Assalamualaikum wrt wbt.
In the run up to the Hajj, the greatest rites in the life of every muslim, close to three million faithful are now gathered in the holy precincts of Makka al-Mukarramah. The day preceeding Eid-ul-Adha is marked by the most important ritual in the performance of Hajj, Yaum-ul-Arafah or the day of Arafah. The following day is Eid-ul-Adha or Yaum-un-Nahar or the day of sacrifice. The word ‘Adha comes from ‘udhiya or sacrificial animal. In essence Eid-ul-Adha is a commemoration of the act of sacrifice of the Patriach Ibrahim AS (peace be upon him)(Khalilullah) on his beloved son, Ismail AS (peace be upon him). The act was a testimony of the unquestioning and complete submission to the commandments of Allah SWT. by the household of Ibrahim AS
By the grace of Allah, Ismail was ransomed with a noble sacrifice (a ram). Allah SWT has recompensed the household of Ibrahim AS and rewarded them for their patience and endurance in carrying out the commandments of Allah. Certainly this was a great test and they persevered under the most trying circumstances. Praise be upon the household of Ibrahim AS and those who follow their exemplary conduct.
Today, the act of selflessness demonstrated by the household of Ibrahim AS is embodied in the sacrificial rites or udhiya after Eid prayer – Solat-ul-Eid. According to the mazahib of Imam Abu Hanifah, the sacrifice is a fardh (an obligation). So was the opinion of Imam Malik. Imam As-Syafii, Imam Ahmad and Imam Abu yusuf considered the rites as Sunnah Muaqaddah (highly preferred). At any rate it is a great sunnah (practice) of Prophet Muhammad SAW (Peace and blessings be upon him) and a muslim strive hard to take after Rasulullah SAW.
The act of sacrificing an animal on the day of eid is a pledge by muslims to answer to the call of duty and to conduct sacrifices under any circumstances. There is no place in the heart of a muslim to be self centred. To be one would be seen as the most ungrateful in the eyes of Allah. In these days, the importance of making sacrifices for the sake of the ummah can never be over-emphasized. It is the foundation of an ummah and a measure of solidarity of the muslims. It is one of the parameter by which one strive to live up to the notion of muslim fraternity or brotherhood (ukhuwah Islamiyah), a concept that emanates from the concept of tauhid or oneness of Allah All-mighty. As such it is a matter of survival of the muslim ummah.
Today, many different parts of the muslim world are left to fend for themselves without anyone to deliver them from oppression and subjugation. The Palestinian people for instance has been subjected to great injustices and tyranny. They were evicted from their homeland, subjugated, humiliated, dishonored, debased by the occupying Zionist regime backed by the western powers. Ironically the Palestinian people were surrounded by their oil-rich Arab neighbours but these regime were serving the interest of their enemies, trying to win favours from their western allies instead.
It is incomprehensible today for a people to be imprisoned in their own land. They laid a debilitating siege on Gaza, closed the borders, imposed a comprehensive economic blockade, denying access to food, clean water, medicine and fuel. Under these circumstances the Zionist threw everything they have in their state of the art military arsenal on a deprived and defenseless population. They don’t have anything that match even a small fraction of the firepower of the Zionist, and yet they were not allowed to leave. They became the target practice for the Zionist to train their weapons of mass destruction including the banned white phosphorous.
Where do we stand in this issue in the light of the ‘day of sacrifice’ we will be celebrating less than a week from now. What is the significance of the sacrificial rite we will conduct on the day of eid. Has it become a mere ritual that does not have any bearings on our life and the very purpose of existence. We have food aplenty and can eat to our fill. Our Palestinian brothers and sisters are suffering from the pangs of hunger. We sleep soundly in the comfort of our homes, whereas they are now shivering out in the cold in their makeshift tents because their houses have been bombed out snd they are not allowed to rebuild due to the blockade. They don’t even have the most basic of healthcare we all have been taken for granted.
What about our beloved mosque, the Masjid al-Aqsa? Have we forgotten and forsaken the third holiest place in Islam. Umar RA, the leader of the faithful, upon his arrival at Baitul Maqdis, the first thing he did was to visit the mosque. He was moved to tears seeing the mosque has been turned into a dumping site by the Romans. Using his own bare hands he scopped the refuse and asked the muslim army with him to do as he did. Yes, using their bare hands.. Once cleared Umar asked Bilal, the muezzin of Rasulullah SAW to call the azan. Bilal reluctantly did as told because he has vowed not to call the azan after the departure of Rasulullah SAW. When Bilal did call the azan nevertheless, everyone shed their tears. From that day on, Baitul Maqdis was an open city, everyone of different faith can have access to the city to perform their religious rite. It was to remain that way until 1967, when East Jerusalem (Eastern Baitul Maqdis including the Old city where the mosque is situated were overran by the Zionist. Now they are doing everything to harm the mosque with the aim of removing every trace of it and rebuild on its site Haikal Sulaiman, the Jewish temple. The Zionist regime has built a separation wall that almost surround the mosque from all angles, pursuing a policy of banishments of Arab residents by land appropriation, citizenship revocation and house demolitions to make way for more illegal jewish only settlements.
Aren’t we concerned about this grave situation. Do we still harbor any love for the mosque? The companions of Rasulullah SAW when they wanted to perform the hajj they started their journey from Masjid al Aqsa. They donned the ihram (two piece of unsewn cloth to cover the body during the rites of hajj) and then undertook the jpurney to Makkah. Umar al-Khattab, Abu Hurairah, Abu Ubaidah Amir Al-Jarrah and others were mentioned in the tradition to perform their hajj
Everyone on this day of Eid must reassessed our position on the question of the struggle to liberate the holy land and to deliver our fellow brothers and sisters and fellow human beings from the bondage of the Zionist. Let us make a resolute pledge to partake in this struggle to liberate our holyland. Let us make this pledge on the day of Eid – a pledge to sacrifice our time, our resources, our thoughts, our efforts, to contribute in any way within our means to support the struggle from afar. The opportunities to do these are abound. May Allah give us the strength to perservere on this path.
Dr Hafidzi Mohd Noor (blog)
DirectorPACE (Palestine Centre of Excellence)