Thousands of Muslims in Kigali City yesterday morning converged at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Nyamirambo to attend special prayers in celebration of Eid Al-Adhuha.
The celebrations were marked by a sermon from Mufti Saleh Habimana after which Muslims greeted and hugged one another with the traditional greeting; “Eid Mubarak”.
“This day marks the commemoration of Prophet Abraham and his willingness to sacrifice his child,” said Sheikh Sayyid Gakari, the Deputy Mufti of Rwanda, adding; “The love that Abraham had for his child was under test.
“It is also a time we Muslims have to share with the rest of the people in our communities, that’s why while celebrating, we sacrifice animals and feast,” Gakari explained.
The meat from the sacrifice of Eid al-Adhuha is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the poor.
“The act of sharing symbolises our willingness to sacrifice things that are of benefit to us or close to our hearts, in order to follow Allah’s commands,” Gakari said.
He added that it also symbolises the willingness of the faithful to give up some treasured possessions in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need.
“We recognise that all blessings come from Allah, and we should open our hearts and share with others,” he added.
Eid Al-Adhuha is the one of the two major festivals celebrated by Muslims and like Eid El-Fitr, it begins with a short prayer followed by a sermon.
It annually falls on the 10th day of the month of December of the Islamic lunar calendar. The festivities last for two to three days or more depending on the country.
The celebrations occur a day after the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide and happens approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan.