Double blessings for Muslims as Eid Al Adha, the festival of sacrifice falls on Friday
London, July 31, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Muslims around the world are celebrating the annual festival of Eid al-Adha – the Festival of Sacrifice – which falls on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah, the 12th and last month of the Muslim lunar calendar.
Eid al-Adha is the second major Muslim festival after Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting.
The occasion will be celebrated in most countries on Friday, July 31.
The Muslim festival of Eid Al Adha marks the conclusion of the pilgrimage to Mecca, known as Haj.
This year, however, Saudi Arabia announced it would hold a “very limited” Hajj because of the coronavirus pandemic, with only about 10,000 people living in the kingdom allowed to take part in the pilgrimage.
At the end of Haj, Muslims throughout the world celebrate the holiday. Eid Al Adha translated, means the Festival of Sacrifice
Eid-Al-Adha is important for two reasons. First, during Eid-ul-Adha we remember the spirit of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) and how he was willing to sacrifice the person he loved the most, because it was Allah’s command which he had to obey no matter what!
Secondly, the event also marks the end of Hajj, a five-day pilgrimage all able-bodied and financially capable Muslims are obliged to undertake once in their lifetime.
The pilgrimage is believed to cleanse the soul of sins and instil a sense of equality, sisterhood and brotherhood. Eid-Al-Adha ends the period of Hajj (the 5th pillar of Islam ).
Performing extra prayers in the morning are how most Muslims begin celebrating Eid.
Mosques are packed with worshippers with outside arrangements made to accommodate large groups of people.
This year, however, mosques will limit the number of attendees, and large congregations will be banned in many countries to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
On the day of Eid, there are some things that Muslims should do in keeping with the Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) Sunnah.
Wake up early
Have a healthy breakfast
Take a shower and wear perfume to smell good
Make sure you are wearing clean and modest clothes
Perform the Eid Al Adha prayers
Friday is as usual a day Muslims are required to go to mosques to observe the obligatory Jumat prayer. Any Friday is an Eid for Muslims. Eid has come on Friday, making it doubly-blessed. There will two khutbas, one after the Eid prayer followed by another one after the Jumat prayer
Sacrificing an animal
The occasion is marked by the sacrifice of an animal that Muslims can eat – a goat, sheep, cow or camel – by those who can afford to do so.
In many parts of the Muslim world, special livestock markets are set up for people to buy an animal for the Eid sacrifice.
This year, amid the coronavirus pandemic, numerous apps and websites have appeared in countries such as India and Bangladesh, where animals will be sold online to limit exposure to the virus.
Distribution of meat
The animal sacrifice comes with an element of charity, as the person paying for the sacrifice is required to distribute part of it to others.
The meat of the sacrificed animal is divided among three groups: the person sacrificing it and their immediate family, extended family and friends, and those in need.
Some Muslims will pay the value of an animal to one of a number of Muslim charities around the world that collect funds for remote animal sacrifices, distributing the meat to underprivileged groups – including refugees, the elderly and disabled people.
Generosity during Eid
Wish everyone a “Eid Mubarak” (Have a blessed Eid), or “Eid Saeed” (Happy Eid).
It is also a good Islamic practice to call family and friends over the phone, or send gifts.
Remember the true spirit of Eid is reflected in extreme generosity to the poor and the needy. So a Muslim should be charitable as best as he or she can. There’s plenty of ways you can contribute to the less fortunate this Eid, while still staying safe, or send a needy family a grocery delivery.
WHO praised steps taken by the Kingdom to ensure the safety of pilgrims
The World Health Organization (WHO) has commended Saudi Arabia’s successful efforts in organizing a safe Hajj this year during the coronavirus pandemic.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the steps taken by the Kingdom to ensure the safety of pilgrims as much as possible during this year’s pilgrimage
Additional information from Aljazeera