By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Muslims country wide have celebrated Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, amid a coronavirus pandemic that has so far infected more than 16 million people worldwide.
Like the Islamic holiday Eid al-Fitr in May that followed the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims have been encouraged to take precautions while celebrating todays Eid as a way to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
In normal circumstances, Eid day starts by gathering at a mosque in the morning to take part in prayers however the Muslim Supreme Council of Uganda recommended Muslims to carry indoor prayers due to the current Ministry of Health guidelines including the social distancing and preventing mob gatherings.
A major part of Eid al-Adha is the Qurbani (or Udhiya), which means sacrifice. Livestock – goats, sheep, cows or camels – are sacrificed reflecting on Prophet Ibrahim’s (Abraham for Christians and Jews) willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail (Isaac) for the sake of God.
The meat is then donated to the poor as well as neighbours and family. Every Muslim who has the financial means should give his share to the poor.
Many donate money to their local mosque or organisation, who in turn buy the livestock and distribute the meat to millions of people in need worldwide. All livestock must be hygienically and ethically treated.
However this time WHO issued guidelines to be followed when the faithful distribute meat, should consider the physical distancing measures in place and encourage nominating one household member to perform and order the sacrifice, preferably through centralized agencies or services.
Download Full WHO Guidelines
The WHO statement added that to avoid the crowded gathering associated with distribution of meat, consider using centralized entities, agencies, and institutions, which should adhere to physical distancing throughout the whole cycle (collecting, packaging, storing and distribution).
WHO also discouraged slaughtering at home to encourage best practices and ensure safety and physical distancing standards, for both public and staff and also equipment used for slaughtering should be properly maintained and kept hygienic.