Rwandan Muslim faithfuls will on Saturday join other worshipers across the globe to celebrate Eid al-Adha.
Also recognised as a public holiday in Rwanda, Eid al-Adha is the second and biggest of the two main holidays celebrated in Islam. It honors the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail as an act of obedience to Allah’s command.
Eid al-Adha 2022 in Rwanda will begin in the evening of Saturday, 9 July and ends in the evening of Sunday, 10 July.
During the celebrations, the Muslim faithfuls will engage in sacrifice of a sheep, cows, goats, buffalos or camels and will also gather at various mosques for Eid prayers.
According to available statistics although no accurate census has been done, Muslims leaders in Rwanda estimate that they have about a million followers, or about 15% of the population.
The Holy Qur’an makes a pointed reference to the fact that this sacrifice of animals is commemorative of Abraham’s offer of his son’s life at the Command of Allah, who was substituted by a ram, and it has been perpetuated by Islam.
Abraham was one who would fulfil the pledges and offer sacrifices for Allah’s sake.
Thus he offered the life of his only son whose separation and whose risk of life, he could not bear.
He said, “O my son I have pledged you to Allah.
May I sacrifice my life for you !
Be steadfast and firm.”
He had hardly taken off the shirt of his son, when Allah substituted Isma’il by a stout ram.
In Islam the act of sacrifice is the symbol of a Muslim’s readiness to lay down his life, and to sacrifice all his interests and desires in the cause of truth.
The purpose of sacrifice is not fulfilled only by shedding the blood of an animal, but it is really fulfilled when a man submits himself completely to the command of Allah.
This has been clearly laid down in Sura Hajj, verse 37; “Not their flesh, nor their blood reaches Allah, but it is the piety from you that reaches Him.”
This verse eloquently speaks of the fact that sacrifice in Islam is nothing else than a natural expression of homage and gratitude to the Creator.
It is the spirit of willing devotion and cheerful obedience underlying sacrifices that is accepted by Allah Who is the Fountainhead of all morality.
It is only piety of heart. nobility of soul and righteousness of conduct, that is acceptable to Him. It is essentially symbolic, an external symbol of dedication, devotion to Allah.