Then, Muslims, who are enjoined and encouraged to sacrifice livestock, will carry out this religious ceremony solely because of Allah (the Most Glorified and Exalted), as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“Indeed, the first thing we will do on this day (the day of Aidiladha) is offer prayers and then return home to slaughter the sacrificial beast. Whoever does so, he will act according to our tradition (Sunnah). There are those who will slaughter the sacrificial beast before offering prayers. These, then, will only offer meat to be presented to their families, and it will not be considered as religious sacrifice.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
The resounding echoes of the chants of the takbir, tahlil, and tahmid voiced in jubilation by the entire Muslim community in every nook and cranny of this world, from the eleventh till the thirteenth day (Tasyrik) of the month of Zulhijah, will proclaim with full conviction the admission that Allah (the Most Glorified and Exalted) is the only God who must be worshipped, obeyed, and feared. This is the symbol of all life; every struggle and all work must be undertaken on the basis of complete submission to the will of Allah (the Most Glorified and Exalted). Therefore, let us show appreciation for the demands of the Islamic laws that underpin the religious observances associated with fulfilling the Hajj and the religious sacrifice, which centre on our binding ties with Almighty God and our relations with fellow beings, for excellence in the here and now, and wellbeing in the hereafter. Let us ponder upon the injunction of Allah (the Most Glorified and Exalted) in Surah al-Kauthar (verses 1-3), which states:
“Indeed, we have bestowed upon you (O Muhammad) good in abundance (in this world and in the hereafter). Therefore, offer prayers and sacrifices to only your Lord (in gratitude). Verily, only those who hate you will be cut off (from whatever they wish to obtain).”
Have faith that this Aidiladha celebration, if appreciated in its true sense, will certainly be able to foster the spirit of unity amongst us as denizens of Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM), in particular, and as Muslims, in general. This true appreciation will enable us to maintain our fraternal ties, be of one heart, be willing to sacrifice for the common good, and overcome selfishness. Muslims who neglect the principles of unity will give the space and opportunity to the enemies of Islam to infiltrate in order to undermine and, ultimately, crush Islam and its adherents. Reflect, for a moment, upon the fate of our brothers and sisters in Islam, out there in the world, who now live precarious lives stalked by fear, hunger, misery, and the effects of a myriad of upheavals in their respective countries. Indeed, unity and peace are divine benefactions that are extremely precious and must be fiercely safeguarded.
Lastly, on the occasion of this noble day, my wife, family, and I would like to convey our sincere Aidiladha Greetings to all the Muslims in our UUM community. Not forgetting, too, the offer of heartfelt prayers for the deceased Hajj pilgrims who succumbed to injuries sustained in an accident in the Holy Land. We hope their family members will attain the peace of mind that will open their hearts to the acceptance of God’s will in this. Let us, together, celebrate this festive day with deep gratitude and piety, and strengthen the bonds of friendship in the hope of producing a UUM community that will not only attain success in this life, but also receive protection under the all-encompassing mercy of the Almighty in the afterlife.
Wabillahi Taufik Walhidayah Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Professor Dato' Seri Dr. Mohamed Mustafa Ishak
Universiti Utara Malaysia
Translated by Ravi Rao
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