Matiang'i: August 12 a public holiday to mark Eid-Ul-Adha.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i has declared Monday, August 12, a public holiday to mark Eid-Ul-Adha, the Islamic festival of sacrifice.Eid-ul-Adha, which is celebrated by Muslims across the world, is an important part of the Islamic calendar alongside Eid-ul-Fitr, the festive of breaking the fast, marked at the end of Ramadhan.
This year Eid-ul-Adha will be held on August 12, but will start on Sunday, August 11, in other parts of the world.The festival commemorates the willingness of Abraham to follow Allah's (God's) command to sacrifice his son.
It is marked at the end of Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.Eid-ul-Adha falls on the tenth day of Dhul-hijjah, the month of the pilgrimage, and lasts four days.
Public holidays, however vary around the world, with Arab countries observing a nine-day holiday."In Kenya, we started the fasting on Saturday, August 3, which was the first day of Dhul-hijjah month and we are supposed to finish it on the ninth day of Dhul-hijjah which will be Monday, August 12," said Chief Kadhi Ahmed Muhdhar.
He added that Muslims are not required to observe the fast for the nine days, only those who choose to but added that it has its importance."The nine days are considered as holy and fasting is one willingness.
Fasting those days is considered Sunnah (prophetic ways) and being closer to God," he explained.He said those on a pilgrimage to Mecca do not have to fast as they make prayers while visiting the Islamic holy sites.
FESTIVITIESDuring the festival, Muslims often slaughter a sheep, lamb, camel or goat and divide the meat into three parts. A third is kept by the family, a third is given to friends and relatives, and a third is donated to the poor.
Of the two Eid celebrations, Eid ul-Adha is often considered the holiest. This year's Eid-ul-Adha is expected to take place from August 12 to August 15.Sheikh Muhdhar has urged Muslims to keep peace and strengthen unity during the festive season.