hile talking about Ramadan or Ramzan, some of the Muslim celebrities made controversial remarks of their own faith. Do you remember Irfan Khan giving a bold observation on Ramzan and Muharram where he questioned whether the essence of fasting during Ramzan and sacrifice had been lost! He believes that the Muslims have made Tamasha (scene) of the rituals. He was very vocal in explaining that the Qurbani means sacrificing something close to your heart and sharing with others. Today, you buy a goat from the market for sacrifice. It is something to think about, it is a matter of common sense and we all should ask ourselves how sacrificing another life earns us any goodwill, not only that but Mr. Khan also stressed that it is important to “understand the meaning of rituals and festivals” or they can be misused. He thinks that his community has made a mockery of Muharram. It is meant for mourning and they take out processions. He also criticised the Muslim leaders for not speaking up on terrorism. The controversy angered many Muslim leaders; they came in defending the rituals and warned him to refrain from spreading half knowledge on the Internet.
Meanwhile, if we go in depth, it’s not only Muslims but even Hindu and others who believe in the concept of sacrifice, which is really meaningless. Killing an innocent animal in the name of God cannot be a Holy event and I am sure no God wants laceration of its own creation by another invention. Muslims from all over the world anticipate the annual three-day celebration of a historical event that took place thousands of years ago during the time of Prophet Abraham. This occasion, known as Eid-ul-Adha or the Festival of Sacrifice, is a representation of two significant Islamic events: the culmination of the Hajj (or pilgrimage to the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia), and the sacrifice that God (Allah) commanded to Prophet Abraham of his beloved son, Ismail.
Eid-ul-Adha is observed on the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar. While Muslims all around the world celebrate this day, it has a particular significance for the pilgrims performing the Hajj in order to understand the context of Eid-ul-Adha, one must describe the Hajj with which it is associated. Allah had made the Hajj mandatory upon mankind initially during the time of Prophet Abraham: “And make a proclamation of Hajj to mankind; they will come to you on foot and on lean camels from every distant quarter.” (Quran: Ch 22, v27). Over time, however, the spread of idolatry across Arabia caused the rituals of Hajj to become extremely distorted. With the advent of Islam and Prophet Muhammad, Allah had reinstated Hajj as the fifth pillar of Islam and described the correct manner in which it was to be performed. In addition to signifying the completion of the Hajj, Eid-ul-Adha honours the enormous sacrifice that was to be made by Prophet Abraham. The story narrated behind sacrifices follows as, Abraham was ordered by Allah to sacrifice his dearly beloved son, Ismail, as a test of obedience. Abraham willingly submitted to Allah’s command, wherein Allah, by His Mercy, replaced Ismail at the moment of sacrifice with a lamb. Abraham’s selfless act of obedience is honoured by the sacrifice of a domestic animal such as a lamb, sheep, cow, or goat, the meat of which is then distributed to relatives, neighbours, and the poor.
Eid-ul-Adha demonstrates the charitable instincts of Muslims in their communal effort to see that no one is left deprived of the sacrificial meat. It further embodies the values of discipline and self-denial and submitting to the will of Allah. However, these days, they feed that animal for a few days and take care of it and finally cut its throat, but there is no attachment or emotions for the animal, the very purpose of bringing that cattle is to kill and there is mental conditioning too. The festivities begin in the morning after Fajr prayer, where Muslims, dressed in their finest clothes, attend the congregational prayer followed by a sermon. Upon completion of the services, people greet each other with the blessings of Eid.
The question of the perceived cruelty to the sacrificial animal may disturb some people. As Irfan Khan said, Muharram is for mourning but not for processions, many Muslims believe that the Ashura is an ancient adherence, which is recognised differently in the two major sects of Islam – the Shia and Sunni communities, for different reasons. However, nevertheless, the day of Ashura remains of great importance to both the communities. Sunni Muslims observe the day by fasting. Shias flagellate themselves during a Muharram procession. Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, is observed around the world for 10 days of mourning in remembrance of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed. These are rigid religious beliefs, like many other religious philosophies, if we really keep on debating on right and wrong, then, believe me, we will find everyone wrong and no one right. Religions actually have no conscientious understanding; it’s just conditioning and one need to go with it. What do you have to say about the same? Do not forget to share your comments with us.
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