It is time again for the celebration of God’s mercy on man through the symbolism of Abraham when God ordered him to sacrifice his son Ishmael who he then ransomed by a lamb. The feast of sacrifice and Adam’s obedience has become a worldwide Muslim celebration, the Eid el Kabir. Muslims are encouraged to sacrifice an animal in commemoration. I have always believed that sacrifice is an important part of faith. Without it we all pay lip service to the service of the almighty. In addition to being a religious observance, it is also a public holiday. I urge all to heed the call of the Sultan of Sokoto and chairman of the Nigerian supreme council for Islamic affairs, to celebrate in peace. I have chosen five books to reflect on and to enjoy during this holiday and special religious observance.
1) I am starting this collection with a book for young persons that is beautifully illustrated and written by Asma Mubin Kiddin, it is “The Best Eid Ever” In the ever evolving world of Nigeria’s recent descent into horrible language to each other online, this is a deliberate move as kids should always be where we start our education for peace and tolerance. They should also enjoy colorful books about their religion. This beautiful book is about sharing and sacrifice. Aneesa’s parents went on pilgrimage to Mecca for Hajj. She is alone although her grandma gave her a beautiful dress for Eid. At the prayer hall, she meets two sisters who are refugees and decides to share and make their Eid special. A truly heartwarming book, well-illustrated by Laura Jacobsen.
2) What makes a hero? The surprising science of selflessness by Science writer Elizabeth Svoboda is about everyday altruism which is a precursor to heroism. She contends that the basic motivation for altruism is enriching someone else’s life at personal expense whether small or large. This book is to strengthen the likelihood of heroic action when called to do so. Pretty much building altruistic muscle. This book appeals to the sacrifice season of Eid el Kabir.
3) Sous Chef, 24 hours in the kitchen, Michael Gibney. This is a cooking tale i.e. the story of a professional chef and all the politics roles and work in a typical kitchen of a restaurant. There are also stories about food and kitchen staff relationships. I am intrigued by how chicken as protein is the most germ prone of all the proteins if not well handled. It also suggests how to manage the food in your freezer. Michael Gibney began working in restaurants at the age of sixteen and assumed his first sous chef. This is a great book to read during the holidays. Very interesting.
4) International magazines like National Geographic always present us with well detailed features and amazing pictures. When on holiday, a good insightful magazine is always good to have. Read it leisurely and enjoy.
5) Any inspiring faith based book that tell us what it is like to be selfless and make sacrifices. Books about Ishmael and books about Abraham symbolic historical and religious figures for Eid el Kabir. This is when you can increase your faith, learn a little bit more and share with your family especially the children the virtues of sacrifice.