As millions of Muslims worldwide gear up to celebrate Eid al-Adha on Friday, July 31, Supreme Mufti Sheikh Siriman Kasule Ndirangwa has urged government to re-open places of worship.
The places of worship were closed in March 2020 when President Museveni announced a partial lockdown of the country and a raft of restrictions to slow the spread of Covid-19.
“At this time of the Covid-19 lockdown, we need to be more close to Allah (God) and that is why we request government to open mosques since God considers communal prayers more than home prayers,” he said.
According to Ndirangwa, this year’s Eid al-Adha is expected to fall on July 31 and all Muslims are advised to observe the ministry of Health stipulated Covid-19 guidelines while celebrating the day. According to the ministry of Health, Uganda as of July 26 had a total of 1,115 confirmed Covid-19 cases, 975 recoveries and two fatalities.
Ndirangwa says Eid al-Adha honors the strong faith in Allah and willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham to Christians) to sacrifice his only son Ismail as an act of obedience to God’s command.
However, before Ibrahim carried out the heart-wrenching act, God intervened and asked him to sacrifice a lamb instead.
To commemorate this act, the sacrificed animal is cut in three parts. One part is given to the poor, another to the family at home and the third to relatives, neighbors and friends. Allah was so pleased with Ibrahim’s submission to Him and made this demonstration of sacrifice and faith a permanent part of Muslims’ life.
“I advise all Muslims to slaughter an animal if you are capable but if you can’t, don’t force it and it’s not a punishment,” Ndirangwa said.
The public relations officer of Hear Uganda, Hajji Ahmed Sentamu, said they have got the nod of approval from the Supreme Mufti to donate cattle and goats to people in different districts.
“Due to the Covid -19 impact, we are donating only 800 cattle and 200 goats to be slaughtered in different parts of the country as compared to the over 1,500 cattle, which have been donated in previous years,” he said.
“Although people are still in lockdown, we advise them to slaughter and ask forgiveness from Allah, to help us overcome the pandemic. This Eid has three days for celebration. If you fail to slaughter on Eid day, you can slaughter on the following two days,” Sentamu said.