Muslims in the 16 regions of the country yesterday thronged various mosques and other open spaces to offer prayers to mark this year’s Eid ul-Adha celebrations.
Smartly dressed in various apparels as is mostly won by members of the Muslim faith, they, among other things, prayed for the peace, unity and progress of the country.
They also slaughtered rams to mark the day which is in honour of the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son, Ismail (Ishmael), as an act of obedience to God’s command.
Alberto Mario Noretti reports from Ho that Muslims in the municipality took part in mass prayer sessions for peace and the slaughtering of a ram at the bank of a river at the Nfojoe Park to mark Eid ul-Adha.
The Imam, Alhaji Muniru Ali Mohammed, in a sermon, urged Muslims to be obedient to God and authority always, just as Ibrahim did when God asked him to sacrifice his son to him.
Alhaji Mohammed also entreated Muslims to live in harmony with one another as well as their non-Muslim neighbours.
That, he said, required Muslims to adhere to the principles of charity, sharing the little they had with others.
The Ho Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Divine Bosson, said Islam stood for peace and, therefore, called on members of the Muslim community to uphold the peace at all times.
Eid ul-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice is the second and the largest of the two main holidays celebrated in Islam (the other being Eid ul-Fitr).
Biiya Mukusah Ali reports from Sunyani that the early morning downpour in Sunyani and its surrounding communities disrupted the Eid ul-Adha prayers held at the Sunyani Jubilee Park.
The rain, which lasted for about two hours, started exactly at 9:20 a.m., a few minutes after the congregation had started the special prayers.
This compelled the Deputy Bono Regional Chief Imam, Alhaji Baba Seidu, who was leading the congregation, to suspend the prayers and quickly organise to slaughter a lamb to pave the way for Muslims in the region to continue with the festivities.
The slaughtering of the lamb at Jubilee Park symbolised the lamb Abraham (Ibrahim) slaughtered during his test to sacrifice his son Ishmael (Ismail) as an act of obedience to God’s command.
No Muslim is supposed to slaughter an animal for the feast until the Chief Imam does the symbolic slaughtering immediately after the congregational prayers.
The congregants had to run to the Jubilee Park stands and a few canopies set up to seek shelter.
Dignitaries, such as the Sunyani East Member of Parliament (MP), Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, and the Sunyani MCE, Ansu Kumi, among others, who were expected to join the hundreds of Muslims who converged for the special prayers could not show up.
Muslims in and around Cape Coast thronged parks and mosques to offer prayers to mark Eid ul-Adha, Francisca Eshun writes.
The places they converged on, included the Elmina SSNIT Park, Holy Child School Park, Cape Coast Sports Stadium, Abura Roman School Park, Social Welfare Girls School Park, as well as the Abura Mosque to pray.
The worshippers assembled early and prayed for the peace of the country, after which Imams offered sermons and exhortations.
Giving exhortation at the Social Welfare Girls School Park, the Imam in charge of the Abura Mosque, Mallam Abdullah Ahlussuna, said the event was the biggest celebration for Muslims and that it was a festival of sacrifice which should inspire Muslims to sacrifice for family and community.
He explained that it was the honour of the prophet Ibrahim who obeyed Allah’s command to sacrifice his son and urged them to be steadfast in their faith and pursue the virtues of the religion.
He advised all Ghanaians to live in peace and unity towards the upcoming elections in 2024.
Gilbert Mawuli Agbey also writes that hundreds of Muslims gathered at the National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFAC) park in Bolgatanga to offer prayers in commemoration of the Eid ul-Adha festival.
The neatly dressed Muslims, including children, gathered at the NAFAC Park as early as 7:30 a.m. to pray to thank Allah for protecting them and sustaining the peace and tranquillity in the country.
In a sermon, the acting Regional Chief Imam, Sheikh Yussif Imam Umar, urged Muslims in the region to strictly adhere to the measures laid down to contain the spread of the anthrax disease.
Further, he entreated them to desist from slaughtering animals to commemorate the festival as it was the surest way to stop the further spread of the disease.
He asked the Muslims to continue to pray for lasting peace in the region, especially Bawku, so that people could go about their normal duties.
The Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, said the Regional Public Health Emergency Committee was leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the appropriate vaccines were mobilised to halt the spread of the anthrax disease.
He noted that since the majority of animals had been vaccinated in the region and in view of the importance of the Eid celebration, the committee had granted that animals vaccinated before June 20, 2023, were safe for consumption.
However, he said animals could be slaughtered under the supervision of veterinary and environmental health officers and added that “slaughtering and sale of animals for commercial purposes is still not allowed”.
He passionately urged the Muslim community to pray for peace in Bawku, which had not witnessed absolute peace for some time now.