Muslims observe Eid-ul- Adha – the festival of sacrifice and commitment

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, July 30, 2020

Every year, Muslims celebrate Eid ul-Adha to remember the Prophet Ibrahim’s loyalty and obedience to God above all others and because of his actions, Eid al-Adha is also known as the Festival of Sacrifice.

Eid-ul-Adha falls on the tenth day in the final month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar. The day that celebrations fall on is dependent on the sighting of the moon, following the completion of the annual Holy Pilgrimage of Hajj.

The festival celebrates the story about the Prophet Ibrahim.  According to Islamic belief, Ibrahim had been told by God that he must sacrifice his son, Ishmael to prove his faith.

When Ibrahim decided to follow God’s command, the devil tried to convince him to disobey, but Ibrahim refused. He threw pebbles at the devil to make him leave. When he was about to sacrifice his son, he found that God had replaced his son with a ram.

Ibrahim had proved his devotion to God, so his son was spared.

The Department of Public Information (DPI) sat down with the Vice Chairman of the Department of Social Cohesion’s Muslim Core Group, Imam Shaheed Uthman to discuss this sacred holiday and how Muslims here celebrate it.

According to Imam Shaheed, while the observance of Eid-ul-Adha is part of the Holy Pilgrimage, the Muslim community in Guyana observe the act of Qurbani (sacrifice) which is carried out following the Eid prayers.

However, this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many masjids will be observing the Eid prayer while adhering to social distancing measures.

“After the salaah, they will slaughter the animals and the recommended animals to use are a camel, cow or ram.” Imam Shaheed explained that a prayer is said before the animal is killed and the blood drained. “We ensure the blood is properly drained because as you know, there are a lot of diseases which are found in animal blood.”

The Imam noted that the sacrificial aspect of the holiday is more of a spiritual one. ‘The objective of this sacrifice is rooted in spirituality where sincerity, truthfulness and honesty were put to the test by God to his servant.”

After the animal is slaughtered. It is then divided into portions to be distributed. It is important to note that priority is given to the poor and needy.