‘Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar!’
‘Hurry up girls, we need to break the fast,’ urged Ira calling us to sit down around the mouth-watering food prepared on the dining table.
We recited the prayer and excitedly enjoying our finger-licking food after about 15 hours fasting for Arafah Day in a hot day summer. Breaking the fast on 9th Zulhijjah meant that we were going to celebrate Eid Al-Adha in Egypt for the first time tomorrow!
The next day was the D-day. I was wearing a black dress with some shining diamond-like accessories around the forearm and putting a plain turquoise hijab on my head. My friends were also wearing their special dresses on this special day. We were heading to Sobahi mosque where all the Malaysian students assembled to hear khutbah and pray together. A very clear and remindful khutbah was delivered by our senior confidently.
We were reminded strongly about the history of Qurban where the Prophet Ibrahim A.S. was ordered by Allah through his dream to sacrifice his beloved son that he wanted for so long. Every Muslims had known about this story. At that time, I came to think of why must Allah ordered him to sacrifice his son instead of goat, cow or anything else? Why it must be the Prophet Ismail A.S. specifically? I questioned myself a lot to get the secrets behind of this history. Trying to give full attention to the khutbah in order to get the answers. Then the khatib said that Allah wanted us to learn letting go the thing that we loved so much.
The prayer and khutbah ended very well by greeting each other and photographing some memorable pictures together. The streets in Mansoura were crowded with cows, goats and a few camels for Qurban. It was amazing to see the long legs, big-lipped snout and humped back camels were tied safely and we took some pictures together joyfully with them. We got to see how Egyption slaughtered the animals with the name of Allah along the street and some of them did it in their building which we could never be seen in Malaysia.
The most incredible experience was all of the Qurban processes were managed by ourselves, starting by slaughtering until the feast. Sharpen the knives, preparing for food, dividing meats and preparing meals for the feast, we did all of these together made us starting to gel to each other. It was a blessing celebrating Eid Al-Adha in Egypt despite of having forlorn feeling without family.
I still remembered how buzzing I was when one of the male student holding a sharp shining knife readily on the cow’s throat. Most of us were swarming the cow and watching the event with an eagle eye. After the animals had been butchered, we were divided systematically into some groups to process them.
On the second day of Eid Al-Adha, a very wonderful feast was held in Camp Village which was located near the stadium of Mansoura University. The place was decorated beautifully with a wedding concept. Full of flowers decorations surrounding the Camp Village with a long dining table and 9 pairs of chairs adorned by white satin and some roses petals on it. Around 1 o’clock, the gorgeous brides and dapper bridegrooms arrived. The highlight of the day! They were accompanied by a group of bridesmaids and some sweet music were playing during the entrance.
Everyone enjoyed such a blissful event delightedly. Having appetizing meals with a wondrous scenery and lovely music were played alternated with astonishing performances from a few of male students made me want to capture every single moment here to be kept in my memory eternally. The event ended satisfactorily before the dusk.
I will never forget this indelible memory celebrating Eid Al-Adha with friends. Excitedly telling my parents about this amazing experience. Qurban also gave us so much meaning behind it. May Allah grant us his blessings until the next year.
Fathin Amanina Afifah binti Bolia
Tahun 5 Manchester