The Eid-ul-Adha always coincides with the annual pilgrimage to Makkah. It commemorates both the greatest example of submission, Prophet Ibraheem’s readiness to sacrifice his son, a biblical tradition too, and a mark of the end of the revelation of the Qur’an. It is quite symbolic that these unique historical events are interlinked.
Living by the Qur’an requires commitment and sincerity as exemplified in the trial and triumph of Prophet Ibraheem (AS) and his family. The important message of hajj is brought to life by over two million pilgrims, men and women, representing every race, colour, class and age who gather at this time near Makkah, all chanting the same slogan: Here I am O my Lord, here I am. Here I am, there is no partner unto you. All praise glory and power belong to you.
This sublime and powerful act of devotion is in direct contrast to the sad events of violence and strife in parts of the world, including Nigeria, which threaten national and global peace and human solidarity. During the hajj rites, Muslims from both Shia and Sunni traditions, from the East and the West, black and white, poor and rich, will stand on the plains of Arafa, standing together wearing the same white attire, reflecting deeply on the importance of sacrificing for God, the communal good and one another. In this state of total submission, they pray for forgiveness, personal salvation and also peace for the humanity.
This has been a revolutionary year for the global Muslim community as thousands of people have sacrificed their lives in the pursuit of peace, security, freedom and liberty. I take this time to remember all those who strive for the betterment of their society in the face of seemingly insurmountable hardship and challenges.
An aspect of the Muslim faith is true commitment to the spirit of coexistence and goodwill for others, love for the homeland and readiness to take seriously each citizen’s responsibility of protecting the nation’s interests. I urge Muslims in position of authority to always distinguish themselves as exemplary in public conduct and morality.
It is important that all citizens observe equity, justice in all dealings and eschew immorality, unrighteous and rebellious actions.
Without doubt, there are real issues and grievances, social and economic injustices, Eid-ul-Adha reminds us that the way forward is in coming together, building consensus and unity with fellow citizens, accepting differences and seeking common good.