Eid Mubarak lakum wa-li-‘a’ilatakum!
Muslims across the world, yesterday celebrated Eid-al-Adha (festival of sacrifice), to also mark the end of Hajj- the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
Among others, the celebration includes communal prayers and presentation of gift to families and the vulnerable in society.
Significantly, the key ritual of the festival is “Adha” which means sacrifice in Arabic and which forms the basis for the celebration.
During the festival, most families slaughter animals- sheep, goat or cow and distribute them among neighbours, family and the poor.
The slaughter of the animals is also in celebration of Abraham’s piety and willingness to obey God’s order, even if it meant killing his son.
The belief is that God stayed Abraham’s hand from sacrificing his son and replaced it with a ram.
In remembrance of his obedience to God, Muslims across the world perform the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, which is a major part of the Eid-al-Adha.
During the period, the believers beseech Allah for forgiveness and mercy and pray together for his blessings to lessen the burden of those who may be suffering.
The Ghanaian Times commends all Muslims for successfully going through the ritual and once again renewing their faith in Allah.
We urge that moving forward, they would continue to remember all of us in their prayers and ask Allah to lessen the suffering of many of our brothers and sisters to whom the celebration means nothing.
For many of them, the day is an ordinary day. Those roaming the streets with nothing to eat, deprived and those in hospitals seeking medical attention are the ones we should remember and pray for.
Again, as we celebrate the day, let us see to it that we also extend a hand of friendship to the least fortunate in society and welcome them with warmth and hope.
For the communities to develop and for all to live in peace and harmony, this is the time for both Muslims and other faiths to come together and work in the interest of the people.
We cannot have communal conflicts in different areas and pretend that all is well. To do that, would be burying our heads in sand like ostriches.
As we reflect on the day, we must also not forget the importance of tolerance. We must learn to be tolerant and differ with understanding and respect so that we can live in unity.
Ghana is the only country we have. We must tolerate each other in spite of our religious differences and uphold this feat which had made us unique in the world.
We wish Ghanaians blessed Eid.