What exactly is Eid ul Adha? The answer lies in the roots of Islam – religion and family ties. It is a holiday that commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim, the son of Ibrahim (as), to sacrifice his only son Ismail for the sake of God. For many Muslims worldwide, this sacrifice means more than just being able to celebrate Eid; it means carrying out what Ismail did for his family and feel that all is well in the world.
The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah are always full of tradition and excitement as Muslims all over the world return to their homes for the start of the fasting season. This period of spirituality is usually associated with the birth of the prophet Muhammad (SAW) and the end of his mission. In some areas of Pakistan, the first ten days of the new moon of Ramadan are also considered to be a time for remembering the dead, especially those who have been martyred. When Ismail’s family returns from Mecca to Medina, the family comes across a tradition that celebrates the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah as eid al Adha or the first day of Paradise.
Ismail’s willingness to sacrifice is what Eid ul Adha symbolizes for many Muslims. This is seen as a test to prove that Ismail is devout enough to follow the Sunnah of His beloved prophet, Allah. For those who have followed their Sunnah and honoured the teachings of the holy book, they are believed to be closer to the path of Paradise than anyone else since they have strictly obeyed all the commandments and conditions given to them by the Holy Prophet (SAW). The entire Muslim world sees this sacrifice as a test to see if one is devoted to his religion and practices, and as such, truly deserves to enjoy the rewards of Paradise.
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