Hajj and Qurbani: The Essence of Eid-ul-Adha

Eid-ul-Adha (also popularly known as the Festival of Sacrifice) is a time of remembrance of the trials of Prophet Ibrahim [pbuh]. These annual three-day celebration marks the historical events that took place thousands of years ago during the time of Prophet Ibrahim [pbuh] while laying the foundation for Hajj and Qurbani.

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  • As commanded by Allah Prophet Ibrahim [pbuh] escorted his wife, Hajar, and his infant son Ismail [pbuh], to a deserted valley in Arabia and left them there. Hajar, concerned about feeding her baby, began searching the surroundings for food and water. She saw a water spring around Marwah hill from the distance. But by the time she got there, there was no water. Again, she saw a water spring around Safa hill, but by the time she got there, there was no water either. This act of Hajar running from Safa to Marwah back and forth for 7 times, is one of the main rituals of Hajj which pilgrims have to perform and is called Sa’i.
  • Finally tired she collapsed beside Ismail and prayed to ALLAH. Ismail struck his foot on the ground causing a spring of water to gush forth from the earth. The spring which miraculously gushed forth at Ismail’s feet never stops gushing and continuously gushing for thousands of years up to now, called Zamzam. During Hajj Muslims drink from the same well.

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  • Ibrahim [pbuh] returned to Mecca after ten years to meet his wife and son Ismail [pbuh]. This reunion was followed by a divine dream where he saw himself sacrificing his son Ismail [pbuh] for Allah’s sake. When he told this to Ismail [pbuh], he immediately asked his father to carry out Allah’s commands. But miraculously, when Ibrahim was about to sacrifice Ismail, Allah replaced him with a lamb. The sacrifice of an animal (also properly known as Qurbani) in Mina during Hajj and by Muslims around the world is a mark of this deed.

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  • Allah further instructed Ibrahim [pbuh] and Ismail [pbuh] to raise the foundations of Kaaba, an empty cube shaped building, the most sacred Muslim shrine, which the Muslims face during their prayers (Salat). Tawaf (circling of Kaaba) is one of the main rituals of Hajj. Then after circling the Kaaba, a Muslim prays behind the stone on which Ibrahim stood to build the Kaaba.
  • The last ritual of Hajj, the stoning of the stone pillars at Mina exemplifies Ibrahim and Ismail’s rejection of satanic temptations to prevent them from carrying out Allah’s command.
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