Zambia’s Muslim community on Tuesday joined millions of Muslims around the world to celebrate the Eid al-Adha holidays, which mark the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
“During Eid al-Adha, the Muslim faithful perform certain services, along with Eid prayers, sacrificing our best livestock in the name of Allah,” Sheikh Suzgo Zimba, president of the Islamic Council of Zambia, told the Anadolu Agency.
“The sacrifice is an obligation for affluent Muslims who can afford it, who share one third of the meat with friends and neighbors while donating one third — or more — to the needy,” he said.
Zimba added that while some Muslims gave money to charitable organizations to help provide Eid meals for poor families, others prepared meals at local mosques for poor Zambians.
The Eid al-Adha (the greater Eid) is one of the most important festivals in the Islamic calendar, along with the Eid al-Fitr (the lesser Eid) some two months earlier, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
During the Eid al-Adha, Muslims traditionally sacrifice animals — ‘Udhiyah’ in Arabic — to commemorate the Prophet Abraham’s willingness to obey God’s command by sacrificing his son Ismail.
Muslims currently account for between 5 and 12 percent of the country’s total population of roughly 14.2 million.
Meanwhile, Muslims of Asian origin in Zambia are planning to celebrate the first day of Eid on Wednesday.
Imam Maulani Abdul Amid Hamid, head imam of Islamic education in Zambia, told the AA that the crescent moon signifying the advent of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah (the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar) had just been sighted, meaning the festival would begin on Wednesday.
The Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle. Many Muslims still rely on the sighting of a new crescent moon to mark the beginning of a new month, while some Muslim countries depend solely on astronomical calculations.
World Bulletin/News Desk