BY ZURAH NAKABUGO
Muslims around the world will gather to celebrate Eid Adhuha on Wednesday ,June 28, 2023, which marks the end of the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia and marks Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his only son for Allah.
Dr Ziyad Lubanga, the Director of Sharia at Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) confirmed the date in a statement this week and also requested people to fast the day of Arafat, which will be on June 27.
“The day of Arafat will follow on June 27, then Eid Adhuha celebrations on June 28. We advise all Muslims to fast on the day of Arafat and ask Allah to forgive them for their sins, not only in the year just gone, but in the year to come.
According to the press statement released by Uganda airlines this week, at least 500 Ugandan Muslims were transported by the national carrier -the Uganda Airlines Jeddah – Mecca for the annual Muslim pilgrimage .
The airlines described the trip as a “a milestone for the national carrier” being the first to be operated in over 40 years.
According to the Saudi Arabian Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, the Kingdom is ready to receive 2 million pilgrims during Hajj season this year. Last year about 900,000 pilgrims were allowed to perform Hijja in Saudi Arabia’s holiest cities of Mecca and Medinah.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, an estimated 2.5m people performed Hajj in the Kingdom in 2019 but the number has reduced due to effects of Covid -19 which battered the global economy for over three years .
Eid Adhuha is the second of two Islamic festivals celebrated by Muslims all over the world. The first, Eid al-Fitr, was celebrated in April to mark the end of Ramadan period of fasting.
Eid Adhuha is considered the holiest of the two Islamic festivals. This festival marks the prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his only son Ismail for Allah, but his son was then replaced with a lamb.
“The celebration rotates around when Allah appeared to Ibrahim in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son, Ismail, as a sign of his faith or commitment to Allah,” Sheikh Yasir Kulumba, the Secretary for Religious Affairs, Kibuli Mosque said.
He says it’s similar to the Christian and Jewish stories in which God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, but spared him from doing so.
“To commemorate the tale, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts in an act known as Qurbani (share). One part of the sheep is given to the poor, one to the immediate family at home and one is reserved for relatives and friends,” Kulumba explained .
He advised Muslims to give out slaughtered meat to different people including non-muslims.
Some Muslims may give money to charity to give poorer families the chance to have a proper Eid feast. Mosques and community groups will often arrange communal meals.
At the end of the Hajj (annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia), all Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adhuha also known as greater Eid (Festival of Sacrifice).The prophet Muhammad said, a person who performs Hajj properly “will return as a newly born baby [free of all sins]”.
Sheikh Haidari Kizza, the Vice Chairman Hear Uganda, a humanitarian organization said, they expect to slaughter about 350 cattle during Eid al-Adha’s celebrations which will last for three days, ending on the evening of Friday june 30, 2023.
“ There is a reduction of cows we have got this year for slaughtering. I think this is due to effects of bad economy worldwide that affects our donors. So we expect to give out few cows to people. And I request them to accept the little they will get from us,” he said.
Kizza advised Muslims to slaughter animals than begging for meat because when you slaughter an animal, you benefit a lot from Allah since you show a sign of devotion.
He expects to donate meat to different parts of the country which will include Kampala, Luwero, Mityana, Butambala and others.
According to Sheikh Kulumba -Prophet Muhammad said, any person who is capable of slaughtering an animal and fail to slaughter it, should not even come near the place where they are praying.
“ You slaughter the animal on Eid Adhuha, it means you fear Allah. Prophet Muhammad used to slaughter over 100 cows every Eid and cut them by his hands ,” he said.
Eid al-Adhuha falls on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and it is a pilgrimage every adult Muslim must make at least once in their lifetime if they have the means.
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