The Eid (celebration) of Alan Henning

The Eid (celebration) of Alan Henning

The late Alan Henning before getting beheaded by the Non-Islamic “Islamic State.”

This is the first Eid ever where I’ve been ‘home alone’ without family and I had thought that it might be a strange experience, and now it is, but for some very unexpected reasons.

Eid al-Adha, the festival of the sacrifice, relates to the willingness of Prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son, his most prized ‘possession’ as an act of obedience to God. Of course God intervenes and instead, a lamb is sacrificed instead. It is currently being celebrated by Muslims around the world.

The murder of Alan Henning is a reminder to me that there are men and women in this world, who have such high character and integrity, that their desire to help others comes before their own safety. They make efforts in the most difficult of circumstances to try and improve the lives of others. And while every effort is made to ensure one’s safety, they are aware of the risks of engaging in difficult environments.

Such is the celebration (Eid) of Alan Henning, a man who knew of the risks but was willing to take a chance so that he could help others. He like so many others could have easily led a ‘normal’ life not worrying about others amongst humanity. But Alan must have understood the concept that a person does not have faith until they want for others what they want for themselves, and so he made the effort to help those less fortunate.

While many struggle with the celebration of Eid as yet another man with integrity has been murdered, I will not allow the actions of the criminals known as ISIS stop me from celebrating Eid. The best way for me to respect this day, is to honour those men and women who have made a real sacrifice, such as Alan. And the best way to do this is to thank God for inspiring men and women like Alan with the desire to help others.

So while I begin this day alone away from family, I thank God Almighty for instilling in so many of our hearts a desire to help others. For every time a person does so, they are making a sacrifice, and that, surely, is exactly what Eid al-adha is about.

Prayers of peace and gratitude to Alan and his family, and to every other man, woman or child who makes a sacrifice to help another. Eid Mubarak.

By Choosa Farrukh.