By Haroon I Balogun
Eid-il-Kabir or Adha is around the corner again, just as the hajj rites in the Holy land is gathering momentum. The attention the two occasions creates every year is great. Eid-il-Adha is a feast of sacrifice which honours Ibrahim’s commitment to God when ordered to offer up his only son, Ismail for a sacrifice.
Muslim faithful from the Ya Lateef Islamic Society sit as they pray into the New Year at Ibafo, Ogun State in southwest of Nigeria on December 31, 2017. Dozens of Muslim faithful of the Ya Lateef Islamic Society concluded forty-days of Muslim fasting to usher members into the new year in Ibafo land, Ogun State in southwest Nigeria ./ AFP
Hajj on the other hand marks the end of annual pilgrimage to the Holy land. It is a representation of so many elements of Islam, but in essence, the fifth pillar of Islam. Both rites and rituals date back to the time and experience of Prophet Ibrahim and his testament of faith in Allah by the sacrifices he performed for Allah’s sake.
In fact, it is a reminder of the act of obedience to God. So, just like the month of Ramadan, Eid of Ram sacrifice offers a lot of excitement. Eid ul Adha is a three-day celebration for all Muslims to celebrate the completion of this journey and commemorate the trials of Prophet Ibrahim. It is characterised by the slaughtering of ram, sheep, cow or camel.
The Muslim remembers Prophet Ibrahim and the massive lessons of faith, perseverance and endurance. Much as we will not go into historical perspective of the event, we will dwell more on the etiquette and what Muslims should do ahead of the day.
Muslim families around the world compete on occasions, especially on Eids, to show their taste in various preparations. Muslim women, in particular, consider Eid as an opportunity to buy whatever has been repeatedly deferred.
During Eid al-Adha days, there are many social visits, invitations to dinners and others, which require many necessary preparations. The first, however, is the buying of the sacrificial ram. Ensure that you buy a healthy animal, one that is not in anyway deformed. It is not acceptable to use animal that has any kind of deformity or look unhealthy. The vogue these days is to use animal in bout competition. This is wrong and not acceptable in Islam as sacrificial animal must not be subjected to hardship or any kind of pain.
Clean the house and make the house look different. This is because you will have to offer your home as a stopping point for feast and good treats. So, you will need to ensure that every corner looks new in line with the celebration.
You can also change some home decorations and rearrange some, or decorate them with lights to add a new and beautiful touch.
Although meat is the main focus of the eid, this ram is then divided into three: one third for the poor, another third for extended family, friends and neighbours, another third for your own home or nuclear family. You will have to respond positively to cliches like: ‘Where is my meat?’ ‘Send my Ileya meat o.’ ‘I am coming to take my meat o.’ Make sure you get prepared for everybody or at least have good response to all these cliches. No doubt, it is a time of giving, you have got to practice that in reflection of the lessons of the day.
Don’t also forget to prepare some food for friends and neighbours in your area. It is your duty as a celebrating Muslim to make everybody happy including the non-Muslims.
Get some new clothes for your kids and family. The tradition is that you excite them and make them happy. It should be noted here that it is not necessary to wear new clothes at the feast, as it was not proven that the Prophet, peace be upon him, was buying new clothes for each feast. But if new clothes will make kids happy, provide it for them. It is better that you do that before the first 10 days of Zhul Hijja. This will relieve time constraints later and give you more time to worship Allah.
While it takes a lot to prepare, so much can be done ahead of time to get ready for ‘Eid celebrations.
These preparations may be somewhat tiring, but be sure that they will be the peak of joy for you and your family to receive Eid Al-Adha that comes once a year.