EID AL-ADHA: The origin of Islam’s holiest day.

Celebrated 70 days after Eid al-Fitr (Festival of breaking the fast), Eid al-Adha also known as the “Festival of the Sacrifice”, is not only the greatest of two holy days on the Islamic calendar, but also a landmark in the long history of the religion of Islam. Dating back to the time of the Prophet Ibrahim.

Today 1.6 billion Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha, a day that traditionally involves animal sacrifice, performing special prayers, feasting, spending time with relatives, donating to the poor and needy, making pilgrimage to Mecca (optional) among other activities that are carried out to the day. But to better understand the origin of this great day, I take you over a thousand years back to the time of Islam’s 6th Prophet, Ibrahim (Alayhi Wasalam)

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An artistic expression of Ibrahim sacrificing his son

During his time as messenger of Allah (the Islamic God), Ibrahim received most of his revelations (from Allah) in the form of dreams, unlike other Prophets like Musa (Moses) and Muhammad who famously received some of Allah’s revelations though a burning bush and Angel Jibril (Gabriel) respectively.

In what was to become the greatest test of his life, and later earn him the title “Grand father of the believers”, Ibrahim had a dream of him sacrificing his son to Allah, a dream he told his son about, and whose response tested Ibrahim’s faith even more. According Surat Saaffaatt (Chapter 37) verse 102 of the Holy Quran, Ibrahim’s son willingly accepted to be sacrificed.

And when he reached with him [the age of] exertion, he said, “O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think.” He said, “O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast.”
[QS. As-Saaffaat: Verse 102]
* Via the Beautiful Holy Qur’an: https://goo.gl/p3W2h4

Through out the process of preparing to sacrifice his son, Ibrahim was constantly tempted by Shaitan (Satan) to disobey Allah’s command by choosing not to sacrifice his beloved son. However, Ibrahim was able to chase the Shaitan away by throwing stones at it and reciting praises of Allah.

And just as Ibrahim proceeded to sacrifice his son, Allah blunted his knife, and instead ordered him to sacrifice a sheep, as he (Ibrahim) had passed this colossal test of faith. Qoran Chapter 37, Verses 103-105 narrates this in astounding detail.

And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon, We called to him, “O Abraham, You have fulfilled the vision.” Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. Indeed, this was the clear trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice,…….

[QS. As-Saaffaat: Verses 103 – 107]

* Via the Beautiful Holy Qur’an: https://goo.gl/p3W2h4

During Idd el-Adha celebrations, Muslims commemorate Ibrahim’s sacrifice by slaughtering sheep, goats, cows, camels and other animals whose meat is divided into three portions (for family, neighbours and the needy). Ibrahim’s stoning of the Shaitan is also reenacted by pilgrims in Mecca, a ritual known as “Rami al-Jamarat” or the stoning of the pillars. 

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Pilgrims gather to stone the pillars in Mecca

Earlier in Ibrahim’s life, before the dream to sacrifice his son, Allah had ordered him to construct a house of worship and pilgrimage in Mecca. Ibrahim and his family performed annual pilgrimages to this house and performed rituals, including those that later honoured Ibrahim’s choice to sacrifice his son.

Today the house still stands, and bears its original Arabic name “Kaabah” meaning the “cube”. And Ibrahim’s pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj) is considered a pillar of Islamic religion, one of the rituals performed as part of Idd al-Adha celebrations.

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The Kaaba in Mecca

However, the celebration of Idd al-Adha by muslims came hundreds of years after the death of Ibrahim. And this was during the reign of the final Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (PBUH). According to www.eid.net.in/history.htm, Swahaba Anas, one of prophet Muhammad’s companions reported that:

When the Prophet Muhammad arrived at the city of Madinah, he found some people celebrating two explicit days in which people used to amuse and entertain by merriment and playing. Prophet Muhammad asked people regarding the nature of these sorts of celebrations and merriment at which people responded that these festivities were occasions of recreation and fun of days of jahilliyah. At this point, the Prophet Muhammad remarked that the Almighty God has set two days of holidays instead of these festivities for you, which is far better: Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha.

Thanks a lot for reading. Happy Eid to all Muslims. More articles to come your way from Adam’s Blog. And please don’t forget to share.

CAN UGANDA PAY THE “PRICE” OF DEVELOPMENT?

