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NZ Muslims Celebrate Eid-Ul-Adha

NZ Muslims Celebrate Eid-Ul-Adha


Syed Akbar Kamal


Hundreds & thousands of Muslims flocked to “Eidgah’s” (place accommodating large congregation) and the local mosques across New Zealand to celebrate Eid-Ul-Adha, the celebration of sacrifice.


New Zealand Parliament celebrates and observes the Eid-ul-Fitr. Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand president Javed Iqbal Khan, this morning, extended his “Eid Mubarak” greetings to the Muslim community and termed them as being “exemplary”.

Javed Iqbal Khan

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He said that he was proud of his community and stressed that “we are very much a part of the wider community”.

He emphasized that “Muslims are peaceful and tolerant community” and a source of living example to everyone quietly contributing to nation building process.

The last month of the Islamic calendar (lunar) Dhul-Hijjah 1427H began with the sighting of the moon here in New Zealand on Dec.11 and the 10th day falls today marking the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha.

A record 3 million Muslims from around the world attended this year's Hajj in Saudi Arabia. All able bodied Muslims who can afford should undertake atleast once in their lifetime complete the Hajj that forms the fifth pillar of Islam. The Ka’bah, House of Allah, built by Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim)[peace be upon him] and his son Ishmael (Isma’il-pbuh) four thousand years ago is the holiest site for the 1.6 billion Muslims all over the world.

Slaughter houses across New Zealand enable Muslims to sacrifice sheep, goat or cow depending upon ones means as a reminder of Prophet Abraham’s (pbuh) obedience to Allah. The meat is distributed equally among the family,neighbours, friends and poorer sections of the communities.

The festival commemorates the occasion when Allah commanded Prophet Abraham (pbuh) in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to Allah. The Satan tried to mislead Prophet Abraham (pbuh) by saying he should disobey Allah and spare his son. The Prophet Abraham (pbuh) was steadfast in his belief and as he tried to kill his son, Allah intervened and provided a lamb as the sacrifice.

The annual pilgrimage to Makkah - the Hajj - is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially able to perform it. Pilgrims wear special clothes: simple garments which strip away distinctions of class and culture, so that all stand equal before Allah.

The rites of the Hajj, which are of Abrahamic origin, include circling the Ka'ba seven times, and going seven times between the mountains of Safa and Marwa as did Hagar (Hajira, pbuh) during her search for water. Then the pilgrims stand together on the wide plain of Arafat and join in prayers for Allah's forgiveness.

In previous centuries and decades the Hajj was an arduous journey. In modern times, Saudi Arabia provides millions of people with water, state of the art transport network, and the most up-to-date health facilities.

The Muslims share the bounties of Allah by donating money to charities and to help people buy new clothes and food so they too can celebrate.

This, and the Eid al-Fitr, a feast-day commemorating the end of Ramadan (month of fasting), form the two festivals of the Islamic calendar.

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Syed Akbar Kamal is Producer/Director of Darpan-The Mirror current affairs programme on Stratos.

www.teamworkproductions.co.nz

ENDS

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