Today is Eid al-Adha (Id ul-Adha), more popularly known as Eid-el Kabir.
Following the declaration by Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, today, the tenth day of Zhul Hijja in the Islamic calendar is being marked as Sallah Day.
The federal government had declared today Tuesday and Wednesday as public holidays to mark the Sallah celebrations. Already, the Sultan of Sokoto has urged all Muslims to reflect and use the rare opportunities and virtues of the Eid to invoke the mercy of Allah and His blessings.
Muslims around the world observe the Eid al-Adha, which literally means ‘Feast of Sacrifice’ as an Islamic festival to commemorate the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) to follow Allah’s (God’s) command to sacrifice his son, Ismail (Ishmael). After witnessing Ibrahim’s devotion and willingness to perform the sacrifice, Allah gave him a lamb to sacrifice in the stead of his son.
Over two million pilgrims yesterday ascended the plains of Mount Arafat to perform the most important ritual and culmination of Hajj. Standing on Mount Arafat until the sunset on the 9th day of Dul Hijjah is the one of the most important rituals of the Hajj pilgrimage.
Theus the Eid-el-Kabir is an annual Islamic festival of ram sacrifice practiced by Muslims globally through the slaughtering of rams to mark the occasion which signifies faithful submission to the will of Allah as exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim.
Muslims today sacrifice a sheep, goat, cow or camel and the meat is shared among friends, family, and the poor.
The prevailing economic challenges in the country are no doubt responsible for the high cost of the rams in the markets. Many Muslims, who are only trying to fulfill their religious obligations, who will however not be able to afford rams during this Eid-el-Kabir should be consoled by the fact that Allah does not put a burden on anyone who can’t afford the sacrifice.
After belief and total submission to the will of Almighty Allah, Muslims are also required to foster amity, unity, love and give charity in fulfillment of tenets of the Islamic faith, and live together in peace and harmony with non-Muslims. These principles must continue to guide Muslims in all their dealings with each other and those of other faiths. Similarly, Muslims are enjoined to practice the virtues of Islam as professed by Prophet Mohammad (SAW) and always be guided by lessons of the Eid-el Kabir even after the spiritual exercise.
As we approach the 2019 general elections we urge Muslim and Christian clerics to always preach peace and also encourage followers to show tolerance of one another’s religious views and shun mistrust that hinders cordiality among our various ethnic and religious groups.
In the spirits of the Eid-el Kabir, we urge followers of the two great religions to show tolerance towards one another, this will no doubt promote love global peace, foster unity and bring about sincere hospitality and spirit of true brotherhood.
We also enjoin Nigerians to maintain the tempo of their supplications to God as a habit and a way of life as the country still remains in dire need of prayers to surmount its numerous challenges. While calling on government to be more determined in its resolve to ensure that citizens continue to enjoy dividends of democracy, we wish all our brothers and sisters of the Muslim faith, Barka da Sallah.