Muslims all over the world will, from tomorrow, celebrate the Eid-el Kabir (Greater Festival), also referred to asEid-el Adha (Festival of Sacrifice), which officially commences with the two rakaat prayers. This particular Eid, which is usually celebrated on the 10th of the Islamic month of DhulHijja, is celebrated to commemorate the readiness of Prophet Ibrahim to use his only child then, Prophet Ismail, for sacrifice, in obedience to God’s command before the Almighty rescued the child by offering his father a ram to use instead.
The Eid-el Adha is normally preceded by the standing on Mount Arafat on the 9th of DhulHijja by millions of faithful who have been fortunate to travel to Makkah for Hajj, itself one of the major pillars of Islam. Although the Eid-el Kabir is usually marked here in Nigeria, just like in other parts of the world, with durbars, exchange of gifts, visits, greetings and other forms of merriment, we wish to particularly enjoin our Muslim brothers and sisters across the country to also use the period to engage in sober reflections and prayers for complete transformation of our nation.
This is more so as this year’s feast of sacrifice has come at a time of utmost trial for Nigeria, as the level of insecurity in the country rose to the zenith with mass killings through bombings and other forms of violence nationwide claiming no fewer than 4,00 lives in under 12 months.We further appeal to all Muslim faithful to imbibe all those lessons that can be learnt during this period especially drawing from the complete subservience of Prophet Ibrahim to Allah, which teaches us to be patient, tolerant and obedient to God and the constituted authority.
Besides, Muslims are also enjoined in this period to be nice to fellow human beings, most especially the poor, needy and wayfarers, whether or not they belong to the same faith. This goes further to encourage us to care for the plights of fellow human beings through the sharing of food and other gifts, thereby inculcating in us the virtues of kindness, compassion, love, tenderness, warmth and affection, all of which negate all forms of hostilities, conflicts and aggression that are now prevalent in the Nigerian nation.
Beyond the call on Muslim faithful to thoroughly imbibe the spirit of patience, tolerance and obedience to constituted authority, we seize this opportunity to urge our leaders at all levels of governance to eschew all forms of corruption and injustice that have smeared Nigeria’s image globally, and have been at the root of the insurgency and other forms of criminality we are witnessing. While calling for self-restraint among all and sundry, we wish our Muslim brothers and sisters in Nigeria and the world over happy Eid-el Kabir festivities.