The Eid al-Adha is called ‘Ileya’ by the Yorubas, which translates to ‘Time to go home.’
The home in this context is not the house you are living in. Rather, it means your village, home town or place of origin.
One key part of the celebration is slaughtering of rams which has a spiritual symbol. It represents the test of Ibrahim (Abraham) who was supposed to sacrifice his only son, Ishmael. However, God replaced the child with a ram which all Muslims are mandated to observe; if they are financially capable.
Yes, every obligation to Muslim has terms and conditions. It’s obligatory for all Muslims to fast in the month of Ramadan. But pregnant women, sick ones, travellers on long distance journey and the elderly are exempted. Even a traveller can shorten his salat to two Zakat during journey.
Even Haram consumables like pork, alcohol is consumable to a Muslim facing starvation.
The point is, don’t make life hard for yourself to please God when Allah has made it easy.
That ram is a sacrifice onto him. If you can’t afford it during Eid al-Adha this year, please calm down.
Today, people are observing Araafat in the most usual circumstances due to the outbreak of the deadly COVID-19. The outbreak of the virus is having a more devastating effect on the economy than even healthcare; of which you are no exception.
Millions globally have lost their jobs. Many are dependent on relatives and government for support. Even those who have secured rams bought it at exorbitant prices; while some perhaps had to take loan to keep up with the Joneses.
But remember. That neighbor with rams in from of his/her house, you don’t know the source or the sacrifice it entails. In fact, if you cannot afford a ram, get a goat. Allah permits it. Killing of rams is about making offerings to God, not an “episode of keeping up with the Joneses.”
Even if you can’t afford a goat at Eid al-Adha; the mere fact of having good health and being alive is enough to say a loud Alhamdulillah. This is not the time to take loans to buy ram or dispose assets in panic sales. You cannot impress Allah because your intention speaks louder than action. When God asked Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, it was about the test of his faith; his heart, and his intention, not the physical sacrifice. God is not going to eat meat.
Aside from the ubiquitous slaughtering of rams, COVID-19 is real. Please observe Eid prayer according to the guidance of the NCDC.
Barka de Sallah to our readers.