The Greater Eid

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Eid Al Adha, is an auspicious occasion that takes place one day after Hajj is conducted, lasting for three days depending on the nation. The 27th November to 29th November 2009 marked Eid Al Adha in the Emirates. This festival is officially celebrated for the reason that when Muslims descended from Mount Arafat, also marking the end of Hajj at Mecca in Saudi. This ‘Greater Eid’ can be said to be an extension of the holy month of Ramadan.

Mrs. Qamar Rahab and her family have been residing in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates for 22 years. Each year, the Rahab family spends Eid with fervent zeal and vigour as it a festival of sacrifice and celebration.

‘Eid celebration is simply wonderful. The preparations, the prayers and the unity as a family makes us spend quality time together. Our celebrations are grand every year. We call guests and everyone dresses in their finest clothes. We also offer our prayers and then we invite and visit family and friends,’ said Mrs. Qamar Rahab.

It is a tradition during Eid that there is an exchange of greetings and gifts. Another ritual followed by the Muslims, is that they come together and remember Abraham's trials and thus with their own hands have to slaughter an animal such as a sheep, camel, or goat as a sacrifice, thus the derivation of the name- ‘The Festival of Sacrifice’. Often this action is misinterpreted by those outside the faith. The sacrifice can be seen as a prayer where the animal being sacrificed is given to the poor as charity. Normally a part of that meat is also kept by the family. Although this isn’t an ordinary ritual either as certain verses are also recited during the procedure.

“It is a joyous occasion for us, as it is a time where we come together as a family. My in-laws and my parents have come from India to celebrate Eid. We unite during the special prayers. As a working mother, this time of year is indeed very special to me.” said Mrs. Qamar Rahab.

Charity is given a lot of relevance and Takhbir is said out aloud on the first day of Eid before the prayer as well as on the remaining four days after prayers. ‘Eid al adha, is a period of holiness, where we are again reminded of our religious values, since the holy month of Ramadan,’ said Mrs. Rahab's Husband, Mr. Aleem Rahab.

"I treat Eid Al Adha as a fresh start to the new year. I wash away my sins and begin life- ‘fresh’’," added Mr. Rahab.

Biryani, is the traditional food that is specially prepared by families during this auspicious festival

While Qamar’s children, Khashish Rahab and Rita Rahab who are aged 10 and 18 years old respectively, have their own perspectives to Eid. For little Khashish, ‘Eid is a chance for all of us to spend family time and ofcourse there are gifts and tasty food.’ she said, as she trailed behind her mother.

Photo Credit: Megna Kalvani


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