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Muslim faithful ready for Eid Al-Adha celebrations

A section of Kenyan Muslims will observe Eid Al-Adha on Saturday, a day earlier while others will perform Sunday as announced by Chief Kadhi Sheikh Ahmed Muhdhar.

The split in observing the annual Islamic festival on different dates emanates from differences in interpretation of Islamic jurisprudence.

Whereas some scholars opine that the event is marked as a day Hajj after the congregation of millions of pilgrims at Mount Arafat in the holy city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia, others argue the event is guided by local moon sighting and not Hajj activities.

Arafah is the main important feature in the pilgrimage and involves the pilgrims congregating on the mount Arafah near the sacred city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia to seek God’s forgiveness.

The mount is the place where Prophet Muhammad made his final sermon 14 centuries ago, where he called for equality, justice and fairness, women rights.

The validity of pilgrimage is the performance of Arafah ritual and skipping the event invalidates the entire performance of Hajj hence requiring one to return home and arrange for another visit.

Millions of pilgrims including Kenyans Friday brave the scorching sun of the Arab world to converge on the plane of Mount Arafah not to miss their lifetime opportunity.

The event is the final point in the performance of Hajj where pilgrims make supplications seeking repentance and making firm resolutions not to revert to doing sins.

Hajj is the annual pilgrimage of Muslims to the holy city, performed by every adult Muslim once in his or her lifetime.

Eid Al-Adh’ha is performed on the 10th day of the Dhul Al-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

The holy feast is not to be confused with Eid-ul-Fitr, which is marked at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the ninth month of Islamic calendar. Eid is an Arabic word that means feast or festival, and Adha means sacrifice.

It is recommended for Muslims to slaughter animals during Eid Al-Adh’ha to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his only son Ismail.

Prophet Ibrahim’s commitment to slaughter his son saw Allah sending down a fat ram averting Prophet Ismail from being slaughtered.

Millions of Kenyan Muslims are expected to stream into open grounds and Mosques to perform Eid prayers before returning home to celebrate with families, relatives, friends and neighbours.

In Mombasa, preparations were in top gear with a beehive of activities with locals shopping for clothes and food.

At the Kikowani goat auction market, traders were busy attending to customers who turned up in large numbers to buy animals, mostly goats to be slaughtered during the annual event.

By Galgalo Bocha

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