Dear Editor, 

The summer season means time off school, days spent at the pool, and a chance to enjoy frozen treats. For many Muslims, this summer, they will be partaking in EId-al-Adha. Eid-al-Adha is a Muslim holiday that commemorates the sacrifice of Abraham and his son. I wanted to share my thoughts and perspective on this holiday with all of my non-Muslim friends and neighbors.

Eid-ul-Adha is a Muslim holiday that comes about 10 weeks after Eid-al-Fitr, a day of feast at the end of the month of Ramadan, and signifies the completion of the holy pilgrimage to Mecca, known as Hajj. Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated to commemorate the obedience and sacrifice of Prophet Abraham and his son Prophet Ishmael to the commandment of God. This year, Eid-ul-Adha will be celebrated on July 9th. 

Prophet Abraham had seen a series of dreams in which he saw himself sacrificing his son, Ishmael. He told his son about the dreams, and in return his son said that  they should do what God has shown in the dreams. Thus, Prophet Abraham took his son to the outskirts of the settlements and was going to sacrifice him as seen in the dreams. As he was about to sacrifice his son, Prophet Abraham heard a voice telling him that he has fulfilled his obedience to God, just by going through with the dream and instead should sacrifice a ram. This obedience shown by Prophet Abraham and Prophet Ishmael made God very pleased. Thus, to remember this act of obedience and sacrifice, Muslims all around the world sacrifice animals during Eid-ul-Adha and distribute the meat to the poor as well as giving it to friends and relatives. 

This celebration reminds all Muslims to be ready to make sacrifices for the sake of God. Sometimes these sacrifices are for the greater good, for our community, and our families. The Holy Qur’an states that “those who do good and act righteously shall have a great reward” (4:173). Thus, no matter how big or small our sacrifices or deeds are, we will be rewarded for all the good we have done. 

The important message of Eid-ul-Adha is to invoke moral, spiritual, economic, and social sacrifice to help humanity and better oneself. One way I have implemented this message was by spending my money to buy toys, movies, games, and crafts to give to children in hospitals in the spirit of Eid-ul-Adha, rather than spending it on myself. Our sacrifices should not be limited to just money, but volunteering, taking care of others, and rectifying bad habits are other ways to invoke sacrifice. Even during the pandemic, many had to make sacrifices of not meeting with loved ones in order to protect them, and many of our favorite activities were shut down. Even many parents underwent many sacrifices, such as closing down businesses or taking on extra shifts.  However, all these examples showcase the willingness to help others and the opportunity to show compassion. 

Regardless of one’s religious affiliation, I hope my fellow Americans can join us in this celebration of sacrifice in their own way and to do good works to help serve those in need around them.

Ujala Yousaf

Centreville

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