Eid Mubarak everyone!!
On October 15, 2013 Muslims around the world celebrated Eid Al-Adha. It is a three day commemoration that brings Muslims together with their loved ones.
Muslims believe that Prophet Abraham was shown in a dream to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, but what seems to be a sort of paternal betrayal turns into a lesson of faith and patience through divine intervention. To symbolize our belief in God , to pay homage to our traditions, and to strengthen our love for one another, Muslims, who are able to, are obligated to offer a qurbani, or sacrifice. Families who can afford it sacrifice a cow, goat, sheep or camel and keep one-third of its meat to feed themselves, give one-third of the meat to family and friends, and distribute the last one-third to the needy.
Eid al Adha occurs on the tenth day of the final month in the Islamic lunar calendar, Dhul Hijjah, and it is also during this month when Muslims travel to Mecca and Madinah to complete Hajj, or pilgrimage. Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and should be completed by Muslims at least once, if they can afford it, before their death. It is a grueling journey of dedication and purification that tests a person’s emotional and physical wellbeing. Due to construction limits, about 2 million Muslims around the world were able to partake in the pilgrimage, including my parents. In the past years, almost 3-4 million people would come to Mecca and Madinah.
On the first day of Eid Al Adha, Muslims in the United States take the day off work and/or school and spend time with our families. We attend a prayer service in the morning at a mosque and then head out for a day filled with food, laughter and warm company. In the chaos of life, it can be very easy to get swept up in it all, but Eid Al Adha provides a day for Muslims to take a break and remember the sweet things in life.
For me, Eid Al Adha came at such a perfect time. I had just finished my first batch of papers and I definitely needed a little breather to recollect myself. Luckily, Tuesdays are my free days so I did not have to ask for the day off from school or at my practicum, but what is so important to note is that MSPP encourages the celebration of all holidays. Although we do follow the Christian calendar and have mandated days off for Christmas, those who celebrate other holidays have the right to take the day off as well. MSPP is very accommodating on this matter and it’s nice to know that they understand the needs of others. In the past, I was unable to take a day off from school sometimes, so I had to spend a couple Eids away from home, and those Eids felt like a regular day. I am very happy that I do not have to worry about being stuck at school on Eid during my time at MSPP.
Click here for a more visual description on Hajj.