughtering an animal such as a goat or a sheep. By saying the name of Allah at the time of slaughter helps to bring to mind that life is sacred.

The meat from the sacrifice of Eid Al Adha is mostly given away to others. One third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one third is given away to friends, and one third is donated to the poor. The act symbolises Muslims' willingness to give up things that are of benefit to them or close to their hearts, in order to follow Allah's commands. It also symbolises willingness to give up some bounties, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those in need.

Muslims recognise all blessings come from Allah, and therefore they should open their hearts and share with others.

As an integral part of the Muslim world, the UAE celebrates during Eid. Officially, the UAE government receives various congratulatory messages from leaders around the world on the occasion and in return sends best wishes back. Locally, and just before Eid Al Adha, the UAE government makes sure all salaries are paid before the due date, to enable people to be ready for Eid. Donations are also given through charities to people in need to allow them and their children to enjoy the happy times of Eid.

The people of the UAE follow the same instruction by donating their money, clothes and sometimes buy new clothes for people in need.

The Emirati community and other Muslim countries follow certain usual celebrations.

For instance, on the first morning of Eid Al Adha, Muslims around the globe attend morning prayers at their local mosques. Prayers are normally followed by visits to family and friends, and the exchange of greetings among adults and the distribution of gifts and money to youngsters.

Some families take the opportunity of the holiday to head to different countries, while others will visit ranches, resorts or check into a hotel to relax.

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