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Monday, 8 December 2008

Salam eid-al-adha

Muslims all over the world will be celebrating Eid al-adha. I thought it would be a nice gesture to depart from the usual salutations to share with readers, what is this eid-al-adha.

Eid al-Adha (Arabic ‘Īd ul-’Aḍḥā) or the Festival of Sacrifice is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims worldwide. It commemorates the willingness of prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. The devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey God and spare his son. As Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, God intervened and instead provided a lamb as the sacrifice. This is why today all over the world Muslims who have the means to, sacrifice an animal (usually a goat or a sheep), as a reminder of Ibrahim's obedience and absolute faith to God. The meat is then shared out with family, friends (Muslims or non-Muslims), as well as the poor members of the community.

Eid al-Adha annually falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja (ذو الحجة) of the lunar Islamic calendar. The festivities last for two to three days or more depending on the country. Eid al-Adha occurs the day after the pilgrims conducting Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide, descend from Mount Arafat. It happens to be approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan.

Eid-al-Adha (Adha Eid) has other popular names across the Muslim world, such as Eid el-Kibir (the 'Big' Eid) in Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya; Tfaska Tamoqqart in the Berber language of Jerba; Tabaski or Tobaski in West Africa; Babbar Sallah in Nigeria; Ciidwayneey in Somalia and Somali-speaking regions of Kenya and Ethiopia.

In India and Pakistan it is also called Bara Eid (literally "Big Eid"). In Kashmir, where Kashmiri is spoken, it is called Baed Eid, and Keralites who speak Malayalam say Waliya Perunnal, both phrases also meaning "Big Eid." In Bangladesh it is called either Id-ul-Azha or Korbani Id. In South Africa it is also called Bakra Eid (or simply Baqrid in India, for the Hindi word baqara, meaning "goat", the traditional sacrifice).

In Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, which has large concentration of Tamil-speaking Muslims, it is called Peru Naal meaning 'The Big Day'. Sometimes, Tamil-speakers say Bakr Eid Peru Naal, meaning 'the Big Day of the Sacrifice'. In Sri Lanka, it is often referred to as Hajji-Peru Naal, roughly meaning the 'Hajj Festival'.

In Turkey it is called Kurban Bayramı. Similarly, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo and Bulgaria it is referred as Kurban Bajram, the same root with Qorban Bäyräme in Tatarstan, Qurban Bayramı in Azerbaijan and Kurban Bayram throughout Russia. In Kazakhstan, it is referred to as Qurban Ait. In Iran and Afghanistan it is called "Eyd e Qorbán" by Persian-speakers and Loy Akhtar (literally, "the Greater Eid") or Kurbaneyy Akhtar by Pashto-speakers.

By the Kurds it is called Jejhni Qurban meaning Feast of Sacrifice. In China it is called "Corban Festival" or "Qurban Heyit" in Uyghur language.

In the Malay Archipelago, especially in the Malay-speaking areas; Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei, the term "Idul Adha" (particularly in Indonesia) or "Aidil Adha" is used. "Hari Raya Korban", which means the Sacrifice Celebration Day is also widely used. Another term is called "Hari Raya Haji" which means Celebration Day of the Hajj.

Muslims who can afford to do so sacrifice their best domestic animals (usually sheep, but also camels, cows, and goats) as a symbol of Ibrahim's (Abraham's) sacrifice. The sacrificed animals, called "udhiya" also known as "qurbani", have to meet certain age and quality standards or else the animal is considered an unacceptable sacrifice. Generally, these must be at least a year old. At the time of sacrifice, Allah's name is recited along with the offering statement and a supplication as Muhammad said. According to the Quran, the meat is divided into three shares, one share for the poor, one share for the relatives and neighbours, and the last to keep to oneself. A large portion of the meat must be given towards the poor and hungry people so they can all join in the feast which is held on Eid-al-Adha. The remainder is cooked for the family celebration meal in which relatives and friends are invited to share. The regular charitable practices of the Muslim community are demonstrated during Eid al-Adha by the concerted effort to see that no impoverished person is left without sacrificial food during these days. Eid al-Adha is a concrete affirmation of what the Muslim community ethic means in practice. People in these days are expected to visit their relatives, starting with their parents, then their families and friends.

3 comments:

Rocky's Bru 8 December 2008 at 00:26  

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha, bro. Moga pengorbanan sdr berbaloi dan diberkati. Keep the posts coming!

mekyam 8 December 2008 at 01:37  

selamat hari raya haji to you, the irrepressible tin sak and yours, tok sak!

make sure the rain doesn't put out the barbeque fire, yah! ;D

walla 8 December 2008 at 06:38  

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha, Datuk and Datin.

May His Blessings be on you and your family.

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