Eid, a religious festival
Added: (Fri Oct 12 2007)
Eid, a religious festival
The end of the holy month of Ramadan is marked by Eid-ul-fitr, a religious festival which is celebrated by Muslims all over the globe. Eid basically lasts for three days, with the first day being the most important. It is a rather festive event and in celebrated in a most splendid fashion in Pakistan, with people especially dressing up and women liberally using henna and flowers. The first day of Eid begins with congregational prayers and on this day, it is traditional to meet relatives and close friends. It is customary to exchange gifts
in the form of money, presents and flowers.
Eid is celebrated not only to mark the end of Ramadan and fasting, but to thank God for the gift of Ramadan with all its blessings. It is a day of forgiveness, peace and love; a day when all Muslims can be united in their joy. It gives rise to brotherhood and the main cause of its celebration is the attainment of self-control which is brought about by fasting in the month of Ramadan. The gift of Eid gives Muslims the chance to thank the Almighty for all His countless bounties and to reflect upon their lives in general.
Another religious festival which is celebrated by all Muslims is Eid-ul-Azha, which marks the end of Hajj or pilgrimage, an obligatory pillar of Islam. This day is celebrated on the 10th of Dhul Hijja every year. The history of this festival is rather intriguing. One night, Hazrat Izrael dreamt that Allah had asked him to sacrifice his son, Hazrat Ismail, in the name of Allah. The next morning, Hazrat Izrael shared his dream with his son and decided to carry out the sacrifice, in submission to the will of Allah. A miracle took place when Hazrat Izrael was in the process of slaughtering his own son, as a lamb appeared in his place. The dream had been a mere test for Hazrat Izrael and his love for Allah had been evident in his action.
Muslims all over the world sacrifice animals on this day in remembrance of Hazrat Izrael and his willingness to do whatever he was commanded to do. This day is a special gift for the Muslims from Allah because it allows them to display their love for their Lord and it gives them the chance to be inspired by Hazrat Izrael. Spending money in the name of Allah serves to strengthen the faith of the Muslims and the giving of gifts to the poor people in the form of the meat of the sacrificial animals gives the followers a certain sense of responsibility towards the less fortunate. In Pakistan, Eid-ul-Azha is celebrated with much enthusiasm and animals of different species can be seen in the streets. These range from goats and sheep to cows and camels, and normally decorated with flowers and ornaments. The day, like Eid-ul-Fitr begins with congregational prayers and such a large gathering allows a display of unity and joint celebration.
Muslims in Islamic countries like Pakistan
look forward with much anticipation to such religious festivals because in a lot of households, it is only on these occasions when relatives can gather and spend quality time with their extended families. However, it should be ensured that the purpose of these special and sacred days should not be lost amidst the celebration and festivity.
Signature: Sheryar Khan is a graduate of Sir Syed University and is the owner of
Pakistan Gifts Store, a
Pakistan Gifts Emporium company.