The nation celebrated Eidul Azha Pakistan on Sunday with traditional zeal and fervour, despite moderate to severe rains in various parts of the country, as well as a recent increase in the number of Covid cases.
One of the biggest religious holidays celebrated by Muslims around the world, Eidul Azha marks the culmination of Hajj rites at Mina, Makkah on the 10th of Zul Hijah (the last month of the Islamic calendar).
This Eid is called the “Feast of Sacrifice” to commemorate the sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) was willing to make by slaughtering his only son, on Allah’s command. Now, Muslims re-enact the prophet's obedience by slaughtering sacrificial animals.
Congregational prayers were held across the country to commemorate the occasion, and special prayers were made for the security, development and prosperity of Pakistan.
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Additionally, prayers were also offered for the liberation of Palestine and Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and for the end of the ongoing strife and corruption in other Muslim countries.
Due to the traditional large gatherings that occur during Eid, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) appealed to the public to wear masks during Eid-ul-Adha prayers and strictly adhere to Covid standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Animal sacrifices will continue during the three days of Eid. Citizens will perform individual and collective sacrifices in the way of the Almighty.
The sacrificial meat will be distributed among the poor and needy.
Utilise spirit of sacrifice: President Alvi
President Dr Arif Alvi offered Eid ul Azha prayers at Tooba Mosque in Karachi and prayed for the prosperity of the country.
In his message to the nation, the president said that as the country faced economic challenges, there was a dire need to utilise the spirit of sacrifice.
“On the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, the entire Pakistani nation must reaffirm that instead of pursuing self-interest, greed, and avarice, we will inculcate the spirit of brotherhood, selflessness, love and empathy to help the needy and destitute around us so that we may emerge as a strong nation in these testing times. May Allah Almighty be with us all,” he stated.
“I pray to Allah Almighty to accept the Ibadah, Hajj and sacrifices of the Pakistani nation and the Muslim Ummah. Amen!” he said.
According to Alvi, the spirit of sacrifice carried a universal significance and no nation could prosper without inculcating a spirit of sacrifice – which was not merely an act of animal slaughter but aimed to sacrifice personal desires for accomplishing a higher purpose.
“The act of sacrifice reflects a believer’s determination that he is ever ready for the greatest sacrifice in the name of Allah,” the president said, adding that the act helped individuals follow the righteous path despite trying circumstances.
PM prays for prosperity of Pakistan
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif offered Eidul Azha prayers at his family residence in Jati Umra on Sunday.
The prime minister along with Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz, Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar and others prayed for the prosperity of the country and the unity of the Muslim community across the globe.
In his Eid message, the premier felicitated the nation on the auspicious occasion and called upon the people to pay special attention to the needy and poor to truly realize the spirit of sacrifice.
He also appealed to the public to follow the precautionary measures against the coronavirus pandemic while celebrating Eid with their families.
He said that Allah Almighty made sacrifice an extraordinary ritual to show immense admiration for the obedience of Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH) and Hazrat Ismail (PBUH). “The real meaning of sacrifice is the obedience and submission to Allah. Allah sees the intention of His obedient men and on that basis gives the reward.”
Read more Rain fails to dampen Eid spirit
“Our salvation lies in following the pious character of Hazrat Ibrahim (PBUH) and his noble son Hazrat Ismail (PBUH) and noted that Muslims can fulfil their obligation during the special occasion of Eidul Azha by helping out orphans, widows, needy and poor,” he added.
PM Shehbaz called upon Pakistanis to pay special attention to giving assistance during Eidul Azha to their Muslim brothers and sisters facing difficulties and problems.
“We should share the happiness of Eid with the needy and deprived around us, who are affected by the wave of international inflation,” the premier said, adding that those affected by the floods should not be forgotten.
He also directed the district administrations and departments concerned to carry out their responsibilities efficiently, timely dispose animal waste and ensure cleanliness.