This is our first Eid-al-Adha outside Indonesia. We had celebrated it in different cities all over Indonesia though, but never abroad. So this experience is something new for us.
Eid-al-Adha is an Islamic festival to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to follow Allah’s (God’s) command to sacrifice his son, Ishmael.
Ibrahim, also known as Abraham in the Christian and Jewish traditions, was commanded by God to sacrifice his adult son. He obeyed and took Ishmael (Ismail or Ismael) to Mount Moriah. Just as he was to sacrifice his son, an angel stopped him and gave him a ram to sacrifice in place of his son. These events are remembered and celebrated at Eid al-Adha.
What Do People Do?
At Eid al-Adha, many Muslims make a special effort to pray and listen to a sermon at a masjid. They also wear new/nice clothes, visit family members and friends, and may sacrifice an animal (cow/goat/sheep) in an act known as qurbani. This represents the animal that Ibrahim sacrificed in the place of his son. The meat is then given to poor families, neighbours, and others in need.
Muslims around the world observe this event. Maybe the situation a bit different for countries that the majority of people is not Muslim. But, for country with Muslims majority this is typical, and Eid al-Adha become a public holiday there. Like in Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Turkiye, United Arab Emirates, and so on.
Vietnam is not Muslims majority country. So, what’s our celebration gonna be?
It was an usual morning at Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). People did their activities like any other day. As for us, we woke up and got ready to the masjid. We had already searched for the nearest big masjid in the town through google the day before. So, that morning we took taxi and showed the address to the driver.
We arrived at the exact point in the map. Its name is Masjidil Muslimin, the paint dominated by green. It was 9 am, but the masjid looked empty. We started to doubt, did the prayer already finished? But we kept entering. (photo below was taken after the event. It wasn’t as much people as that when we first arrived).
The masjid is located between city skyscrappers, like being attached into each other. It was strange for us, as in Indonesia the masjid usually located separated from any other buildings. There is sign board near the entrance, listed with regulations upon entering the masjid.
As time passed by, people started coming more and more. Oh okay, we weren’t late!
Soon the Eid Prayer was started. It’s 2 rakaah, and like any kind of prayer in Islam, the side is divided into 2 sides, Muslim (man) side and Muslimah (woman) side. After that, the preacher came to the front, giving speech. He is Vietnamese, but he delivered the speech both in Vietnamese and English. People come to this masjid are tourists from all over the world, that’s why.
I found Hadist Book in Vietnamese, by the way. I can read the Arabic, but got confused with the Vietnamese translation, lol.
After the sermon was over, we went outside. I felt very happy… to meet brothers and sisters in Islam from all over the world… they’re all gathering around. They were from Brunei, Pakistan, Vietnam, China, and more.
Near the stairs, there was a desk, a man stood in the back. There were snacks and drinks on the table, and it’s free for everyone in the place! We got 1 pack for each one of us. It consist of mineral water and soft-layered cake with nutmeg. Hm, delicious. It’s sunnah (recommended) to fast before Eid’s Prayer and then break the fast after the prayer.
Just like that, the celebration was over. People began to dismiss. It felt so short. In Indonesia, Eid’s celebration can be felt until 2 to 3 days.
We hurried up to continue our journey in HCMC. But first, eat something heavy! Good thing, around the masjid, there are a lot of halal restaurants. Other brothers and sisters also came to eat, we saw. We chose one place, then ordered some meals… so we have enough energy to walk around the city for all day long.