My latté kept rebelling against the cover of the container and many times over I had to wipe myself with a tissue or two to keep it from staining my coat, my bag, and my baju kurung I was wearing. Thank goodness none got to my laptop. The coffee was too hot, and had a tad more milk than I would like, and still made me feel dead in the last lecture of the day, but in full spirit of Eidul Adha I rocked my baju kurung and happily wished every muslim I know Eidul Adha Kareem!
There isn’t any huge celebration here on campus and I’m not sure if the little mosque in town is celebrating it big, no meat, no feast but I was still enthusiastic enough to rock my national dress on campus today.
It is one of the biggest celebration for the Muslim society but it seems not many people here are aware of it. It makes me miss the atmosphere back home when everybody regardless of race or religion, knows what special occasion the day is, whether it is Deepavali, Eid Adha, Eid Fitri, Gong Xi Fa Cai or Christmas. I know the Malaysian Muslims are celebrating it big in London today with Qurban (sacrificial ) meat distributed today or tomorrow.
What is Eid Adha? Eid Adha marks the day when Prophet Ibrahim showed faith in God by following His instructions to sacrifice his own son, but God rewarded him by substituting his son for a Qibasy (desert sheep?) at the very last minute just before the knife slit the son’s throat. Obviously the Prophet was slightly reluctant to do it in the beginning (he isn’t a heartless person, would you cut your own son’s neck?) but it was a test of faith for him. The Muslims celebrate this day by slaughtering livestocks such as goat, sheep, cows, or even camels for distribution among the poor and the rest of the Muslim community.
The story behind this may seem morbid, but it was actually a good lesson to all of us. Family holds just as much importance as your religion. Abandon your family for religion is a big NO-NO. As well as vice-versa. God is not asking for us to devote 110% of us to him. At best he only asks for 50% (do your daily prayers, read the Quran, etc) and the rest is up to your discretion to use wisely. The occasion also calls for community bonding, as you will need a good team of people to organise the slaughtering and distribution of meat.
Religion is not all about God. It’s about life, and how you live it.