The Uganda Muslim Supreme Council has advised Muslims in the country not to beg for meat on this year’s Eid al-Adha on August 11 but rather slaughter their own animals.
Muslims around the world will on Sunday, August 11 gather to celebrate Eid al-Adha, the end of the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Eid al-Adha is the second of two Islamic festivals celebrated by Muslims all over the world. The first, Eid al-Fitr, was celebrated in June to mark the end of Ramadan period of fasting.
Eid al-Adha is considered the holiest of the two Islamic festivals. This festival marks the prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his only son Ismail for Allah, but his son was then replaced with a lamb.
“I advise Muslims to slaughter animals than begging for meat because when you slaughter an animal, you benefit a lot from Allah since you show a sign of devotion,” said Hajji Nsereko Mutumba, the spokesperson Uganda Muslim Supreme Council.
This year’s Eid al-Adha celebrations will last for three days, ending on the evening of August 13. Nsereko says, Prophet Muhammad said, any person who is capable of slaughtering an animal and fails to slaughter it, should not even come near the place where others are praying.
“If you slaughter the animal on Eid Adha, it means you fear Allah. Prophet Muhammad used to slaughter over 100 cows every Eid and cut them by his hands and also give friends to cut,” he said.
The deputy Imam Kasangati mosque Sheikh Muhammad Kakungulu advised Muslims not to look at the economic part of selling animals only but also rear animals to slaughter by themselves.
“Slaughter animals that are healthy and have no debts,” he said.
Humanitarian efforts and relief Uganda (Hear Uganda), an organisation that distributes food items to the needy said Eid al-Adha celebration rotates around when Allah appeared to Ibrahim in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son, Ismail, as a sign of his faith or commitment to Allah.
Ahmed Sentamu, the spokesperson Hear Uganda said the story similar to the Christian and Jewish stories in which God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac but spared him from doing so.
“To commemorate the tale, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts in an act known as Qurbani (share). One part of the sheep is given to the poor, one to the immediate family at home and one is reserved for relatives and friends,” Sentamu said.
He said some Muslims may give money to charity to give poorer families the chance to have a proper Eid feast and Mosques and community groups can arrange communal meals.
At the end of the Hajj (annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia), all Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha also known as greater Eid (Festival of Sacrifice). The prophet Muhammad said, a person who performs Hajj properly "will return as a newly born baby [free of all sins]".
Sentamu says, this year, they expect to slaughter about 1,400 cattle and donate meat to different parts of the country such as Kampala, Luwero, Masaka, Mbarara, Yumbe, Kasese, Butambala and others.
Eid al-Adha falls on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.