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Muslims to mark Festival of Sacrifice

Visitors welcome: Bermuda Islamic Cultural Centre (File photograph)

Thank you Bermuda, for coming and finding out for yourself last weekend, what the Muslims are all about. We hope you enjoyed our company as much as we enjoyed yours and that you were a little more enlightened after the events and open house. We are one Ummah – one community; one people moving together in peace and harmony for a better Bermuda.

We have another few action-packed days ahead of us, starting with Eid-ul-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice on Sunday. There are two key Eids (celebration festivals) in Islam. First, Eid-ul-Fitr, which signifies the completion of the Holy Month of Ramadan and second,  Eid-ul-Adha, the greater Eid, which follows the completion of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

Although Eid-ul-Adha has no direct connection to the Hajj Pilgrimage, it is celebrated a day after the completion of Hajj, when the pilgrims have reached Mount Arafat.

The day of Eid-ul-Adha falls on the tenth day in the final (twelfth) month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar; Dhu-al-Hijjah. The day that celebrations fall on is dependent on the sighting of the moon, following the completion of the annual Holy Pilgrimage of Hajj –  which is an obligation for all Muslims and is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

The celebration of Eid-ul-Adha is to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s (Abraham) devotion to Allah and his obedience to sacrifice his son Ismail (Isaac) as God commanded him to do.

However, as we all know, just seconds before he was to carry out the command, Allah replaced Ismail with a ram! The ram was slaughtered in place of his son. This command from Allah was a test of Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness and commitment to obey God without question – what faith and obedience of Prophet Ibrahim.

How many of us would even think of obeying such an order? We are people of little faith and certainly less obedience. Again, Allah the most Merciful rescinded the order, just in the nick of time. Quite befittingly, Eid-ul-Adha means the festival of sacrifice. The act of  Qurbani (sacrifice/slaughter) is carried out following the Eid Salaah (prayers), which are performed in congregation at the Masjid on the morning of Eid.

Typically, the day is spent celebrating with family, friends and loved ones, often wearing one’s best attire and exchanging gifts and enjoying a feast of varied dishes. Eid Mubarak (Happy Eid) to All.

Now we move on to Father’s Day, which falls on Sunday. Fathers, oh beloved fathers, what a place of honour you fathers hold. Paradise lies at the feet of the mother but the father is the door to Paradise.

Islam views the role of the father very seriously. The role of the father is considered an essential duty. Fathers are to raise their children in the best possible manner with love, kindness and proper guidance. In Islam, fathers are not just breadwinners but also mentors, educators, and role models for their children.

I once read over 30 years ago in a souvenir shop at Disney World in Florida, a plaque that read: “The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”

Love does not mean being in love, but to care about and respect one another, never badmouthing to the children about one another. This is just wrong on all levels and brings confusion and disharmony to the children.

A father working in accordance with the mother, both carrying out their specific roles, is pivotal in the successful upbringing of children; children who are to become productive forces for future generations.

Fathers must know their worth and be respected by their families. Again, being a father is not only limited to biological fathers but the true meaning of the essence of a father as a protector, provider and nurturer; it takes the village in the raising of a child.

Let’s give fathers and grandfathers too, all the love, respect and support that they need and deserve. Happy Father’s Day, today and every day.

Moving right along, we’ll be celebrating National Heroes Day on Monday. Muslims consider Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as our national hero. He was a person of exemplary character whose interest lay in the welfare of his people. He possessed all the characteristics of not only a national hero but a world hero.

A national hero is a person who is admired and acknowledged for their contributions to their country. They are outstanding citizens who have a commitment to the progress and prosperity of their countrymen. Recognising our heroes is the least we can do to show appreciation for whatever they have done for the betterment of the people of Bermuda.

Let us strive to keep dignity in our observance of the day. Remembering our heroes with pride and dignity. I pray nothing overshadows the day with vulgarity and violence.

We extend our deepest condolences to the family whose mother, daughter, sister, relative and friend was so cruelly snatched away from them. May her children find peace and may their welfare be secured.

Our voices must continue to speak out against wars and demand the bombings stop and call for immediate and permanent ceasefire.

Bermuda, be happy, be safe and be at peace with one another.

As salaam alaikum (Peace be unto You).

Linda Walia Ming is a member of the Bermuda Hijab Dawah Team, a group of Muslim women who reside in Bermuda and have a goal of educating the community about the religion of Islam

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Published June 15, 2024 at 7:58 am (Updated June 15, 2024 at 7:23 am)

Muslims to mark Festival of Sacrifice

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