Dear Community Members:
Asalam-Alaikum, Shalom, Greetings;
Eid-Mubarak (Greetings) to the entire Muslim Umma (Community) on the special occasion of Eid-ul-Adha on Monday, September 12, 2016. May Allah (God) make this a joyous Eid for you and your entire family.
May Allah also make it easy for those engulfed by unending wars and those under occupation. We know only too well the plight of refuges and the situation in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and many other places. As far as my birth place of Kashmir is concerned, it’s going through one of the worst times under Indian occupation. Today is 67th day of daily curfews with brutal violence unleashed by the Indian forces against the unarmed Kashmiri civilian protesters that, in the past two months, has claimed more than 70 lives, blinded more than 600 people (partially or completely by so-called “Pellet bullets”) and injuring more than 7500 including women and children. They certainly will not be celebrating the special day of Eid today.
Please keep them and all other suffering people in your thoughts and prayers.
Eid-ul-Adha, also called the “Sacrifice Feast” or “Bakr-Eid”, is the second of two “Eids” celebrated each year by Muslims worldwide. The other one, called Eid-ul-Fitr, is celebrated at the end of the month of Fasting (9th
month of Islamic calendar called Ramadan). It was celebrated on July 6th
this year in the US.
Eid-ul-Adha honors the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim or Abraham (Peace be upon him—PBUH)) to sacrifice his son, as an act of submission to God’s command. When Prophet Abraham (PBUH) actually attempted to sacrifice his son, he was commanded by God (through angel Jibra’il or Gabriel) to sacrifice an animal instead (a Ram) that appeared on the scene. Prophet Abraham (PBUH) had passed the test by his willingness to carry out God’s command. This is very similar to the story detailed in Old Testament with minor variation.
While Abraham was prepared to make the sacrifice of his son, God ultimately forbade the sacrifice, signifying that one should never sacrifice a human life, certainly not in the name of God. This is an important teaching for Muslims that was drilled into me by my parents in my childhood.
Muslims across the globe sacrifice an animal to reenact the sacrifice of Prophet Abraham (PBUH). The meat from the sacrificed animal is preferred to be divided into three parts. One-third is given to the poor and needy; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors while as the family retains the remaining one-third for personal use.
As you may know the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar (Like the Jewish calendar) while as the international Gregorian is a solar calendar. Lunar calendar is about 11 days shorter than the solar one and, hence, all the holidays and holy days in Islamic calendar come about 11 days earlier in the Gregorian calendar each year. The Islamic Calendar is called Hijri (Meaning migration). It started with the migration of the Prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), from the city of Mecca to Medina to escape persecution. Both the cities are in Saudi Arabia.
Let’s pray for health and happiness for all those around us, our families and friends and for peace with justice for all peoples around the world (Amen);
With best wishes from MPAC Family.