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Is the Eid-ul-Azha the mere ritual performances or more?

07 July 2022
Is the Eid-ul-Azha the mere ritual performances or more?

Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed :
Eid means joy and delight. Azha means sacrifice. So the meaning of Eid-ul-Azha is rejoicing of sacrifice. The other meaning is coming back by every year which is held on the 10th of Jilhaz. Eid-ul-Azha is a name of worship. The word Kurbani originates from the word Korab which means affiliation, proximity or coming in touch of Almighty God. It is the oldest custom in human civilization. The first man and woman in the world prophet Adam and mother Hawa started the culture of Kurbani with the incidents of their two sons Habil and Kabil. A woman name Aklima came to their life. For her, the rivalry arose high in them. By the order of father Adam both the brother arranged for slaughtering. God accepted Habil's and Kabil's was rejected. The greatest sacrifice of prophet Ibrahim was accepted to Almighty and animal slaughter is duly introduced instead of his beloved son. Kurbani is nothing but a way of testing and trialing to purify of one's mindset -whether we have a clean mind free from brutality, jealousy and cruelty. Neither a big size animal nor its flesh reaches the Almighty but God fearing is the main factor. Today in the name of "Kurbani" many have a tendency to exhibit big animals in face book as if there is a race of competition of animals. People also try to show their aristocracy in the society.
The Eid-ul-Azha is the second largest festival of the Muslim community. It is celebrated all over the world with the spirit of sacrifice. Generally, sacrifice means to give away one's valuable things for others but the real sacrifice means to surrender one's own interest. A man who is helpless and who has the capacity to control himself and finally who can refrain himself from lust, only enjoys the happiness of true sacrifice. By true sacrifice an individual is honored in society. Religion is also flourished by sacrifice. In this world there is no end of greed and wants. The more greed exists in a person, the more s/he craves for earthly materials. Greed leads humans to ruin. Society gets polluted and plunges into anarchy. By sacrifice, human beings attain other qualities like tolerance in society. Sacrifice and tolerance both coexist. Without one, the other cannot flourish. Eid-ul-Azha is the big day where all Muslims have the lesson of sacrifice and tolerance. All Muslims need to be prepared for the sacrifice of Eid-ul-Azha.
The whole universe comes under the umbrella of unity and communism. It speaks fraternity, brotherhood, tolerance and forgiveness. It removes terrorism, corruptions, war, anger, hunger and luxury. There lies a social and economic obligation of human being. It removes the high and low differences of mankind. Through slaughter, purity is attained. Humanity and justice is restored. We get a discrimination free society.It is a great example of teaching by sacrifice. Again, it is tested case of humanity, loyalty and obedience to God in our life. Almighty has dictated us to follow the ideas of sacrifice. This is because by sacrifice only we can come closer to our creator. Through sacrifice one can remove the cruelty, selfishness and narrowness of mind. One can broaden one's life expectancy by sacrifice. Islam never allows a man to be an epicurean. To ensure social welfare is the essence of sacrifice. It leads us to the teaching of humanity and flourishes our national culture. Solidity, brotherhood, discipline and social values are established through it. Slaughter is mere symbolic. The reality is coming to God's proximity. If our mind is clear only then it will be granted to Almighty. Through it, we get a world of love and peace.
The festival of Eid-ul-Azha and all the different activities related with the festival have a tremendous impact on the socio-economic conditions of the country. Eid-ul-Azha corresponds with Hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca by the financially able Muslims. The Hajj has been a major source of foreign currency for the Saudi economy since the earliest days when the Hajj was introduced. It is an important source for foreign currency exchange for other economies as well. Bangladesh economy has to handle banking transactions along with foreign currency exchanges and job creation to help the pilgrims. The performance of Hajj and sacrifice of cattle during Eid-ul-Azha generate money supply, promote trade and business, create jobs, and overall, helps the economy. Competent macro management of such supply side economy can prove to be crucial for sustainable development.
Eid-ul-Adha has huge impact on socio-economic aspect. The performance of Hajj and the sacrifice of cattle during Eid celebration, in essence, generate money supply, expansionary in nature, promote trade and business, create job, and at large bring boom for the economy. The economy of Eid-ul-Adha seems to be the most dynamic of all other celebrations in generating business and temporary employment. The multiplier effect of billions spent on the occasion has long term effect on the economic area. Besides achieving the blessing of Allah, the event generates additional demand for a wider variety of goods and services. It is the rural Bangladeshis who raise sacrificial animals and receive the major chunk of the spending. During Eid-ul-Adha, the main family spending is focused on Qurbani, unlike Eid-ul-Fitr when the major chunk of shopping is on dress, shoes, jewellery and other personal affects.
The Eid enlightens our path with true spirit of righteousness and rectitude. A sacrifice, usually taken to be the slaughtering of animals, is more than that. The physical act of sacrificing of the animals is just a ritual, is just a tradition and is just a sacred practice whereas the essence lies far beyond it and the spirit of it goes far beyond common human perception. This act of sacrifice symbolizes our will to give up some of our own bounties. It is to train us how to surrender ourselves to the will of Allah. Muslims recognize that all blessings come from Allah, and they should open our heart and share with others. Eid-ul-Adha is a time for Muslims to learn the value of self-denial by making a sacrifice of something living to Allah. The sacrifice of an animal for the sake of Allah, development of a sacrificial attitude amidst the Muslims through giving up their bestiality in mind is also attained. Sacrifices strengthen our inner spiritual and moral resources and develop qualities of character which are essential to our struggle at every level of our existence.
The Eid is being observed in our country at a time when hundreds of thousands of people are struggling with devastating floods. Obviously they are not in a position to celebrate Eid the way they would have liked to. It is, hence, our moral and religious obligation to share their grief and possibly refrain from doing anything that would show a lack of sensitivity to these people. Let us not stop learning from this Eid-ul-Adha the peerless love and faithfulness of Allah towards mankind which moves our heart to wonder, joy and happiness. This festival is meant to make a Muslim more virtuous in his deeds. So, we should share the joy of the Eid-ul-Adha by being more tolerant, forgiving, and distributing the meat of the sacrificed animals.  We truly hope that the essence of sacrifice, both spiritually and materially, embrace us all.
Due to the 4th wave of coronavirus and flood, we have to deal this year's Eid celebration very cautiously. Since March 2020, the coronavirus outbreak in Bangladesh has brought down a lot of stagnation in economic activities. Many people may have lost their jobs or lost their income. Again, we can say that millions of animals will be sacrificed on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha. Care should be taken to preserve the animal skin, its transportation and marketing. After slaughtering the animal, we must take care of the environment, so that it is not polluted with animal blood and garbage. If we are not careful, it may affect our public health and make the situation worse. All concerned should pay special attention to these issues and take appropriate measures.

(The writer is former Deputy Director General, Bangladesh
Ansar and VDP)

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