Muslims around the world will today begin the four-day celebration of Eid-ul-Adha, one of the two most important festivals on the Islamic calendar.
The celebration, which is expected to end on Monday, symbolises Prophet Ibrahim’s will to submit to Allah through the ultimate sacrifice of his son, Ismail, on Allah’s command.
Muslims who can afford will offer sacrifices of sheep, goat, cows and camels to symbolise Prophet Ibrahim’s obedience to Allah.
A third part of the sacrifice is shared with the poor.
In Accra, the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, will lead the Eid-ul Adha prayers at the forecourt of the inner reception of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC). The usual national congregational prayers at the Independence Square will not be held because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Land For sale
Delivering his Eid message last Tuesday at his residence in Accra, the Chief Imam said the day “still falls within the President’s earlier restrictions, where religious activities are to last for only an hour with not more than 100 people in attendance.”
“The President’s new directive takes effect from August 1, 2020 and so we are still in the first phase of the easing of restrictions and, therefore, we shall celebrate the Eid-ul-Adha at home, a replication of how we celebrated the Eid-ul-Fitr,” he added.
The Chief Imam’s message centred on the need for peace and how Ghanaians should be grateful to Allah for His mercies and favours over the years.
Sheikh Sharubutu said the peace and security the country was enjoying amid the conflicts and insecurity in neighbouring countries was a demonstration of Allah’s favour on Ghana.
“Allah has been gracious and has favoured our land. This favour He has not given to other nations and we need to be thankful for that. We are living in peace and harmony together with practitioners of other faiths. Other nations have not been privileged like us. We need to be grateful to God,” he said.
The Chief Imam also urged Muslims to rally behind President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Let us all be mindful that in this kind of circumstance, Allah himself has brought us this pandemic. This is not a new thing. We have experienced pandemics before.
Let us, therefore, respect the restrictions and protocols the President has given,” he said.
He reminded Muslim faithful that “when you are with your leaders and on a path walking and you go ahead of your leader, in our tradition, it means you are disrespectful to leadership. When you are with your leader as a nation, you respect and obey his commandments or his instructions. Whatever the health professionals have prescribed, let us adhere to them. Let us obey the instructions of our leaders,” Sheikh Sharubutu added.
Pray for nation
The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, in a message, urged Muslims to remember the country in their prayers as they mark Eid-Ul-Adha.
He said the occasion should remind and teach every Muslim the inspiring story of obedience, sacrifice and selflessness of Prophet Ibrahim, as he willingly obeyed Allah’s command to sacrifice his only, beloved son.
As part of the special occasion, he urged fellow Muslims and Ghanaians to imbibe such values demonstrated by Prophet Ibrahim in their everyday life towards nation, family and humanity.
“As we celebrate Eid-ul Adha today, let us thank the Almighty Allah for granting Muslims across the globe another Eid, and also pray for His continued sustenance,” Dr Bawumia said.
He said for the first time in recent history, the world was witnessing a special limited Hajj performance due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
“While our brothers and sisters perform the Hajj in the Holy land and the rest of us also observe Eid prayers, let us take opportunity of the special blessings this moment brings and remember our country Ghana and all our loved ones in our prayers,” Dr. Bawumia said.