Middle East

Millions of Muslims Celebrate Eid al-Adha | Religious News

Millions of Muslims around the world, including Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Kenya and Yemen, are celebrating Eid al-Adha, the largest holiday of the Islamic calendar.

Known as the “Feast of Sacrifice,” this ritual coincides with the last rites of the annual Mecca pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

Eid al-Adha commemorates the Koranic story of the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice Ismail as an act of obedience to God.

God offered the ram as an offering before he could make the sacrifice. In Christian and Jewish stories, Ibrahim is ordered to kill another son, Isaac.

Muslim pilgrims walk in Mina, near Mecca, Saudi Arabia, during the final ritual of the annual Mecca pilgrimage and the first day of Eid al-Adha. [Amr Nabil/AP]

Many Muslims celebrate a four-day feast by slaughtering livestock and distributing meat to family, friends, and the poor.

Much of Asia, including Indonesia, Pakistan and India (the three most populous countries in the world), observe Sunday holidays.

In Saudi Arabia, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims woke up at dawn and trekked to Mina, a wide valley surrounded by barren mountains that the Prophet Muhammad stopped by about 1,400 years ago.

This week, one million Muslims from all over the world gathered in Mecca, the sanctuary. This is the largest pilgrimage site since the pandemic overturned the annual event.

At the multi-storey Jamarat complex, pilgrims struck the devil’s iconic stones, reminding me of Ibrahim’s victory over temptation. This is one of a series of rituals related to the Prophet Muhammad and the Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail, or the Bible Abraham and Ishmael, which are held annually for these five fierce days.

Pilgrims threw pebbles on three large pillars indicating where the devil tried to thwart Ibrahim’s sacrifice.

It is the most dangerous place in the Mecca pilgrimage, with the masses flowing back and forth.

In 2015, the crowd surged and thousands of pilgrims were crushed and killed. The Saudi Arabian government has never died in the end. Since then, authorities have improved access with wider streets, electronic gates, and high-speed rail links.

All Muslims who can physically and economically complete their spiritual journey are supposed to do so at least once in their lifetime.

Saudi Arabia maintained crowd limits this year to curb the spread of the virus, attending less than half of its COVID-19 vaccine obligations and pre-pandemic quotas.

Still, the scene was an important step close to normal. Famous crowds rushed to the sanctuary and abandoned masks and safety measures.

At the end of the pilgrimage, one of the key pillars of Islam, men are expected to shave their heads and women are expected to cut their hair with signs of renewal.

They return to Mecca, surround the cubic Kaaba, which represents God’s figurative house, with a farewell greeting, return home, and celebrate the rest of Eid al-Adha with their families.

“We are very proud,” said Izhar Anjoom, an Indian pilgrim who was stoned the devil in Mina. “We are having fun [ourselves] Because today is Eid. “

“The price is strange”

It’s a fun opportunity that features food. But with soaring food prices causing widespread difficulties throughout the Middle East, many say they can’t afford livestock at the expense of rituals.

Despair for living costs is below the booming holiday deals typical of goats, cattle and sheep.

In Afghanistan, where cash is scarce, there is usually a flood of prime animal shopping before vacation.

But this year, the surge in global inflation and economic devastation following the Taliban’s takeover has brought very religiously significant purchases out of the reach of many.

“Everyone wants to sacrifice animals in the name of Allah, but they cannot because of poverty,” said Mohammad Nadir, a cattle market in Mazar-i-Sharif, northern Afghanistan. Sheep bleeding.

“Last year I sold 40 to 50 cows this day,” said Mohamad Qasem, an Afghan cattle dealer. “This year I sold only two.”

Afghanistan Eid
Afghan woman prays on the first day of Eid al-Adha in Kabul [Ali Khara/Reuters]

Excited children lined up with internal organs and trotters at the Alshati refugee camp in the besieged Gaza Strip. It’s an important offering for people who can’t afford meat otherwise.

There were few buyers in the livestock market in Gaza. According to vendors, sheep feed prices have quadrupled in recent weeks.

“Our lives are full of losses,” lamented Abu Mustafa, a Deiral-Balah sheep salesman in central Gaza, who has long suffered from unemployment and poverty.

On the streets of Ramallah on the west bank of the occupied Jordan River, Palestinian families reduced other elements of the feast, from offal to Kirk and Ma’amoul holiday cookies, usually abundant food.

“There was demand for fruits, sweets and nuts on these days, but as you can see … no one is in a position to buy now,” said fruit seller Bali Handy. ..

Palestinians gathered in Gaza and prayed
Palestinians gathered in the city of Gaza to pray during Eid al-Adha [Mohammed Abed/AFP]

As Russia’s Ukrainian war disrupted agriculture and restricted energy supplies, wheat and meat prices rose and hunger widened.

The high cost of animal feed and fertilizer has forced livestock salespeople to raise prices.

In the war-torn Tripoli of Libya, families have been looking forward to a vacation after a pandemic of the past two years and more than a decade of turmoil.

But with price tags (up to $ 2,100 per sheep), buyers were roaming the dusty market, worried about the cost of holiday purchases.

“Honestly, the price is weird,” said Sabri al-Hadi, who appears to be indignant.

Muslims pull cows before they are slaughtered.
Muslims pull cows before slaughtering them in Eid El Adher, Sana’a, the capital of Yemen [Mohammed Huwais/AFP]

But there was a community prayer, whether it was a luxury feast or not. This is a welcoming sight in many parts of the world after years of coronavirus-related restrictions. On Saturday, loyal people rushed to the mosques of the Middle East and North Africa.

Muslims gathered and prayed in the courtyard of the Arnouri Mosque
During Eid al-Adha, Muslims gathered to pray in the courtyard of the Arnouri Mosque in the old town of Mosul, a city in northern Iraq. [Zaid Al-Obeidi/AFP]

From Kenya to Russia and Egypt, many worshipers prayed shoulder-to-shoulder and foot-to-foot.

“I am very pleased that all these people have come to pray,” said Sahar Mohammed in Cairo with a big laugh.

“There is love and acceptance among people.”

Islamic man prays for Eid al-Adha
Islamic man prays for Eid al-Adha at the Afrurubite Mosque in Muscat, the capital of Oman [Mohammed Mahjoub/AFP]

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https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/7/9/millions-of-muslims-commemorate-eid-al-adha Millions of Muslims Celebrate Eid al-Adha | Religious News

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