The Islamic community is celebrating Eid-Ul-Adha, from the Sunday evening to the Thursday evening (August 11-15). This marks the end of the holy pilgrimage Hajj where millions of Muslims across the world come together to give honour to the spirit of sacrifice.
Eid Ul-Adha commemorates Prophet Abraham’s unyielding commitment to his faith, through his willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail. Before he could carry out the sacrifice, Allah recognised his act of devotion and intervened, providing a lamb as an offering to take Ismail’s place.
Every year, Muslims across the world embark on this journey of Hajj. It is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Minister of Rural Development and Local Government Kazim Hosein extended his Eid Ul-Adha greetings to the Islamic community of TT.
"It is important for all Muslims, once physically and financially capable, to complete this sacred journey to Mecca, at least once in their lifetime.
"Our brothers and sisters in Islam commit themselves both physically and spiritually for the opportunity to seek redemption, to forgive and be forgiven.
"It is during these five days that Muslims, wrapped in white cloth begin to increase their worship and seek forgiveness from Almighty Allah (swt) and in so doing complete the rituals of Hajj."
The annual pilgrimage takes place during Dhu Al Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar, which literally translates “to attend a journey.”
Worshippers begin by circling the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque seven times, after which they proceed to Mina where they spend a night and day in deep prayer and reflection.
On the second day, the journey continues to Mount Arafat for a day of prayer, spiritual reflection and forgiveness. At sunset, pilgrims head from Mount Arafat to Muzdalifah where they continue to pray and prepare for the next day’s ritual. On the third day, the ritual known as “stoning of the devil” takes place in Mina where seven pebbles are thrown at the largest of three columns known as Jamarat. Pilgrims spend the day or sometimes a few days in Mina after which they return to Mecca to perform the final circulation of the Kaaba, on the fifth day.
Eid-Ul-Adha is the most revered Islamic observance. Muslims celebrate the Adha, Arabic for “sacrifice,” by the slaughtering of an animal and dividing the meat into thirds – one for themselves, another portion for family, and a third portion for those in need. This sharing represents the key lessons of Eid Ul-Adha – sacrifice, equality and charity. It is a symbol of the Prophet's willingness to sacrifice his son, and also a lesson that in giving, we should treat persons equally.
Hosein said, "Eid Ul-Adha also reminds us of the importance of obedience to the Almighty and to one’s parents. It teaches us that sacrifice is a key aspect of spiritual development and in performing this act, we grow closer to Almighty Allah.
"As a devoted Muslim, the experience of Hajj is indeed a spiritual pinnacle in the life of every Muslim. It teaches you the simplicity of devotion to the Almighty and inculcates into one the true meaning of sacrifice. In fulfilling this journey, one returns with a renewed faith and shares his journey as a testament of the teachings of the Holy Qur’an."
Hosein said it was the duty of leaders and mentors to the younger generations to teach them the importance of obedience and giving to those less fortunate.
"At a very early age, we must instil in our children, the principles of kindness, charity and obedience because they are the future of our beloved nation and we have a duty to lead them on the right path – a path that puts Almighty God at the centre of everything.
"On behalf of the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government, I wish to extend Eid Ul-Adha greetings to our entire Muslim community at home and abroad, and wish for all citizens of our beloved nation peace, good health and prosperity for every day of your journey through life. Eid Mubarak!"