Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Eid-ul-Adha: The Learnings

Most festivals are celebrated to commemorate an important event that happened centuries ago. These events have lessons for the mankind that are relevant even after all these centuries. Eid-ul-Adha or the Festival of Sacrifice reminds us of the great sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). It was perhaps the greatest sacrifice in the history of mankind. Eid-ul-Adha makes us realize how important it is to follow the commands of Allah (SWT). There are some lessons to be acquired from this great sacrifice:

Firstly, following the commands of Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) had asked Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his only beloved son. A son that was granted to him at an extremely old age (86 years according to the Bible), and still the prophet had no hesitation in sacrificing him. The entire episode tells us the importance of obeying His commands. These commands have been conveyed to us by His prophets.

Secondly, obeying ones parents. Prophet Ismail (PBUH) was just a child of 13 years when this incident of the sacrifice occurred. Still, he was not at all hesitant in sacrificing his life just to fulfill his father's wishes.

Thirdly, shun all the thought stopping you from obeying Allah (SWT). When Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) had decided to sacrifice his son, the Satan tried to influence him and stop him from obeying the commands of Allah (SWT). Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) threw pebbles at him. Even though he knew very well that it would not harm the Satan, still this helped him remain steadfast in his decision to abide by the commands of the Almighty.

Fourthly, practicing the Islamic way of living. The most amazing and noteworthy, point to be observed in the entire episode was the perfect coherence of thought, attitude and outlook of the father and the son. We do not see any generation gap between the two because both of them were looking at life through an Islamic paradigm - that a Muslim must submit to Allah (SWT) in any circumstances and that love for Allah (SWT) is over and above any other love in the life of a Muslim. A properly practicing Muslim family does not encounter a generation gap between different generations of Muslims. A gap between two generations is caused only by the presence of un-Islamic behaviors or attitudes in either of the generations or both.

Eid-ul-Adha is not just an occasion of rituals and formalities but also an occasion to tune up ones lifestyle so that it becomes a lifestyle that is totally submerged in submission to Allah (SWT). May Allah (SWT) grant us the strength and will to emulate the examples of Ibrahim and Ismail (PBUT) in every facet of our daily struggle.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


Eid-ul-Adha ("Celebration of Sacrifice'), also known as the Eid-ul-Zuha, is one of the two most important festivals (Eid) in the Muslim calendar. It marks the end of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca). It takes place on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar.

Eid-ul-Adha is the celebration of sacrifice, and it is important for two reasons:

First, during Eid-ul-Adha we remember the spirit of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (peace be upon him) andhow he was willing to sacrifice his loving son, because it was Allah's (SWT) command. Eid-ul-Adha iscelebrate to commemorate the occasion when Allah conveyed to Ibrahim through a dream that he has to sacrifice his son Isma'il as an act of obedience to God. The devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey Allah and spare his son. As Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, Allah intervened and instead, Allah provided a lamb as the sacrifice.
When Allah asked Ibrahim to sacrifice his own son Isma'il, Ibrahim didn't even once think "why" or didn't say "no" and it was because of his pure faith and belief in Allah. His faith was rewarded when his son's life was spared by Allah at the very last minute. Just as the knife was coming down, there was a lamb in the place of Isma'il and that's what Ibrahim actually sacrificed.

Second, Eid-ul-Adha ends the period of Hajj (the 5th pillar of Islam). Every year, about 3 million people go to Mecca and perform the pilgrimage together. Everyone is dressed the same, nobody is better than anybody else. For muslims, seeing the Kabah is like a homecoming - the place on earth where they can be closest to Allah. This is the spot they face everyday at home when they do their prayers. They forget about everything else in the world except what they are doing at that moment. Even the people who do not perform the Hajj that year think about what it symbolizes and celebrate that.

Celebrating Eid-ul-Adha with family and friends strengthens the emotional bonding. In the morning, muslims go for a short congregational prayer and then they celebrate. Muslims who can afford, sacrifice animals (like goats or lambs) on this occasion in the memory of prophet Ibrahim. When this is done, 1/3 of the meat goes to the needy people, 1/3 is given to neighbors, relatives and friends, and 1/3 stays with one's family. This way, the needy and poor can really enjoy the festival, too.

In the end, I would like to quote a sher from the legendary poet, Sir Mohammad Iqbal.

Ye faizan-e-nazar tha ya ke maktab ki karamat thi
sikhaya kisne Ismail ko adab-e-farzandi

This couplet talks about the obedience of Isma'il, son of Ibrahim (PBUT) with which he wholeheartedly got ready to be sacrificed for Allah. Which son in this creation could be more obedient than Isma'il (PBUH).

With this, I wish you all a very Happy Eid.


Thursday, January 06, 2005

2004: The Year that was... ( 1 )

The year that passed gave us all something or took something from us. Well before I get busy in this current year and forget the past, I would love to think a little and pen down some memories of 2004.

To begin with, the year brought me a new job and another job offer which i rejected. The job I took up, is certainly important to me but the job offer i declined actually gave me some good feeling, too.

I had been trying very hard to get a job at a BPO in Noida because of the reason that i could stay close to my family. After almost 3 attempts, I could know that i would not get into this company. It also rasied a few questions in my mind. The obvious one was - Am I not fit for this job? I could answer this question very fittingly when i got through the day long recruitment process of a close competitor organization of the one i was trying to get into. SO, here was it... I got the answer and a favourable one, too...

Now coming to the job i actually took up. It was because of my love for "it". "It" means "Technical Writing" here. This job didn't give all the money i expected but it did give me the job satisfaction resulting from other factors. I learnt and gained confidence. Won friends and made contacts. Went ahead to prove a couple of things. Surprised some people with what i could do. To sum up, it was an year of reckoning in my professional life so far. I would call it as the foundation building year of my career.