By Eyob Mengistu Alemayehu
Hundreds of Muslims Wednesday converged in Mosques and open grounds in Mombasa to offer special prayers for Edd-ul-Adha.
Edd-ul-Adha, also known as Edd-ul-Hajj, is celebrated to mark the end of a pilgrimage that revolves around the activities of Abraham and his son.
During the festival of Eid ul-Adha, Muslims acknowledge the devotion of Ibrahim, who was willing to sacrifice his son, Ismail, under the order of Allah SWT (God).
Ibrahim, also known as Abraham, is a prominent figure in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity.
This story in different versions is in the Quran, the Bible, and the Old Testament, which shows the common heritage of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
More than 2 million in 160 countries began the annual Hajj pilgrimage Sunday in Saudi Arabia. The five-day hajj pilgrimage represents one of the world’s biggest gatherings every year.
According to Islamic teaching, Edd-ul-Adha (the feast of the sacrifice) takes place on the 10th day of the third month after Ramadhan.
According to the Quran – the sacred religious book of Islam – just as Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, God replaced Ismail with a lamb, which was sacrificed instead.
This command from Allah SWT was a test of Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness and commitment to obey his Lord’s command, without question. Therefore, Eid al-Adha means the festival of sacrifice.
Edd is an Arabic word that means feast or festival and Adha means sacrifice. The holy feast is not to be confused with Edd-ul-Fitr, which is marked at the end of the holy month of Ramadhan, which comes earlier.
Eid al-Adha takes place on the 10th day of the final month of the Islamic calendar, Dhu al-Hijjah.
Dhu al-Hijjah is the 12th and most sacred month of the Islamic year, during which observant Muslims travel to Mecca for Hajj.
During the morning of Eid al-Adha, a special prayer called Salat al-Eid is recited in honour of the festival, ahead of the Dhuhr prayer at noon.
All able-bodied adults of the Islamic faith are expected to complete Hajj at least once in their lifetimes.
As Eid al-Adha commemorates the sacrifice made by the prophet Ibrahim, Muslims typically celebrate the festival by carrying out a Qurbani, meaning “sacrifice” in Arabic.
The animal that is sacrificed – which is usually a goat, sheep, cow or camel – is separated into three parts.
At least one-third of the meat from the animal must go to poor or vulnerable people.
Addressing the media after presiding over the morning prayers at Masjid Ummu Kulthum, Sheikh Abubakar Bamkuu, Muslim scholar and cleric who presided called upon the Muslims to follow the footsteps of Prophet Mohamed in preaching unity, love and coexistence among Kenyans.
Sheikh Bamkuu,further urged Muslim faiths to share meat with their non-Muslim brothers and sisters as signs of goodwill and cohesiveness of the society.
He called for the slaughtering of healthy animals including camels, goats, sheep and cows to observe Prophet Ibrahim obedience to God’s directive to slaughter his only son, Ismail who survived the knife after God replaced him with a fat ram miraculously.
The vocal cleric went on to urge Muslims across the country to follow the true teachings of religion with caution of an upsurge in deviant teachings.
Sheikh Bamkuu further called upon Kenyans to be God-fearing people and observe prayers as a way of averting the economic crisis and drought which has been ravaging the country.
“If we respect God and follow his teachings to the letter and seek intercession from Allah (God) we will receive blessings,” he said.
Sheikh Bamkuu further called on political leaders to forge political unity and peace to help build stability and progress in the country.
He said unity was necessary for the development of the country and asked people to embrace peace and unity in the interest of national development by following God’s teachings.