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Muslim group distributes items, cash worth N40.9m to less privilege

Today, the Muslim community in Nigeria joined the rest of the Muslim world to celebrate one of the holiest festivities in Islam, Eid-el-Kabir. As usual, the Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), in a statement issued by Dr. Mohammed Umar, the Permanent Secretary at the ministry, has declared two-day public holiday, that is today and tomorrow, to allow Muslim brothers and sisters to devote their time for this most important spiritual exercise.

According to Islamic history, Eid-el-Kabir is a commemoration of the willingness of Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) to obey Allah’s (God’s) command to sacrifice his son, Isma’il (Ishmail) unto Him. What a frightening, ultimate test of faith and obedience! The risky humility and obedience of Ibrahim paid off when in an attempt to kill his son, Allah miraculously provided a ransom, a sacrificial ram, through angel Jibra’il (Gabriel) who informed Ibrahim that Allah has accepted his sacrifice thereby sparing the life of Ismai’l.

This rare act of Ibrahim confirmed his absolute faith and dependence on the Almighty Allah. Eid-el-Kabir is therefore a feast that commemorates that sacrifice, hence, the slaughtering of ram during the festivity. Muslims around the world thus observe this holy event also called “Festival of the Sacrifice” or the “Sacrifice Feast”. It also connotes that there is an outpouring of divine love and reward for obeying God’s command.

Beyond the ceremonial sacrifices of ram by the Muslim faithful in that symbolic gesture of total obedience to the command of Allah, the festive practice entails sharing and giving in love. The meat of the sacrificed ram is divided into three; one share is given to the poor and needy, the second share is distributed to relatives, friends and neighbours, while the third portion is retained by the person or family offering the sacrifices.

The core features of this holy festival, essentially, provide nourishing food for thought with far – reaching spiritual, social and moral impacts on the individual, the society and the entire humanity at large.

Our world today is in a battered, chaotic and dehumanised shape because man as a creation has failed to obey the command of his Creator. Instead of listening and religiously obeying God’s command issued in love, care and mercy for the well being of the creation, mankind responds with rebellion, wickedness and unrepentant disobedience.

We believe that our country, Nigeria, would have been a better society today if our leaders, followers and citizens who emotionally and openly profess one religion or the other strictly obey the divine injunctions designed to give us who are God’s creation peace, abundance and manifold blessings too great for human comprehension.

Will any genuine follower of example of Ibrahim or submissive Ismai’l slaughter innocent peasants –including women and children – in their sleep? Will he or she hustle cattle, rob the poor and the needy just to gratify the luxury of his or her family? God’s kind of love transcends ethnicity, religious differences or any other divisive elements that tear our humanity apart today in our country. Or didn’t all mankind come from one man, Adam?

We, therefore, urge all our Muslim and non-Muslim brothers and sisters, to cultivate, internalise and practice precious lessons of this great spiritual festivity, which are love, helping the poor and needy, care for your neighbor and friends, obey all divinely and legally constituted authorities. In other words, see your neighbor, our society and humankind the way God sees them and the world will be a safer and better place for all of God’s creation.

Happy Sallah!

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