Essence of Eid-ul-Azha

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Written by: Hafsa Bint Yar Muhammad Nizamani

"Mummy, we have felt that whenever Eid-ul-Azha comes, you sometimes seem excited and happy and sometimes gloomy. What is the reason?" Hameeda's children asked her.
"Beta, you are too young to understand," she told them.
"But Mummy we want to share your sadness and you know that sharing sadness lightens the heart. We also want to know what makes you happy as that will make us happy too."
“Hameeda begum, our children are no longer children, they have grown up. They are very clever. You will have to tell them the reality," her husband joined in.
"O. K, first, go and distribute the meat and then I shall tell you," the mother ordered the children. The children said excitedly, "Really, mother? You will tell us?"
“Yes, I will.”
The children went off to distribute the meat with their father. Their mother went off to the kitchen to cook a delicious meat dish for them. In the evening, when they were all drinking tea, the children reminded her mother to tell them the reason behind her sadness and happiness. The mother sighed and then began, "I feel gloomy when I remember the past. I feel sad because about eight years ago we were very poor. One of you was three years old while the other was only one year old. In spite of holding an M.Sc degree your father was jobless. I had also completed my M.A but I didn’t have a job either. Then your father and I started teaching in a private school at a very low salary. I remember quite well that whenever Eid-ul-Adha came, the children of rich parents talked about their beautiful goats and cows and after Eid, they chatted with each other about the meat they had exchanged. I felt that the children of those rich people gave meat to those only from whom they expected to get meat back. None of the students ever offered us sacrificial meat. We longed for meat but we could not buy it even once a year due to lack of funds. We only hoped to get meat on Eidul Azha but no one sent it to us. Your father always tried to get meat from outside where people slaughter their sacrificial animal. Where ever your father saw the sacrificial animals being slaughtered in Otaps, he stood there and waited to get meat. Some people gave him a little bit of it while others scolded him.” Tears trickled from their mother’s eyes.
"Sorry mother, we have refreshed your sadness please forgive us. Mother, now tell us the reason of your gladness too," the children insisted.
"Now I am happy because, Alhamdulillah, your father is a Govt. teacher now. He was appointed on pure merit. Your father started to take a share in collective sacrifice in a local madrasah from the first year of his job. Since then we distribute the meat among the most deserving people. We give meat to those people from whom we do not expect to get meat back. Because the people to whom we give are too poor to sacrifice an animal," she told her children.
"Oh! Now we understand why you do not fill our fridge with sacrificial meat like other people do. You keep only a little meat in the freezer for only three Eid days."
"Yes children, it is sunnat too," their mother said.
"Mother, now we have come to know the reason of your happiness too but we feel that you want to say something else too."
"Now, I also want to part in the collective qurbani."
"But mother, you do not earn any money so how can sacrifice be compulsory on you?" “My dear children, I possess one gold chain, two golden earrings, three golden rings and some cash too. The Pakistan govt. and ulema have fixed thirty five thousand and some hundred rupees for the zakat nisab this year i.e. 2016 CE and 1437 AH. And I am owner of more amount than the fixed nisab thus sacrifice is obligatory on me."
"Oh! we did not know that," the children said.
"I have decided that from this year I will also offer qurbani. Now we shall have two shares i.e. one of your father and one mine."
"Mother it means now we shall get to distribute double meat among the poor," the children said happily.
“No children, we shall give one share to the Maymar Trust," their father said quietly. "Yes father, we have read its advertisement in the Daily Islam.”
“Yes, my children, this Trust is run by ulemas. They provide the meat to the most deserving people. They distribute it in the drought-affected areas like Thar in Sindh." “Mother and father, your intentions are very pure. May Allah سبحانہ تعالی accept your sacrifices! May every Muslim comprehend the essence of sacrifice! May Allah سبحانہ تعالی bestow upon us the guidance to lead our lives according to sunnah. Mother and father, we have also decided to save our pocket money and give it to Maymar Trust for a share in the collective qurbani. We hope we will earn a reward in the Hereafter.