The Muslim community across the world is preparing to celebrate Eid al-Adha this week, on Friday July 31, observed, among others, with slaughtering animals as a form of sacrifice to God and to reflect on Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son.
Eid al-Adha is considered the holier of the two Islamic Eid festivals as it honours the famous story of the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command; but before Ibrahim carried out the request, Allah provided a lamb for him to sacrifice instead.
Muslims also share meat, food items among other stuff with poor people.
However, besides the obligation to celebrate while observing social distancing measures, Muslims in Rwanda will also experience a massive reduction in the number of animals to sacrifice this year, as compared to previous years.
Sheikh Suleiman Mbarushimana, the Advisor to the Mufti said that according to the figures they have currently, about only 1500 animals will be slaughtered in this year celebration.
This is quite a small number compared to the 3,000 to 5,000 animals that Muslims have been slaughtering on average in the previous years.
Sheikh Mbarushimana said this is caused by the effect of the pandemic on the finances of the Muslim communities.
“Covid-19 has affected the economy and thus reduced the ability of those that would have bought animals for slaughter in big numbers. Arab countries used to send some financial support to Rwandan Muslims to buy animals for Eid al-Adha, but this year, they could not send much due to the challenges of the pandemic,” he said.
Talking about Eid al-Adha prayers that will take place on Friday, Sheikh Mbarushimana stressed the need for Muslims to pay attention to social distancing; and that among other things, they should also avoid the usual gatherings for sharing meals in homes or such places.
Main prayers are expected to take place at Kacyiru Mosque in Kigali where Mufti Salim Hitimana will lead the service.
Other mosques that have been allowed to reopen are also expected to host congregants and all must observe social distance and other measures in place to fight the pandemic.
Speaking about the message he has for Muslims in the country, Mbarushimana urged them to use the Eid al-Adha day to pray earnestly to God to the Cocid-19 ease the situation for Rwanda and the whole world,
“Because of the value of Eid al-Adha as a great day of remembering Abraham’s sacrifice, we should use it for prayer - asking God to ease the situation for Rwanda and the entire world, praying that Covid-19 will have a cure and a vaccine for it,” he said.