Eid-ul-Azha is coming up in a few days. We all celebrate it with enthusiasm and happiness. However, most of us do not know the real reason of this festival. Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated to end the wonderful month of Ramazan. We fast in that month and after a whole month of submission to Allah and giving up on worldly desires, we have a festival. Eid-ul-Azha is also celebrated when the Hajj ritual is completed. But since every Muslim does not go for Hajj each year, why is it that Sunnat-e-Ibrahimi, the sacrifice of an animal, is done by everyone?
Let us take this opportunity to remember the great sacrifice of Hazrat Ibrahim (as). He was the beloved prophet of Allah and was one of the closest to Him. Hazrat Ibrahim (as) was asked to raise the Ka’aba and build it for all Muslims to centralize their prayer and worship Allah. Hazrat Ibrahim (as) did so and he was accompanied by his son Hazrat Ismail (as). The father and son duo were very close to each other and Allah tested Hazrat Ibrahim (as). He dreamt that he is sacrificing his son for the love of Allah. When he told this dream to Hazrat Ismail (as), he readily agreed and asked his father to follow the dream for Allah’s pleasure.
Hazrat Ibrahim (as) did so but when he was about to strike his son with a sword, a goat came in the way and Hazrat Ismail(as) was saved! To commemorate this outstanding act of sacrifice, people sacrifice a lamb, goat, ram, cow or camel on Eid-ul-Azha and give the meat to friends, neighbors, relatives and the needy. The purpose of this sacrifice is just like zakat; so that meat is distributed among society to create a good will. People these days do not afford this expensive commodity therefore we all must give openly to the poor. They can enjoy a good feast and eat to their heart’s content. Allah has openly said that the meat or blood of the sacrificed animal does not reach Him. It is the Taqwa and good will of the Muslims that will be rewarded! People who are away from Makkah and do not perform Hajj also carry out this traditional sacrifice. Hence Eid-ul-Azha is also known as the Feast of Sacrifice or the Day of Sacrifice.