Friday, November 27, 2009

Eid-ul-Azha (The Festival of Sacrifice) In Pakistan - - A Celebration of Faith, Sacrifice and Religious Fervor

ISLAMABAD: The nation celebrates Eid-ul-Azha with religious solemnity and renewed spirit of sacrifice, today – Saturday.
On this day, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) offered to sacrifice his beloved son Prophet Ismail (AS) in total submission to Almighty Allah.
Almighty Allah blessed with mercy and asked him to sacrifice a ram instead of Ismail (AS).
Muslims all over the world slaughter sacrificial animals on this day and draw inspiration from the unique example of sacrifice set by Hazrat Abrahim (AS).
The faithful will throng Eid congregations across the country, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan to invoke blessings of the Almighty Allah.
They will offer Eid prayers in thousands of mosques as well as in open places.
In the federal capital the main Eid congregation shall take place at picturesque Faisal Mosque – close to the range of Margala Hills.
The Muslims will offer special prayers for peace, progress and prosperity of Pakistan as well as the welfare of the nation.
Special prayers shall also be offered for the liberation of the Himalayan State of Jammu & Kashmir from Indian subjugation and Palestine from the tyrannical rule of Israel.
A four-day public holiday began Friday. Many city-dwellers have already left for their native villages or towns to celebrate Eid with near and dear ones.
Eid-ul-Azha is a festival that is celebrated on the 10th of Zil-Hajj and marks the close of the Hajj ceremony or Pilgrimage to the holy Ka\'aba.

A Muslim is required to perform the pilgrimage at least once in his lifetime, provided that he can afford the cost of the journey, is not indebted to anyone and is not otherwise prevented from performing the Hajj.
Those who are unable to perform the pilgrimage join in the Eid-ul-Azha ceremony at their own places.

The Eid is celebrated with great solemnity and reverence everywhere. Like Eid-ul-Fitr, Muslims make preparations several days before the festival.
The animals to be sacrificed are bought well before the Eid day by those who can afford to do so. These animal should be free from all physical defects and are required to be fully grown. In case of sheep, goat or lamb, one animal suffices for one household, while a cow or a camel can be shared by upto seven families.

On the day of the Eid, Muslims assemble in the Eidgah or in the main mosques of the town for Eid Prayers. The Eid Prayer is comprised of two Raka'as and offered in the same manner as Eid-ul-Fitr.
Generally no breakfast is served on this Eid, and those who offer sacrifice do not eat anything until after they have sacrificed the animal.
After the prayer the Khateebs and Imams [religious leaders] delivers a sermon in which they explains the significance of the festival, giving the details of the sacrifices offered by Hazrat Abraham (AS) and his son Ishmael (AS). Returning by a different route and reciting verses from the Holy Quran in praise of Almighty Allah, Muslim worshippers return home and slaughter their animals.

The person who offers the sacrifice is allowed to use a portion of the meat, the remainder is distributed among the relatives, friends, neighbors and the poor.
The animals my be sacrificed on the day of the Eid or the two days that follow. Millions of animals are slaughtered all over the world on this occasion.
The skins of the slaughtered animals are sold and the proceeds given to different charities.

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