Calls for unity reverberate as Muslims mark Eid-Ul-Adha

Counties Mombasa Religion

Chief Kadhi Abdulhalim Hussein has urged Muslims to be kind to the less fortunate in society as they celebrate Eid-ul-Adha.

Eid-Ul-Adha is marked on the tenth day of the month of Dhul Hijja in the Islamic lunar calendar. Millions of Muslims from across the globe congregate in the holy city of Makka, Saudi Arabia, for the annual pilgrimage.

The festival of sacrifice is important in the Islamic faith since Muslims commemorate the Prophet Ibrahim’s consecration and willingness to sacrifice his son. This was a command from God to test Prophet Ibrahim’s commitment. At last, he slaughtered a ram in place of his son.

Muslims slaughter an animal after the Eid prayers as a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim’s readiness to sacrifice his son. The animal must be in good health and attain a certain age to be slaughtered.

The meat from the slaughtered animal is then divided into three equal portions: one for family use, another for neighbours and friends and the final portion is given to the less privileged in society.

Chief Kadhi Hussein led thousands of Muslims in the Eid-Ul-Adha prayer at Tononoka Ground, Mvita Sub-County.

Eid-Ul-Adha, he said is the major Islamic festival and it is a day to remember the Almighty God, give charity to the less fortunate and visit kith and kin to strengthen the bonds of relations.

“It is a day of remembrance of the father of all prophets Ibrahim and his son Ismail who were given a daunting task. It teaches us the devotion of Ibrahim who was ready to sacrifice his son in fulfilment of God’s decree,” explained Chief Kadhi.

“As Kenyan Muslims, if we are not devoted we won’t be able to accomplish anything,” he added, urging Muslims to take a cue from Prophet Ibrahim by slaughtering an animal to mark Eid-Ul-Adha.

Muslims were encouraged to shun drug and substance abuse. The Chief Kadhi called for unity among Muslims despite differences in opinions in the celebration of Eid-Ul-Adha.

“Let’s not insult each other. This is a blessed day; don’t go contrary to God’s commandments in the celebration,” said Chief Kadhi.

Speaking separately at Masjid Ummu Kulthum, Kizingo Dr Islam Salim’s sermon to the congregants emphasised unity and tolerance among Muslims.

“We have stressed and expounded in the Eid sermon that the issue of the moon sighting debate is related to wide Islamic knowledge and that differences of opinion are allowed. People can have divergent views but what is important is for Muslims to unite,” said Dr Islam.

Former Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho said Muslims can disagree in principle on several Islamic jurisprudences but should however remain united.

The Kenya Muslim National Advisory Council (KEMNAC) Chairman Juma Ngao urged Muslims to follow Chief Kadhi’s announcement on the celebration of Eid-Ul-Adha.

Ngao said since time immemorial traditionally the Chief Kadhi is the one who announces the beginning and ending of the Holy month of Ramadhan and celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha.

The sentiments come after the Kenya Fatwa Council (KENFAT) announced the celebration of Eid-ul-Adha to be on Monday, June 17, 2024, based on a local moon sighting contrary to Chief Kadhi Abdulhalim Hussein’s announcement that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia adopted the sighting of Eid today, Sunday, June 16, 2024.

By Sadik Hassan

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