MUSLIMS have been urged to be agents of unity, love and humility to build a cohesive society that is spiritually and physically developed.
Sheikh Salim Hitimana, the Mufti of Rwanda made the call on Friday during prayers to mark Eid al-Adha at Kigali Stadium in Nyamirambo.
On Eid Al Adha, Muslim faithful commemorate Ibrahim’s sacrifice to Allah, specifically when he was tasked to offer as sacrifice his son, Ishaq (Isaac).
Thousands of Muslim faithful turned up at the stadium for the prayers that also included other activities like giving sacrifices through slaughtering different animals like sheep, goats and cows and sharing with friends and family.
Hitimana urged believers to go beyond sharing their sacrifices with friends and always show humility and promote unity and reconciliation in their respective communities.
“This is a day where Muslims show generosity and humility and come together with non-Muslims to share what was offered as sacrifice, we must embrace this in our daily lives for it is a great symbol of unity which is a strong pillar on which our country is built,” he said.
He said it is an obligation for all able Muslims to offer a sacrifice and offerings, especially on this day to emulate Ibrahim as he offered one thing he treasured most – his son – and got blessed.
“Islam encourages us to live harmoniously with other people of various faiths, I urge you to sow the seed of unity, humility and cultivate good relationship with fellow Rwandans,” he said
He said that Muslims have diverse skills in different fields including medical, business operations among others, urging them to use those skills to develop not only the Muslim community but the entire nation.
Good leadership hailed
Hitimana said that Muslims have a lot to celebrate for, saying the country is peaceful thanks to the good leadership and guidance by God, specifically citing the peace that prevailed during the presidential campaigns that saw President Paul Kagame reelected last month.
Jdamila Uwurukundo, a mother of three from Gitege sector in Nyarugenge district said that though she could not have an animal to sacrifice, she was very grateful she celebrated with others and will share.
“Today reminds me as a Muslim that God loves us and we are reminded to sacrifice the most important thing, we are more blessed, as Ibrahim never hesitated and God gave him a lamb as a sacrifice in place for his son, we should aim higher in our faith and emulate what Abrahim did,”
Eid al-Adha means festival of the sacrifice and is also known as the Greater Eid.
Muslims honour the Eid al-Adha as the time Ibrahim - known as Abraham to Jews and Christians - was going to sacrifice his son Isaac.
Instead Abraham was ordered by God to kill an animal.
The celebrations symbolise Ibrahim’s devotion to Allah and mark the end of the Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca which thousands of Muslims all over the world embark on.
A total of 800 cows and 2,000 goats, worth Rwf410 million were sacrificed by the Muslim community but individuals also offered their sacrifices, according to the Mufti.