Muslims in Nigeria today join their counterparts in other parts of the world to celebrate Eid- el- kabir, a festival commemorating the sacrifice of Allah’s providence.
The ‘Feast of Sacrifice’ dates back to the historic event when Prophet Ibrahim was commanded by God, in form of a dream, to sacrifice his son, Ishmael as an act of obedience to Allah. But while he was in the act of sacrificing his son, God sent an Angel with a huge ram. Gabriel informed Abraham that his dream was fulfilled and instructed him to sacrifice the ram as a ransom for his son.
Eid-el-Kabir, the second great feast for Muslims after the Eid-el- Fitir, enjoys special significance because the day of sacrifice marks Arafat, which is the climax of Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam. The day also marks the five day-journey which takes Muslims to the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Today, the Muslim ummah in Nigeria are performing that same act in obedience to Allah by slaughtering rams, following the footsteps of the Prophet after praying at the various mosques in their respective environments.
Muslims are by this celebration to learn the act of willingness to give up things that are of benefit to them or close to their hearts, in order to follow God’s commands, apart from performing religious duties known as Ibadah.
It also represents their willingness to give up some of their own bounties, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need.
President Muhammadu Buhari, while congratulating the Muslim Ummah, called on Nigerians to live in harmony and follow the example of the Prophet and learn to sacrifice for one another.
Besides, the President ordered the security services to provide adequate security in worship places and other important places across the country. The President in a Sallah message signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, also assured Nigerians that in this period and beyond, their security and well being will remain top on his priority list.
He said the days of Boko Haram and other criminal groups are numbered, saying the ongoing onslaught against the sect would continue until victory is achieved.
While commiserating with the families of those who lost their lives in recent Boko Haram attacks, the President congratulated Nigerian Muslims on the festivity, urging them to remain steadfast in the hope of a better tomorrow.
The Sallah message read in part: “President Muhammadu Buhari felicitates with all Nigerians of the Islamic faith as they
Celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Kabir.”
Buhari also congratulated all Nigerian Muslims who are currently in Saudi Arabia to participate in the rites of the Hajj and urged them to rededicate themselves to a greater acceptance and internalization of the lessons of piety, faithfulness, dedication, fortitude, obedience, sacrifice and selfless service which are for the benefit of all mankind.
President Buhari assured all Nigerians that their safety, well-being and progress remained uppermost in his thoughts and actions, and that he will continue to work with all his might to deliver the positive changes in national life which they expect after his election and inauguration as Head of the Government
Meanwhile, in a bid to ensure adequate security of lives and property, Kaduna State Government has banned all forms of social gathering during the Eid el-Kabir festival.
A statement issued by Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, to Governor Nasiru El-Rufai, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, yesterday in Kaduna said this was to forestall the breakdown of law and order in the state.
The statement said that no recreational centre or amusement park should be open to the public during the celebrations.
“All parks and recreational centres, including Gamji Gate Park, the Amusement Park, Kaduna, and other related places will not be open for social gatherings.
“The Murtala Muhammad Square, Kaduna will, as usual, host Eid prayers. It will, however, not be open for any social gathering or celebration except for the Eid Prayers,’’ it said.
The statement said the ban was part of measures to protect lives and property in the state and assured that adequate security measures had been taken to ensure peaceful celebration.
It said that security personnel had been deployed to various places of worship and prayer grounds to maintain law and order.
“Government regrets any inconvenience that may arise from such restrictions and security activity,’’ it said and urged increased vigilance.
Similarly, the Nigerian Army has announced the ban on the operations of KEKE NAPEP during the Eid-el-Kabir festivity across Adamawa state.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations of the command, Captain Ja’afaru Mohammed Nuhu, disclosing that the measure was taken to safeguard lives and properties of residents of the state.
“Headquarters 23 Brigade Yola wishes to bring to the notice of the general populace of Adamawa State of the ban of use of KEKE NAPEP during Eid el Kabir celebration with effect from Wednesday, 23rd September, 2015 by 6:00pm until
Sunday 27 September, 2015 by 6:00pm,” the statement stressed.
The Nigerian Army also warned vehicle owners to desist from parking near the Eid grounds just as it urged all residents of the state to assist the Army in reporting suspicious persons and movements to the nearest security posts.