MAKKAH – The Arab world including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Middle East and other states are celebrating Eidul Azha today (Friday) with a resolve to sacrifice more in their daily lives in pursuance of closeness to Almighty Allah.
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Eidul Azha, also called “Sacrifice Feast”, is the second of two Muslim holidays celebrated worldwide each year, and considered the holier of the two.
Apart from faithful in Europe Indonesia, Philippine around two million Muslims offered Eid-ul-Azha prayers at Masjid al-Haram, the Grand Mosque in Makkah, and Masjid an-Nabawi, also called the Prophet’s Mosque, in Saudi Arabia early Friday morning.
The pilgrims, after completing their prayers, will move to Mina next, where they will perform the ritual of ‘stoning of the devil’ before sacrificing animals.
The pilgrims descended on Saudi Arabia’s Mount Arafat on Thursday for the highlight of the Hajj pilgrimage, one of the world´s largest annual gatherings.
The faithful climbed the hill east of Makkah- under a scorching sun- where the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) gave his last sermon some 14 centuries ago.
Security was beefed up in the area as the pilgrims converged from dawn on the Mount Arafat plain and the hill known as Jabal al-Rahma, or Mount of Mercy.
The pilgrims performed Waqoof-e-Arafat and listened to the sermon delivered from Masjid-e-Nimra by Imam Dr Shaykh Sa’d bin Nasir al-Shithri.
Dr Shaykh Sa’d bin Nasir al-Shithri called upon Muslims to avoid segregation and ethnic divisions
“If you follow the law then God will forgive”.
God has promised that believers that they will be rewarded for the good deeds in this world as well as Hereafter. In Islam even interest is considered haraam [illegal], he pointed out.
God will punish those who are cruel to others, he said and added that pious people will enter Paradise.
He also remarked that oneness of God is central to the teachings of all the prophets.
“Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sent to give guidance to ummah,” he added.
This year´s Hajj has seen the return of pilgrims from Saudi Arabia’s traditional foe Iran following a diplomatic row and a deadly stampede in 2015.
But only a few dozens have been able to perform pilgrimage from Qatar, a Gulf state engaged in diplomatic skirmish with Saudi Arabia and others.
Muslims in Pakistan would be celebrating Eidul Azha on Saturday.