Though the celebration of Eid-el-Kabir has not started in full measure, it is not too early to say, Happy Eid-el-Kabir to every Muslim faithful. And also to Nigeria in its entirety. Despite the several economic and security factors attempting to deplete this year’s Eid-el-Kabir celebration, all hands are on deck to make sure the celebration embodies, in all respect, the solemnity of the feast. Here are ten facts you need to take note of as we plunge into this festive period which is to begin on Friday, the 1st of September, all through to Monday, the 4th of September.
THE MEANING OF EID-EL-KABIR
The name, Eid-el-Kabir, is an Arabic phrase for “Feast of the Sacrifice”. Another way of calling it is Bakr-Eid (Sacrifice Feast). Eid-el-Kabir can also be called Eid-al-Adha.THE ORIGIN
2. THE ORIGIN
According to Islamic sources, Eid-el-Kabir epitomises the willingness and sacrifice exhibited by Ibrahim. Ibrahim who was asked by Allah to sacrifice Ishmael, the promised son, was very complaint even to the point of almost giving up his son. It was the angel Jibril that stopped him in his tracks and told him that due to his submissiveness, his sacrifice had been accepted already. Woven into this was Ibrahim’s journey from Canaan to the rocky plains of Mecca, Saudi Arabia with his Hagar, Adnan, and Ishmael.
On his return to Canaan, he left behind Hagar and Ishmael who ran out of food and water. Due to Allah’ provision, Hagar and her son were able to drink from a spring of water and even got food by selling from the water.
Ishmael became a prophet delivering the message of submission from God to nomads in the desert. This served as a precedent to the present Hajj.
3. SOLEMN PRAYER
To commence the Eid-El-Kabir, prayers are offered at all the mosques all over the world. This is to seal the solemnity of the feast, as Eid-el-Kabir is considered the holiest of the two Muslim celebrations we have.
4. THE SACRIFICE
This is the highpoint of the Eid-El-Kabir celebration. Even before the appointed time for Eid-El-Kabir, several lorries are seen towing the roads in Nigeria supplying rams and cows to the many markets from where they will be sold out to Muslims. After the prayers at the mosques, these animals are slaughtered in the head to represent Ibrahim’s own willingness to sacrifice his own son.
The representative sacrifice might not necessarily be a cow or ram, it can be a camel or goat, depending on the prevalent culture in a given place. However, the domestic animal used must meet certain requirements to be accepted.
For the slaughtering of the animal, a blue coat clothing must be worn. Also, very festive clothes are worn on the other days. This is the time when the Muslims wear their very best. The women wear new, stylish lace, Ankara and colourful hijabs. Most times, the men are seen putting on guinea or damask clothing, with fanciful caps.
During the Eid-El-Kabir, a lot of love is spread in style. The animals sacrificed are meant to be divided into three part. One part is for the family who slaughtered it. While the other two are for relatives and friends and the indigent ones respectively. Also, families visit one another and share meals together even after the celebration. Even these meats are taken across borders to be shared with truly indigent people.
According to security forces, 33,000 security personnel have been deployed nationwide to ensure peace and security. Also, due to the relative peace that has pervaded the North East in recent times, the former fear that accompanied the region in the past, preventing them from celebrating the Eid-El-Kabir has been somewhat dissipated. Expectedly, those in the North-East anticipate highly this year’s celebration.
8. EID MUBARAK
For the Eid-El-Kabir, Muslims all the world greet themselves in just one way- by saying, Eid Mubarak. This form of greeting is one regulated way of showing the success of the Eid-El-Kabir celebration and shows the happiness of the Muslims in encountering yet another celebration.
9. THE ISLAMIC CALENDAR
It should be noted that the date assigned for the observance of the Eid-El-Kabir differ due to the several calendar dates we have. In the Gregorian Calendar, the celebration starts on the 1st of September which is tomorrow. But for the Islamic Calendar, it happens on the 10th day of the month Dhu al-Hijjah. This is usually eleven days later than the date assigned by the Gregorian calendar.
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