Are we ready to enslave millions of foreign people and forcefully make them construct our roads, buildings, tend our farms, mine our minerals?

Flyovers, skyscrapers, private jets, bullet trains, fast internet among other things are the virtues of what we (Ugandans) picture to be a developed country, and one day we wish Uganda can be like America, Russia, Britain or even France, but are we willing to pay the price these countries paid to be developed?

SLAVERY.

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Slaves being forcefully marched to the Coast

Are we ready to enslave millions of foreign people and forcefully make them construct our roads, buildings, tend our farms, mine our minerals as we sit back and stroke our cats?  Are ready to lose our senses of humanity, empathy and condemn millions of people to slavery to build our economy? Are we ready to shackle and forcefully march millions of people through horrendous terrain, pack them like straw on boats and ship them across seas, tossing the sick and weak into the water on our way home? Because that’s the price Britain, America, France & other developed countries paid to acquire the development they bask in today.

NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

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Nagasaki atomic explosion

 

Is Uganda ready to invest in production of millions of nuclear weapons and if possible use them to obliterate hundreds of thousands of people just to show how powerful we are? Is Uganda ready to have the stain of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on its conscience? Because all developed countries have nuclear weapons, it’s more like a trend. Not to mention the kind of pressure that comes with maintaining nuclear resources and making sure your fellow nuclear powers don’t leave you behind as the technology develops. Is Uganda ready to pay this price?

WAR.

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An American soldier kicks a captive in the Vietnam war

 Are we ready to fight endless, ruthless and in most cases unjustifiable wars to acquire resources we don’t have or aren’t plentiful in our country? Like oil, Uranium, Gold, oil, and oil and more oil….. Are we ready to send our youth as soldiers to their deaths to acquire oil or conquer a foreign land? Because that’s what developed countries do. The United States, Britain, Russia, France are countries that have been engaging in warfare since their inception. France, Russia, America are some of the developed countries born through bloody revolutions and their history has forever been stained with wars. Iraq, Chechnya, Vietnam, Somalia, Afghanistan, the list is endless. Can Uganda pay this price?

CHILD LABOR.

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American child laborers during the industrial revolution

 Are we willing to employ our young children in factories, mines, oil refineries and other hard labor jobs just to reduce the cost of production? Because that’s what developed countries did to strengthen the backbones of their economies during the industrial revolution. Charles Dickens’ book “Oliver Twist” describes the horrors he (Dickens) went through as a child laborer during the industrial revolution in Britain. By 1900, the American industry had employed an estimated 1.7 children, all under the age of 15. And the number had crossed over 2 million by 1910. The revolutionary socialist – economist, Karl Marx said British industries at the time of the industrial revolution, “could but live by sucking blood, and children’s blood too,” Is this a price Uganda is ready to pay? You tell me.

COLONIALISM.

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Africans kissing the feet of colonialists

Being an ex-colony ourselves, we know the pain of the colonial lash, we have lived it, tasted it, bled on its stroke and its less than 60 years since this inhumane treatment was lifted from us. So are we willing to colonize, loot, mistreat, castrate and exploit other countries like our former colonial masters did us? Are we willing to inflict the pain of the colonial lash upon fellow humans so Uganda could have skyscrapers, bullet trains, bridges that open and close, diamonds for our Kings and Queens? Are we willing to go to Egypt and steal their artifacts, mummies, gold and dead pharaoh’s heads? Is Uganda willing to rip and pillage West Africa like France did? Are willing to pay the Price for development????

As Uganda looks forward to attain middle income status in the near future, we should know as a country that however slow our journey maybe, the cleanliness of our conscience when we get there will make the journey worthwhile. Because none of what we would have achieved will be stained will the blood and suffering of others.

CORRECTION: Amin wasn’t an anti-Semite but an anti-Zionist (Part 2)

Amin loved Jews, they had put him in power, sold him weapons, invited him to their “state” and most important of all, trained him to become the monster he was.

40 years ago today, Israeli forces launched a rescue operation that freed over 100 hostages at Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport, Ugandan dictator Iddi Amin has ever since been criticized for allowing the hijacked plane to be landed in his country and many have wrongly labelled him an anti-Semite.

In my previous article, I explained the term anti-Semite and how it wouldn’t in this case be a suitable term to describe Amin. Today we look at the term anti-Zionist, a term that’s in most cases confused with anti-Semite.

