3-10-2015…….I posted this blog two years back, hence readres may note a difference in the days mentioned. I still feel the lessons of Eid ul Azha should be re learnt, not only by children but also by grown ups like me!

My house is strangely quiet for the last two or three days! In fact, the street I live on has also lost its extra ordinary hustle and bustle. The happy kids, enjoying the glorious days before Eid ul Azha, are no more to be seen as they are back to their school and home work regimes.

The city was bustling with activity till last Tuesday! Cows and goats were the most sought out living beings treading the earth in our part of the world. Discussions revolved around them, prices and sizes being the most important issues! Mothers had thrown caution to the wind as children came and went out of their homes without any restrictions. Gates which are usually kept tightly closed due to the uncertain conditions in the city were left open, as the kids had to dash in and out at their whims. Sometimes they needed to feed the animals, and at others they just hopped in for a quick snack which most mothers kept handy, as they knew how hard pressed for time their little ones were!

Temporary sheds or tents had been put up in front of various houses to keep the sacrificial animals comfortable and safe from the scorching sun. Goats could be seen strolling around with the kids who also enacted an occasional race, while the cows were usually taken for a walk after the men came back from their workplaces. The bleating of the goats, the mooing of the cows, together with the tinkling of the bells round their necks and the happy laughter and shouts of the kids sounded like music to the ear.

Wednesday being the first day of the three sacrificial days, a major part of the animals were slaughterd as the kids could be seen looking a bit sad, but trying to hide their depression in the Eid merriments and feasting. The second day saw majority of the animals gone, with only one or two goats left in a few houses to be slaughtered on the third day. And finally on Friday all signs of these animals that remained were the adornments and pieces of ropes lying outside houses.

In the three hectic days, meat was distributed amongst the needy, stored in freezers by the home makers and barbecues held or planned by the kabab lovers. Majority of the people were busy in Eid get togethers, lunches, dinners and social visits which are all part of this big Muslim festival.

But now that Eid and all the activities and the excitement related to it is finally over, the street seems quieter than usual! Though the kids still seem to be gripped with the memories of their beloved animals, they have to be pulled back to their normal routines. Mothers are busy arranging and re arranging freezers and always in search for new recipes for the sacrificial meat they have saved! The makeshift comfort zones for the cows and goats have disappeared and on the whole life seems to move back to normal again.

But in all these hectic activities, how many of us remembered to tell our children the true reason behind the sacrifice of these animals? The lessons of obedience, sacrifice and total submission to the will of Allah have to be learned and re learned every year, and as parents it is our duty to teach our young generation about the true spirit of  Eid ul Azha!

The story of Hazrat Ibrahim A.S and Hazrat Ismail, the son who was granted to him in quite an old age, should prove to be an inspiration in obedience for our youngsters. Allah liked the act of total submission to His will by His prophet so much that He made it obligatory for all affluent Muslims to sacrifice animals in His name on that day every year.

Then, when the son reached the age of serious work with him, he said: “O my son! I see in vision that I offer you in sacrifice: now say what is your view!” The son said “O my father! Do as you are commanded: you will find me , if Allah so wills, one practicing patience and consistency!”

So when they had both submitted their wills to Allah, and he laid him prostrate on his forehead for sacrifice, We called out to him “O Ibrahim! You have already fulfilled the vision!” thus indeed do We reward those who do right. For this was obviously a trial, and We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice: And We left this blessing for him among generations to come in later times.

Sura As-Saffat 102-108