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My beloved brothers & sisters our gathering here today was enjoined upon us by Allah, not for the

purpose of socializing, nor to eat or to dress-up, even though these are all part of the celebration . However we are gathered here to praise Allah and glorify him together as a community and thank Him for Hiss enumerable blessings upon us. Allah says in surah Baqarah: SO complete the appointed days and Then Magnify (Glorify) Allah for guiding you So that you may be grateful [servants of Allah] My beloved Gathering lets us not be misled by the word celebration. We are not like other people. While their celebrations are to indulge in dunya and to forget about greater issues, we celebrate by giving up dunya and contemplate on the greater issues. We muslims celebrate by sharing with others from what Allah has blessed us with. We celebrate By Praising and glorifying Allah and doing Shukraana (giving thanks to Allah by sharing with others). And in our celebration we do not ignore or forget our brothers and sisters who are less fortunate than us or who are suffering. The spirit of Eid is giving up some of our dunya. This is why the meat is not all carried home and stored in our freezers. The meat is meant to be given out to the poor. So from our entire sacrifice be it one share in an animal or a whole animal- we only get to keep one third, and the rest is for others. And then we should Thank Allah for His blessings of wealth and health and, then also to thank him for blessing us with the generosity and good spirit to give for His sake. This is not a day to see ourselves above anyone or to boast about the size of our animal above others. Rather it a time to Humble ourselves and recognize that we were not able to do the sacrifice except by the Grace and blessing of Allah. A sacrifice is to give up yourself and your wealth for other than yourself. Perhaps your neighbours $30 000 sheep by be greater in the sight of Allah than Your $200,000 bull. Maybe it was more of a sacrifice for him to get that than you to get yours. Maybe you could have afforded a $400,000 but you were looking at the price rather than the sacrifice. Allah says Surah Al Hajj verse 37: It is not the flesh and blood of your sacrifice that pleases God. What pleases God is your piety. God has made subservient to you the sacrificial animals so that perhaps you will glorify Him; He is guiding you. (Muhammad), give the glad news (of God's mercy) to the righteous people . The spirit of the competition is more than just size. The spirit is to prove to Allah that you are willing to give up yourself for the wellbeing of the ummah and how far you are willing to go in seeking His pleasure. Allah mentions in Surah Baqarah: You will never achieve righteousness until you give from that which you love.

It is not without a reason that this celebration is in commemoration of the stories of Ibrahim (as). His entire life was a sacrifice for the sake of Allah. If we read the life of the Prophet Ibrahim, it is not just the incident of the sacrifice of his son but every incident in his life is one of great sacrifice and complete dependence upon Allah and for this reason he was called Khaleel ul Allah (Friend of Allah). So let us say like Allah SWT taught us to say in the Quran:
Say: truly my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and death are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds (al-Anam v 162).

Let this day serve as a reminder for us that every day is a day of giving and praising Allah, a day of sacrifice. Let us not forget in our duas those of our brothers and sisters who are suffering and in need that we cannot reach physically. Call upon Allah as your witness that if you could have reached them you would have done what you can to ease their suffering. Doing the sacrifice does not mean it will automatically be accepted so let us make dua that Allah accept our sacrifices and all our strivings and good deeds.