On October 10th 2014, Students and Teachers from the senior school at Raha International School all came to see an assembly celebrating Eid Al-Adha at the senior gym with the purpose of sharing with the non-muslim students about the Eid celebration which represents the pilgrimage including a time of peace and gratitude. During the assembly the Islamic department presented a piece of the Holy Qur'an and welcomed Mr. Malick Elias.
Mr. Elias was the guest speaker at Raha International School, giving insight to those who have not heard of Eid or have, yet in a different way. He was very keen with the students and teachers, giving stories of Prophet Ibrahim, and finally ended off the assembly with a little game amongst the students, asking them questions and when right they win a prize. Some fellow Muslim students received presents in which they were to be given to their deans, which just shows that Eid is not just for the Muslims, it is for everyone to celebrate.
As said by Mrs. Safaa, an Islamic A teacher, "We are looking into more field trips and assemblies about the Islamic culture." This is the first step taken by the Islamic department at Raha to push for more awareness of Islamic traditions, as well as curbing the ideologies behind what 'Western Media' influences against Islam. Hopefully the Islamic department will be successful in bringing out a strong message about Islam.
Want to know more about Eid?
The story behind the Eid, which can be translated into "Holiday", is from prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). Ibrahim at this time of the Islamic calendar, being the month of Thul-Hijjah, was commanded by God to travel from Northern Palestine to Arabia, specifically the city of Mecca. Once Ibrahim reached this city, God commanded him once more to leave his family in search of food and water, and of course a village. After 2 days in the desert Ibrahim's wife 'Hajar' and his first son 'Ismail' were experiencing starvation and dehydration. So Hajar took her son in between 2 hills, Al-Safa and Al-Marwa. These 2 hills served as looking points for Hajar to find an Oasis, a village or her husband. After some time of searching, water came from the ground underneath Ismail's weak body. Hajar noticed this water and tried to keep it in a small pool, she did so by chanting the following "Zumi, Zumi, Zumi." Which then came the name of ZamZam water. After one day from this experience Prophet Ibrahim came back with a prophecy from God telling him to build the Kaaba.
Now in the Islamic calendar the Eid holiday is celebrated in the month of 'Thul-Hijjah'. This basically translates to "The month of the Hajj." The Hajj is the pilgrimage made before the first day of Eid. It is following the prophets footsteps into completing the final and fifth pillar of Islam. The Hajj is a mandatory feat in which all Muslims from around the world must go to the Kaaba. They then walk around the Kaaba, in arabic known as 'Tawaf", seven times then they -walk to Al-Safa and Al-Marwa. At these 2 sacred hills they must then walk or jog between both hills, as did Hajar from before. Once that is complete they must walk to an area called "Rami al Jamarat." This would translate to "The throwing of the pebbles." This throwing is on a wall that represents Satan which shows that as a muslim they attempt to hurt Satan. Finally the Hujjaj, as we call them, must climb up Jabal Arafat or "Arafat Mountain." On this journey to the mountain the Hujjaj must fast, and so can other muslims around the world that have not gone for Hajj.
Finally once they have finished the journey they must then travel to the city of Makkah as to complete their Hajj. Once they have done that it begins the Eid El-Adha celebrations in which we sacrifice a sheep to represent God's Command for Prophet Ibrahim who was supposed to kill Ismail but never did so.
Pictures by Rohit Menon
Pictures by Mr. Chris Drew