Eid el Kabir is one of the most important holidays in the Islamic Calendar. It is special to Muslims and referred to as the “Big Sallah”. To non-Muslims, it is also special as they get to share in the gifts and special delicacies of the season. One of the things that makes the celebration special is the ram which is the sacrificial lamb. However, not many know the origin and facts about the sacrificial lamb during Sallah Celebrations.

Another name for this festival is “Eid al Adha,” and the general meaning is “Feast of the Sacrifice,” referring to the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice Ishmael on Mount Moriah, according to Islamic tradition. Every year, all over the world, during the celebration, Muslims who can afford it, travel to Mecca in Saudi Arabia on pilgrimage. There, they reenact the sacrifice of Ibrahim, accomplishing one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

Back home, families who can afford it, sacrifice some kind of animal. In most cases, a ram, and then gather together and partake of a festive meal. The meat is partly eaten by guests and partly distributed to the poor. Eid el Kabir is about giving up something you hold dear in devotion to God. It is mandatory to share the meat of the sacrificed animal on Eid celebration.

So what is the story behind the sacrificial lamb which you need to know as you celebrate.

According to Sheikh Musa Daud, Founder Islamic Family foundation, in an interview;

Sheik Musa Daud
  • It is a command given by Allah, the Majesty, in order to remember the day Prophet Ibrahim (blessings of Allah be upon him) was set to fulfill his dream of sacrificing his son Ishmael (blessings of Allah be upon him) in fulfillment of his pledge to Almighty when he was praying to have a child because he promised to sacrifice his child, if Allah gave him one.
  • Prophet Ibrahim’s request was granted and Ishmael was a gift at 100 years plus. Thirteen years later, Ibrahim was reminded of that promise he made.
  • At the point the sacrifice was to be carried out, although with the permission of Ishmael and his mother (Hajara), (peace of Allah be upon them), Allah made the knife not to cut through the throat of Ishmael.
  • The act was aborted by Allah, a Ram was donated to Prophet Ibrahim as ransom in  replacement of his son Ishmael. So this is to commemorate that day that Muslims slaughter the animal.

According to Ustaz Daud, the slaughtering of the Ram also carries some significance, Which are;

  • When Allah tests you and you have Faith, He will make your path easy.
  • It is an abolishment on human sacrifice. This is because the idol worshipers at the time, took pleasure in human sacrifice. So, by the replacement with the Ram, human sacrifice became prohibited forever.
  • Allah instructed us to remember that He is not in need of the meat of the animal nor the blood. That it’s the piety in your heart that will be examined.

Meanwhile, the Ram should be shared into three(3) parts.

  • A part for the family,
  • A part for those that beg for it, and
  • A part for friends and neighbours.

Pictures and Story: Jacinta Osagie

Click Naija 2020

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