The significance of Aidiladha {Islam}

Posted on August 22, 2018 · Posted in Blog, General, Personal


MUSLIMS in Malaysia and most of their brethern around the world will observe Aidiladha, which means the “Feast of the Sacrifice” today. Also known as Hari Raya Haji or Hari Raya Qurban in Malaysia, Aidiladha is one of the most important events in the Islamic calendar. It honours the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, Ismail, as an act of obedience to Allah’s command – and Allah’s mercy in putting a ram in Ismail’s place at the last moment, according to Islamic traditions. As Arab news channel Al Arabiya explains it, “Muslims believe that the very moment Ibrahim raised the knife, God told him to stop, that he had passed the test and to replace Ismail with a sacrificial ram.”

Aidiladha also marks the end of the haj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, when millions of Muslims make the mandatory journey to the holy city of Mecca, in Saudi Arabia. Muslims will sacrifice cows, goats, lambs, among other animals in remembrance of Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion to Allah and, after that, distribute the meat to family and neighbours as well as the needy. They begin the day with morning prayers at the mosque, followed by visits to family and friends and the exchange of food. Prophet Ibrahim’s act of faith conveys a powerful message: making sacrifices should be a part of our everyday activities and not merely a once-a-year occurrence.

It is hard to give up things that are close to our hearts, but that is what sacrifice is all about. The question is, are we prepared to part with a bit of our wealth to help those who are in need or freely offer to undertake charity work? The answer is around us. The life of our society, now alarmingly tense, is characterised by anti-social behaviour, drugs, mental illness, homelessness, family break-ups, teenage pregnancies, recreational sex, and elder abuse and neglect, among others. Sadly, we keep seeing greed, arrogance and a “me-first” attitude that puts individuals above anything else, including moral values. Repression and violence are in danger of becoming the accepted norms. Corrupt people believe they can get away with their crimes and think nothing of resorting to vicious means to protect their interests.

We continue to read about children abusing their elderly parents. Sadly, older persons who are frail and vulnerable cannot help themselves and depend on others to meet their most basic needs. At the same time, we hear of busy parents who have no time for their young ones in need of parental guidance and attention. Who do we blame when they take drugs, get pregnant or bully others? Some may say that, as a society, we have lost our moral bearings, and that is a frightening thought. When Muslims assemble in the congregation of prayer today, they will pray for forgiveness and strength of faith. They will find themselves responding to the spirit of the day to purify their hearts and souls. Aidiladha urges Muslims to fully grasp the spiritual meaning of sacrificing in the name of Allah and for the good of mankind. Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha.

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