Besides being a spiritual and devotional institution, Idd al Adha has unique educational and social meanings. It ingrains in the Muslim’s heart the spirit

of sharing and caring. It has special rituals, ethics, and values that could, if properly observed, radically transform Muslims affairs for the better. By going out together with fellow brothers and sisters, kids, women and men, young and elderly, to pray Idd in the early morning of Idd Day, every member of the community shares the happiness of attending the gathering of Idd. The fact that even women in their menses are allowed to go out and watch the Idd Prayer and celebration in the open fields underscores the importance of sharing with the community this blessed occasion. This instills in the Muslim’s heart the sense of sisterhood, brotherhood, unity and togetherness. Offering the sacrificial animal (udhiyyah) after Idd Prayer is a highly recommended rite of Idd al Adha that manifests the great spirit of sharing and caring. It is recommended that all members of the family share and witness the udhiyyah.

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to ask his beloved daughter Fatimah to witness the udhiyyah. It is reported that the Holy Prophet said to his daughter Fatimah, “Watch your udhiyyah (while it is being slaughtered) as you are forgiven with the first drop of its blood.” (Al- Bayhaqi) Furthermore, the desirable division of the udhiyyah into three thirds—one third for the family, another for relatives, and a third for the poor—is another enviable example that shows how far the Adha day imprints in the Muslims’ hearts love and care for family, relatives, and for the whole society. In a true Muslim community, no one is neglected or left alone as every capable Muslim individual should not only take care of his or her close family and relatives but of all fellow Muslims. Many Qur’anic verses and prophetic hadiths emphasize that Muslims are brothers and sisters, and it is the established duty of brothers and sisters to look after the needs of each other.

The glorious Idd al Adha occasion is a day for exchanging visits and maintaining family ties. Maintaining ties of kinship is an obligatory duty that every Muslim should carry out. Idd is therefore a golden chance to bring the family members together and to visit one’s relatives, friends, and community members. The Idd day should not pass without visiting, calling, or e-mailing one’s relatives and family members in order to exchange Idd greetings and cement family ties. Also, on the auspicious day of Idd al Adha, it is recommended that Muslims engage whole day in public takbir (saying Allahu Akbar) in the masjids, market-places, streets, etc. This ibadah (act of worship) connects Muslims spiritually and spreads mercy, peace of mind, tranquility, and happiness. Thus, hearts and bodies experience the joy of Idd rituals and celebrations. People meet, greet one another and demonstrate care for each other, as hearts find peace and blessings in praising and worshipping Allah, Most High. Equally important,  Idd al Adha is a day on which a Muslim should bring himself or herself closer to Allah by means of doing good deeds—such as prayers, caring for the poor and the needy, visiting the sick people, helping those who are in need, etc.—and refraining from evil practices such harming people and severing ties of kinship.

In several communities around the Muslim world, Idd al Adha parties are organized that aim at bringing members of the community together to share the Idd spirit and happiness. This is an admirable idea that needs to be encouraged by all in order to bring community members to come closer to each other. The mass distribution of udhiyyah meat to the needy regardless of faith by some Islamic organizations is also a worth emulating noble deed that largely serves to promote the spirit of love, peace and coexistence especially in a multi-cultural society. In short, Idd al Adha is an ideal model for the Muslim community which maintains love, care, brotherhood and sisterhood, beauty, and solidarity. Idd has significant social, educational, devotional, and spiritual messages that Muslims should grasp and translate into a complete way of life. Should this impressive lesson of Idd al Adha be understood properly and put into practice all year round, it could be immensely instrumental in reforming the current conditions of Muslims as well as entire society.

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