Celebrating Eid ul Adha – Friday Khutbah with Imam Tahir Anwar December 7, 2006Posted by svic in Khutbah.
Celebrating Eid ul Adha
By Imam Tahir Anwar
This khutbah was originally delivered on January 6, 2006. The editors felt it would be beneficial for the upcoming Eid ul Adha.
Soon we will be celebrating Eid-ul Adha. With it coming so soon after Christmas, it is worthwhile for us to pause and ponder on the meaning of these two festivities and holy days, and to reflect on the similarities as well as the differences.
It is the hikmah (wisdom) and mercy of Allah that we can enjoy our Eid celebrations. At the time of Eid-ul Adha, we purchase an animal for sacrifice and have someone else do the slaughtering and distribute the meat to our family, friends and the needy.
Traditionally it was quite common for families to buy the young animals months, weeks or even days before Eid, and rear those animals right up to the time it will be sacrificed on the day of Eid. The significance of that experience would be that because we have become attached to these animals, their subsequent sacrifice would affect us emotionally. This would in some small manner replicate the emotions that would have been felt by Prophet Abraham in sacrificing his beloved son.
The Christian tradition in celebrating Christmas is to buy the best evergreen days or weeks before Christmas, decorate it, and then place gifts under it. On Christmas day, those gifts would be opened with great anticipation and joy. A few days later, the tree that had given the family so much joy would simply be discarded.
With Eid-ul Adha, the animal which we have reared and later sacrificed would not be wasted or thrown away. Instead the meat would be shared with friends, family as well as the needy. The meat is the gift of Eid, to benefit and nourish others.
On this Eid, let us pause and reflect on some of the rituals associated with this day. Today, because of our time constraints, we have done away with many of these traditions. Now we pay someone to raise, kill, and package the meat nicely for distribution as per our instructions. We hardly see the animal we would be sacrificing. It is all done efficiently and clinically. There is no emotion attached to the ritual at all.
As such, the meaning of the sacrifice is forgotten.
It would be good and instructive for us once in a while to revisit those rituals. We should consider bringing our family to visit the animal before it would be sacrificed and be present at the slaughter and when the carcass would be prepared. It will give us a greater understanding and appreciation on the meaning of the sacrifice. Eid will not then just become yet another holiday.
We should as much as possible try to emulate the Prophet s.a.w. in how we celebrate Edi-ul Adha. He would for example not eat anything before the congregational prayer. In fact his first bite after the prayers would be the cooked meat of the sacrificed animal.
Another tradition would be to fast on the Day of Arafat, that is, the day before Eid-ul Adha. It is said that one’s sins for the year before and after would be forgiven were we to undertake such a fast.
As we anticipate the joy of the forthcoming Eid-ul Adha celebration, we do so in recognition of our fellow believers who are completing their Hajj. Let us pray that Allah accepts their Hajj. Let us also reflect and partake in some of the traditions and rituals associated so that we may reap greater meaning and benefits to our celebration.
Transcribed by Dr. Bakri Musa.