The Eid Al Adha, one of the holy festivals for Muslims, is awaited with great joy and excitement by the entire Islamic world. Festivals are blessings and times of well-being that allow Muslims to earn Allah’s approval. It is vitally important for our Muslim brothers to spend these blessed days with mutual assistance, solidarity and joy. Festivals, which reflect the unity, brotherhood and love of Islam, and also its consideration and spirit of respect, must be times when our Muslim brothers increase their zeal and bind themselves together with love.
There is something very special about this Eid in terms of increasing Muslims’ zeal.
That is the observance concerning handing out the flesh of the sacrifice, which strengthens feelings of mutual aid, solidarity and brotherhood. The flesh of the sacrificial animal is a means whereby believers bind themselves together in love, as required by the justice and virtues of mutual aid and protecting the poor in Islam. It is therefore very important for the sacrificial animals killed to reach their intended destinations, and even for sacrificial animals in wealthy Islamic countries to reach our brothers in Muslim countries who have nothing to eat and who are living under repression and torture. Our Lord reveals in one verse that the blood of the sacrificial animals does not reach Him, but that what reaches Him earns His approval:
Their flesh and blood does not reach Allah but your piety does reach Him. In this way He has subjected them to you so that you might proclaim Allah’s greatness for the way that He has guided you. Give good news to the good-doers. (Surat al-Hajj, 37)
The Feast of the Sacrifice is also a means of showing the kindness and consideration in Islam.
We can see one of the finest applications of the faith in the Ottomans, who ruled over three continents with the spiritual values bestowed by that faith for three centuries. This considerate behavior was based on the wealthy members of society paying the debts of those having trouble making their payments after doing the shopping during festivals and also represents a fine example of secret spending on the path of Allah. Wealthy people would visit grocery stores, greengrocers and the like in districts they were unfamiliar with and would ask to see the debt notebook calledZimem. They would then randomly collect pages from the beginning, the middle and end and pay them off, saying, “Erase these debts; may Allah be pleased.” The people whose debts were paid could never know who had done so, and the people paying off the debts could never know whose debts they were.
The attitude of Islam toward music, entertainment and art must be instrumental in brightness and joy pervading everywhere.
In the Ottoman Empire, before the Eid began, the sultan would issue a proclamation under the name Tembihname, which would then be carried to the villages, concerning improvements and measures to be enacted in the country. Information would also be provided concerning how the actions taken would not damage the moral values of society and how the officials involved would enact them. As commanded in the verse ”Purify your clothes, shun all filth”
(Surah Muddaththir, 4-5), homes, houses, mansions, palaces, drinking wells and streets would be cleaned, and even goods on sale in markets would be made spotless, as a mass preparation for festivals. The washing of lanterns in mosques, ships being decorated with bright lamps and displays being put on in public areas were important in showing the lofty conception of art, beauty and quality in Islam.
Festivals are times that must be instrumental in people who are increasingly isolated and finding consolation on social networking sites being freed from the sickness of loneliness, and of bringing together Muslims who do not pray in one another’s mosques or read one another’s books and who become hostile to one another solely because of their slight of difference in ideas. These artificial divisions can be resolved by greeting one another during the time of religious festival, and mosques, the dwelling places of Allah, can be turned into places of worship for all Muslims, not just for this or that group or sect. On these sacred days, Muslims must strive to draw closer to Allah and serve His faith even better by greeting and conversing with one another and showing one another affection in a spirit of humility and understanding. They must remember this commandment of Allah’s: Hold fast to the rope of Allah all together. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 103)
Islam, a religion of love and mercy, commands that the animals to be sacrificed also be treated with affection. In the Ottoman Empire, after the animals had been purchased, their fur would be dyed and combed, their horns would be anointed with olive oil, they would be given clean bedding and would be fed with great care until the day of the festival. Just like the Ottomans, who treated animals - manifestations of Allah’s good-natured artistry - with affection, it is of great importance for our Muslim brothers to adopt this loving and affectionate approach required by the moral values of Islam that regards even tugging on an animal’s halter as mistreatment.
Let us not forget that we have brothers in Syria, East Turkestan, Egypt, Afghanistan, Chad, Crimea, Myanmar, Palestine and Iraq who have nothing to eat in this blessed Eid season and who are suffering under repression and mistreatment. Festivals are an excellent opportunities for the sufferings of our brothers to come to an end because festivals are time when Allah brings together Muslims of different ethnicities, languages and sects and manifests His name of ‘al-Jamee.’ Muslims living in different countries come together in mosques for the festival prayers.
As they pray together in the mosques, our brothers must pray to Allah for the salvation of the Muslim world and for peace and brotherhood to come to the world in the words, “O Lord! Let us see the a unity in the Islamic World without delay.” Allah is He Who heeds believers’ prayers: It is Allah Who will bring unity amongst Muslims... Our duty is to call on Muslims to live in brotherhood and to love one another, to remind them that they are the servants of the one Creator, to call on every person in the world to love Allah as His servants and to remind them that Allah has created the world for love, not for hatred. If we discharge that duty, then unity in Islam and a life filled with the beauties of Islamic morality will spread across the world by the will of Allah.
Adnan Oktar's piece on Harakah Daily: