Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) has announced Tuesday July 20 as the day the country will observe Eid al-Adha also known as the feast of sacrifice.
The day of Eid al-Adha falls on the tenth day in the final (twelfth) month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar; Dhu-al-Hijjah. The day whose celebrations depend on a legitimate sighting of the moon, following the completion of the annual Holy Pilgrimage of Hajj – which is an obligation for all Muslims who fit specific criteria, one of the important Five Pillars of Islam.
According to Sheikh Muhammad Ali Waiswa, the second deputy mufti, the crescent of holy Dhul Hijjah month was sighted in Saturday evening and as such Eid al-Adha will be celebrated on July 20, 2021.
Muslims do not go to work on that day and attend the special prayers held at different major mosques and Islamic centers in the country and all over the world.
This will however not happen this year in observance of the guidelines recently issued by government suspending among other things all religious gatherings as one way of stemming the spread of COVID19 in the country.
“Eid Adha, will be celebrated on Tuesday July 20, 2021. Due to the prevailing situation (COVID19 pandemic), Eid prayers will not be observed in the mosques following the strict observance of health precautionary guidelines as they were issued by President, Yoweri Museveni,” Sheikh Waiswa announced.
Uganda is currently struggling to contain the second wave of COVID19 that recently sent the country into a second total lockdown. As of July 9, the the country’s cumulative COVID19 cases were 87,277 with 61,304 recoveries. 2,104 Ugandans have succumbed to the infection.
The Feast of Sacrifice dates from the historic event when Prophet Abraham was commanded by God, in a form of a dream vision, to sacrifice his son, Ishmail. But while he was in the act of sacrificing his son, God sent the Angel Gabriel with a huge ram.
Gabriel informed Abraham that his dream vision was fulfilled and instructed him to sacrifice the ram as a ransom for his son.
This command from God was a test of Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness and commitment to obey his Lord’s command, without question. Therefore, Eid-ul-Adha means the festival of sacrifice.
Muslims normally slaughter an animal as a sacrifice to mark this occasion in remembrance of Prophet Ibrahim’s sacrifice and the sacrificial animal must be a sheep, lamb, goat, cow, bull or a camel all of good health and over a certain age and slaughtered, in a “halal” friendly, Islamic way.