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Azerbaijanis celebrate Eid al-Adha

12 September 2016 [10:12] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Amina Nazarli

Eid al-Adha (Qurban Bayrami), one of the two most important festivals in the Muslim calendar, is celebrated in Azerbaijan on September 12-13. 

The Festival of Sacrifice, as is also called, is Islam’s most important religious holiday embodying a love of God, faithfulness, generosity, and spirituality.

Eid al-Adha means getting closer to God and strengthening Islamic principles like maintaining brotherhood in society, keeping alive the spirit of cooperation and solidarity, and contributing to the realization of social justice. At Eid, it is obligatory to give a set amount of money to charity to be used to help poor people buy new clothes and food so they too can celebrate.

The celebration marks the willingness of Ibrahim to accept the command of Allah (God) and to sacrifice his dearest possession, his only son -- Ismail -- to demonstrate his devotion to the Almighty.

He obeyed and took Ismail to Mount Moriah. Just as he was to sacrifice his son, an angel stopped him and gave him a ram to sacrifice in place of his son. 

A similar story is found in the Jewish Torah and the Christian Old Testament, but in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the story goes that Abraham was set to kill his son Isaac.

The holiday varies year by year, and its date is determined by the Islamic lunar Hijri calendar, which also means the end date of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj).

Eid al-Adha is not only about sacrificing an animal, it is just a good chance to express goodwill and make kind deeds before God. It is an important time for charity, and those who can afford it make an effort to ensure they help those less fortunate.

As kindness, purity, trust and love of God are the basis of the ritual, the main importance of the holiday is distribution of sacrificial meat for the sake of God among poor people.

One of the most beautiful aspects of Islam is that there is no discrimination in the faith.

During the holiday every orphan or pauper from any religion has the right to avail the opportunities of rich, to taste the sacrificial meat, which he himself would not be able to afford otherwise.

Sacrificial offering is preferred, but not obligatory for everyone. Making a sacrifice through debt is not favored in Islam, as all religions including Islam are meant not for complicating the lives of people, but for improving their well-being.

There are several conditions required for giving a sacrifice on Qurban Holiday. First of all, the sacrificial animal should be healthy and well-fed. Furthermore, only four-legged animals such as sheep, calves or camels, buffaloes, bulls, cows, and goats can be sacrificed and distributed among the poor and needy, which symbolizes the compassion towards the poor and also calls on people to help each other.

The meat of a slaughtered animal is to be divided into three pieces: one for the poor, one for the holiday feast prepared for the family, neighbors, and friends, and one for the individual who is sacrificing the animal.


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