Allah is Great, Allah is Great, to Him belongs all the grace.
On this auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Adha (the Festival of Sacrifice), the Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) wishes all Muslims a blessed eid celebration marked by joy, peace and piety. Eid-ul-Adha is a time for both reflection, gratitude and celebration.
In the largest hajj gathering ever, 2.5million Muslims are presently on hajj, following the footsteps of Prophet Ibrahim (AS), all chanting the same slogan: “Here I am O my Lord, here I am. Here I am, there is no partner unto You… All Praise, Glory and Power belong to You”. Eid-ul-Adha is one of the most significant events in the Islamic calendar. It is a day when Muslims come together to commemorate the trials and triumph of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his family, bearing witness to their sacrifice and devotion. The Qur’an describes Prophet Ibrahim (AS) as follows:
“Surely Ibrahim was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He was grateful for Our bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in this world, and in the next he will most surely be among the righteous.” (Surah An-Nahl:120-121)
During the hajj rites, Muslims from all countries, from the East and the West, black and white, poor and rich, will stand on the plains of Arafah, standing together wearing the same white attire, reflecting deeply on the importance of sacrificing for God, the communal good and one another. In this state of total submission, they pray for forgiveness, personal salvation and also peace for humanity. While on his last pilgrimage, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) gave an enduring sermon, during which he said: “O People! listen to me in earnest, worship Allah, say your five daily prayers, fast during month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat (obligatory charity). Perform Hajj if you can afford to.
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly.
“Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware, do not go astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.”
In this evergreen sermon, the Prophet (SAW) emphasized, amongst other things, the importance of PIETY, GOOD ACTIONS and PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY BEFORE GOD. The occasion of this sermon also signified the end of the revelation of the Qur’an. The spirit of the eid days should be accompanied by renewal of the believers’ determination to continue in obedience and submission to Allah alone.
This has been a phenomenal period for Nigerians in many aspects. For most Nigerians, life is undoubtedly hard. And this has always been the case for many people who have always witnessed political discussions hovering around promises of better days ahead. Most especially for the empowered elites and those that Allah has given authority to govern the land, the blessings of God on the nation in witnessing what promises to be the dawn of a new era should force them to focus on SACRIFICE, PIETY and GOOD ACTIONS. With festive remembrance, they should reflect on and strive for ending the misery and despair that millions are battling with. The problem of multi-dimensional poverty in which majority of Nigerians are totally immersed continue to represent major threats to national cohesion, peace, security, piety, mental health and moral victory. As we follow in the footsteps of Prophet Ibrahim (AS), it is even more befitting to take personal lessons from the lives of the Prophets, particularly about God-consciousness, honesty and trustworthiness.
At individual levels, this time serves as an opportunity to extend our hands and share from our wealth with those less fortunate and a way for us to celebrate together and spread happiness during this uncertain time.
As close to 100,000 Nigerians gather in Makkah for the end of another hajj and as others at home prepare for the eid prayers and celebration, we pray that this Eid brings us and our families joy, gratitude, reflection and connection to God and one another.