An anti-Zionist in simple terms is someone opposed to the creation of the biblical Jewish State of Zion or Israel in the Middle East in what is formerly Palestine. Now to make this simpler, an anti-Semite hates Jews, an anti-Zionist opposes the creation of Israel as a state in the Middle East.

And that’s exactly who Amin was. Following his fallout with Israel as well as the rescue operation, Amin often made threats on TV and Radio about how he would attack Israel, and in most of these tapes, Amin often uses the term “Israelis” unlike famous anti-Semites like Adolf Hitler who used the term “Jews”.

In fact there is a twist that some anti-Semites in Nazi Germany were Zionists, meaning they disliked Jews but supported the idea of Jews leaving Germany to the biblical state of Israel. But Amin opposed the formation of the state of Israel not Jewish people.

Below is a compilation from old recordings of Amin. Listen carefully, his use of the words “Israelis”, “Israel” but not “Jews”.

Being an anti-Zionist is not an evil crime, I mean with Israel being a state, every state has got people who hate it. America, Russia, Britain, France, China all have people that hate them as states, some even hate other fellow states and we’ve often heard terms like anti-America, Anti-China et cetera, So being anti-Israel or anti-Zionist shouldn’t be conflated with anti-Semitism.

I don’t wanna sound like am a big fan of Iddi Amin or something, I mean the guy’s regime killed hundreds of thousands of people but that doesn’t give anyone the right to heap upon him all the bad things in the world, especially calling him an anti-Semite, Amin loved Jews, they had put him in power, sold him weapons, invited him to their “state” and most important of all, trained him to become the monster he was.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and my video compilation, for more wonderful, objective, non-biased and non-propaganda oriented articles, please follow Adam’s blog because without you the reader, there is no writer. Thanks for reading.

CORRECTION: Amin wasn’t an anti-Semite but an anti-Zionist

On the 40th anniversary of the daring Israeli hostage rescue operation in Entebbe also known as Operation Thunderbolt, account of the events of 3rd-4th July 1976 have gained more light like never before as relations between Israel and Palestine remain critical in the present day.

As part of the of the never ending hostilities between Israel and Palestine, an Air France plane originating from Tel Aviv was hijacked by members of a group that wanted Israel to release Palestinian prisoners in Israel custody in exchange for the Jewish plane hostages.

The limelight for the hijacking shifted to Uganda as Dictator Iddi Amin allowed the hijackers to land the plane at Entebbe International Airport where the Israelis launched an operation to rescue the hostages and like they say, the rest is history…..

Due to Amin’s action of aiding what Israel a huge portion of the world called “terrorists”, he (Amin) has branded an anti-Semite ever since , a brand many have mistakenly believed to be true. The term anti-Semite refers to “Someone who hates and would persecute Jews”.
It is a term that has been thrust upon people like Adolf Hitler who would see a Jew burn in a chamber simply because he is a Jew, and due to the demoralizing value of the word, many have been accused of using it to criticize and demoralize opponents of Israel.

The term anti-Semite is exploitatively used by some people the same way words like terrorist, infidel, communist, rebel have been used by governments to justify their actions. If a government wants to unlawfully arrest its political opponents, they will simply call them rebels.

And for Iddi Amin to be put in the same category as people like Heinrich Himmler or Joseph Goebbels is a wrong that needs some serious rectification.

First of all, Amin got his paratrooper training from Israel, they had helped him overthrow Milton Obote in January 1971 and before he fell out with Israel, Amin had made several visits to Israel meeting Israel Prime Minister Golda Meir and other influential people in Israel like Gen. Moshe Dayan. In the early days of Amin’s dictatorship, Israel supplied weapons and trained Amin’s commandos, now this kind of profile doesn’t fit an anti-Semite, an anti-Semite can’t even shake the hands of a Jew, let alone coordinate with one.

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Amin and Dayan shake hands

Unless if you’re trying to say that Amin hated Jews but he let them put him in power, supply him with weapons as well as train his soldiers. Since this is a democracy, that can be your opinion.

So if Amin wasn’t an anti-Semite, why did he allow that hijacked plane to land at Entebbe in 1976?

To be continued………Tomorrow, 3rd of July which was the first day of the rescue operation that ended on 4th of July. Have a good day. Thanks for reading