Eid is by tradition a happy affair, but in India it is muted this year, in the wake of the Mumbai attacks. In addition to forgoing the slaughter of cows for the sacrifice (out of respect for the sentiments of the Hindu majority), Indian muslims are wearing black armbands this week as a mark of loyalty and mourning.
Though it doesn’t get as much press or festivity, Eid ul Adha is arguably the more important Eid, from a spiritual perspective, than Eid al-Fitr after Ramadan. Eid ul Adha is an introspective affair, coming after the Hajj which is a season of spiritual renewal. Eid al-Fitr, in contrast, comes after an entire month of fasting, so on a purely human level the sense of accomplishment seems higher. Those who have actually performed the Hajj will forever after have a special appreciation for Eid ul Adha, of course, but for the rest of us it is sometimes a challenge to remember that this Eid is more than just an opportunity to eat a big meal. Last year, ReligionWriter.com interviewed Asma Mobi-Uddin, the author of a children’s book on Eid ul Adha, which touched upon the same general topic – the book, The Best Eid Ever, is definitely worth checking out and makes a great gift.
And what would Eid be without the usual confusion about when, exactly, it occurs? I previously blogged on the diversity of interpretations and methods used to find Eid al Fitr, and Eid ul Adha is subject to much the same (though since many muslims observe Eid ul Adha over a span of a few days, the impact is lessened). Mr. Moo, one of my favorite blogs in the Islamsphere, has brilliantly satirized the perennial Eid confusion in an awesome, hysterical little video entitled, Hitler wants a united Eid:
That needs to be required viewing for everyone on Eid ul Adha. Given all the fabric used to make the tent city at Mina, surely they could set up a big screen somewhere near the Jamrah for public viewings?
Also, I found today’s Garfield Minus Garfield to be kind of relevant:
On that note, Eid ul Adha Mubarak to everyone, and a special mubarak to all who completed the Hajj this year!
Related – a picture of Eid in China; Preparing for Eid in Damascus; struggling with Eid in Gaza; a poem about Hajj then and now; and a childhood memory about two goats named Ateeq and Irfan (whose not-quite-happy ending you can probably predict 🙂