Eid Al Adha or Feast of the Sacrifice

I actually don’t have any plans this coming three day holiday in relation to the Eid Al Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice). Some of our friends are asking us to join them beach hopping in Jumeirah but I am not in the mood to stay out in the sun at this time, I am avoiding it as I am prone to having dark spots because of hormonal change in my body. Staying for three long days at home surely sounds too boring and I don’t want to slave myself cleaning the house but I am going to devote some of my time to it as the closets needed to be arrange as they are already messed up.

Oh dear, I need to think harder what I can do to keep my family busy and happy this holiday, for sure L would love to play a lot outside, I am sure she will request to go to the park or swim in the pool, go to the mall for movies and caramel popcorns (caramel popcorns @ Candilicious in Dubai Mall is a sure hit). I would love to shop for maternity jeans by now, the last pair of jeans I am using is totally killing me, too tight for my growing tummy and unfriendly to little one inside me.

Hhhhmmmm...what else? Gee!! Do I really have to write what I am actually thinking? Well I guess so.

There is just one thing I keep pending up to now, still contemplating whether I should have a hair makeover or not. I am a brunette and my mane is too long and unmanageable but I like it and I am willing to keep it until April of next year. The problem is that whenever I look at myself in the mirror, I am feeling too old because of my hair and you know what most people say, that shorter hair can make someone look younger, I am not too old though but I need a little boost of confidence, specially I am preggy with a baby boy and there is so much change in my appearance lately. Maybe I need a mani and pedi too.

It seems that even unplanned, I have so much things to do this holiday. Just some pending "me" time.

An oh yeah...don't forget to celebrate with our Muslim brothers, it is important that we respect this special occassion of the year for them.

Gulfnews announcements of Eid Al Adha Holiday in the UAE
Ministries and federal bodies will remain closed from Thursday, November 26 to Thursday, December 3 to mark Eid Al Adha and National Day, according to a circular issued by Humaid Mohammad Obaid Al Qutami, Minister of Education and Chairman of the Federal Human Resources Authority.The extended break for Eid Al Adha and National Day was announced in line with the directives of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.Ministries and federal bodies will resume work on December 6.Al Qutami seized the opportunity to thank Shaikh Khalifa for his noble initiative linking the Eid holiday to the National Day holiday.He congratulated the President and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as well as Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Ruler of the Emirates, and the UAE people on the glorious occasion.Al Qutami also congratulated the Arab and Muslim nations on the occasion.Meanwhile, the private sector will get a three- day holiday from November 26 to 28 to mark Eid Al Adha, and one day on December 2 for the National Day, according to a circular by Saqr Gobash Saeed Gobash, Minister of Labour. Work will resume on Sunday, December 3.

What is Eid al-Adha
At the end of the Hajj (annual pilgrimage to Mecca), Muslims throughout the world celebrate the holiday of Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice). In 2009, Eid al-Adha will begin on approximately November 27th, and will last for three days.
What does Eid al-Adha commemorate?
During the Hajj, Muslims remember and commemorate the trials and triumphs of the Prophet Abraham. The Qur'an describes Abraham as follows:

"Surely Abraham was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He was grateful for Our bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in this world, and in the next he will most surely be among the righteous." (Qur'an 16:120-121)

One of Abraham's main trials was to face the command of Allah to kill his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah's will. When he was all prepared to do it, Allah revealed to him that his "sacrifice" had already been fulfilled. He had shown that his love for his Lord superceded all others, that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dear to him in order to submit to God.

Why do Muslims sacrifice an animal on this day?
During the celebration of Eid al-Adha, Muslims commemorate and remember Abraham's trials, by themselves slaughtering an animal such as a sheep, camel, or goat. This action is very often misunderstood by those outside the faith.
Allah has given us power over animals and allowed us to eat meat, but only if we pronounce His name at the solemn act of taking life. Muslims slaughter animals in the same way throughout the year. By saying the name of Allah at the time of slaughter, we are reminded that life is sacred.
The meat from the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the poor. The act symbolizes our willingness to give up things that are of benefit to us or close to our hearts, in order to follow Allah's commands. It also symbolizes our willingness to give up some of our own bounties, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need. We recognize that all blessings come from Allah, and we should open our hearts and share with others.

It is very important to understand that the sacrifice itself, as practiced by Muslims, has nothing to do with atoning for our sins or using the blood to wash ourselves from sin. This is a misunderstanding by those of previous generations: "It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him." (Qur'an 22:37)
The symbolism is in the attitude - a willingness to make sacrifices in our lives in order to stay on the Straight Path. Each of us makes small sacrifices, giving up things that are fun or important to us. A true Muslim, one who submits his or herself completely to the Lord, is willing to follow Allah's commands completely and obediently. It is this strength of heart, purity in faith, and willing obedience that our Lord desires from us.

What else do Muslims do to celebrate the holiday?
On the first morning of Eid al-Adha, Muslims around the world attend morning prayers at their local mosques. Prayers are followed by visits with family and friends, and the exchange of greetings and gifts. At some point, members of the family will visit a local farm or otherwise will make arrangements for the slaughter of an animal. The meat is distributed during the days of the holiday or shortly thereafter.

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