The Five Pillars of Islam

Editorial

EDITORIAL EID-UL-AZHA Eid-ul-Azha marks the completion of the pilgrimage to Mecca by Muslims from multifarious nations of the world on the tenth day of the Islamic month Zul Haj. It is obligatory to bring the pilgrimage to a successful termination with the sacrifice of an animal. Like prayer and fasting, the performance of pilgrimage is a mode of worship seeking the spiritual, social and economic upliftment of Muslims. Pilgrimage accustoms a person to leave home and, for the sake of God, to undergo seperation from friends and relatives. It also serves as a symbol of respect for the holy places of God frequented by the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). When visiting these sacred places the pilgrim experiences spiritual elation. The universal bond of Islamic brotherhood is also strengthened as pilgrims of worldwide nationalities gather together in a spirit of unity and harmony. The pilgrim offers the sacrifice of an animal at the end of the pilgrimage which is also done by Muslims all over the world. This is done in remembrance of Abrahams’s readiness to sacrifice his son Ismael (not Isaac as recorded in the Bible) who, in turn, resigned to being sacrificed under the belief that it was the Will of God. We read in the Holy Quran: And when he (Ishmael) was old enough to run along with him: (Abraham), he said, ‘0 my dear son, I have seen in a dream that I offer thee in sacrifice. So consider what thou thinkest of it!’ He replied, ‘0 my father, do as thou art commanded; thou wilt find me, if Allah please steadfast in my faith.’ And when they both submitted to the Will of God, and Abraham had thrown him down on his forhead, We called to him ‘0 Abraham, thou hast indeed fulfilled the dream.’ Thus indeed do We reward those who do good.’ (37:103-105) • The -Holy Quran succinctly describes the significance of animal sacrifice: Their flesh reaches not Allah, nor does their blood, but it is your righteousness that reaches Him. : (22:38) The act of sacrifice is symbolic reminding the person who offers it that • . (continued on page 38)