Vol. 5 Num 923 Sun. December 31, 2006  

Eid-ul-Azha into the new year
Let it be a happy augury
MUSLIMS will celebrate their second biggest religious festival, Eid-ul-Azha, tomorrow, which also marks the heralding of a new year, with due solemnity and fervour.

The day has a deep symbolical meaning which takes us back to the great episode in which Prophet Ibrahim (Sm) was about to sacrifice his beloved son to honour a divine decree but was spared the agony by the Almighty Allah, and he sacrificed an animal instead.

People have to bear in mind that the festival originated from the readiness of a prophet to make a supreme sacrifice and, as such , its celebration is actually a reminder of that great occasion which should inspire people to place their faith above all worldly possessionseven the beloved son. The social context may have changed, but the lesson to be learned from Eid-ul-Azha remains unchanged. The sacrifice, that is so strongly emphasised here, can be made through working for the well being of others.

The Eid is being observed this year at a time when the nation is passing through a grave political uncertainty. The two major stakeholders in politics are locked in a fight that now threatens to extend the Eid holidays for over a week (thanks to the 14-party alliance's siege programme for January 7-8), thus bringing everything to a standstill for that long a time.

So the happy beginning of the year with the Eid may be marred by political turbulence which has already cost the nation dearly.

The joy of Eid has to be shared by all, regardless of social and economic standing. All of us need to bear this in mind to make the Eid a little more sympathetic to the have-nots than before. Let the occasion inspire the affluent to sacrifice a bit of worldly pleasures for the benefit of the less fortunate.

We wish our readers a very happy Eid and a fruitful New Year.