Let's MEAT the Sacrifice? Eid-ul-Adha has much more significance

By: Shaima Siddique Hurzuk

Bakra Eid ??? Oh … Let’s MEAT the sacrifice...

Yeah, that’s something we usually end up thinking about Eid ul Adha. We normally believe that Eid ul Adha or commonly known as Bakra Eid for Muslims is just all about celebrating Eid by ‘meating’ sacrificing animals, wearing new clothes and visiting relatives and friends. Well! I remind you, Eid-ul-Adha has much more significance.

Did the questions ever popped in your mind … why is Eid ul Adha celebrated on the 10th day and not on 1st day of Dhul Hijjah unlike Eid ul Fitr which is celebrated on 1st day of Shawwal? What are the 10 days prior to Eid are really for? Are those days important just for Hujjaaj (persons performing hajj in Makka) or they are as well important for other Muslims too around the globe?

Let us ponder over the virtues of the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah.
The Quran says:
“By the Dawn, And by the ten nights, And by the even and the odd” [al-Fajr 89:1-3]

“By the witnessing day [Friday] and by the witnessed day [the Day of ‘Arafaah].” [al-Burooj 85:3]

The Dawn here refers to the day of sacrifice in particular and it is the last of ten nights and days, which are mentioned in next verse. The ten nights then refers to the first ten of Dhul Hijjah. Then the ‘odd’ refers to the day of Arafah (which is having great significance) because it falls on ninth. The ‘even’ denotes to the day of Nahr (Sacrifice) as it falls on tenth day.

To note, Allah swears in above verses by each of three things mentioned and it is clear that when Allah swears by anything from His creations, it has great significance. He does not swear by anything except that which is mighty.

The Messenger of Allah (SalAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said, “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these days (the ten days of Dhul Hijjah)”. Sahaba asked “Not even fighting Jihad in the way of Allah?” He (SalAllahu Alaihi wa Sallam) replied, “Not even Jihad in the way of Allah; except for a man who goes out (for Jihad) with his self and his wealth, and he does not return with any of that.” (Ref. Fath Al Bari, Al Darimi)

A Jewish man said to Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him), “O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, there is an aayah in your Book which you recite; if it had come to us Jews, we would have taken that day as an ‘Eid” (festival). ‘Umar said, “Which aayah?” He said: “This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [al-Maa’idah 5:3 – interpretation of the meaning]. ‘Umar said, “We know on which day and in which place that was revealed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). It was when he was standing in ‘Arafaah on a Friday.” (Ref. Al Saheehayn)

“Fasting on the Day of Arafah expiates for the sins of the previous year and of the coming year” (Ref. Muslim) This (fasting) is mustahabb for those who are not on Hajj. In the case of the one who is on Hajj, it is not Sunnah for him to fast on the Day of ‘Arafaah, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not fast on this day in ‘Arafaah. It was narrated that he forbade fasting on the Day of ‘Arafaah in ‘Arafaah.

"There is no day on which Allah frees more people from the Fire than the Day of Arafah.” (Ref. Sahih Muslim)

Lastly, Eid ul Adha is not all about just sacrificing animals but it is about how you sacrifice the love for your wealth and also the love for your health and it is to celebrate the joy of good deeds sincerely done by you back in first nine days and nights, for Allah alone.

May Allah help us do more and more sincere good deeds alone for His sake in the upcoming days of Dhul Hijjah and may He accept from us all. Ameen ya Rabbul ‘Alameen!!

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