Muslims across the globe are joyful with the arrival of one of the special Islamic occasions, Eid-el-Kabir.
A multitude of pastoral animals of specific ages are slaughtered and sacrificed on this day, by Muslims in
Makkah performing pilgrimage and those at home. Like other occasions in Islam, Eid-el-Kabir has an
essence or purpose. It has a historical background as well. This year 2022 Eid-el-Kabir celebration was held on the 9th of July, which is equivalent to the 10th of Zul-hijjah, 1443 in the Islamic calendar.
Its history has been traced back to Prophet Abraham and his son Ismael, as recorded by both Qur’an and Bible. When order was
given to him by God to slaughter his son Ismael to test his faith, but later asked to slaughter a ram in place of his son. From there this act of worship started. Then, God commanded Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to keep the practice, in His words, “So, offer Salah (prayer) to your Lord, and sacrifice.” Qur’an chapter 108, verse 2. It has been practiced by Muslim nations up to date.
Islam enjoins its followers from the beginning of this day till three days after it, to praise and thank Allah. To visit their families and friends, relatives, and even non-Muslim friends. Help the people in special need with the meat of the sacrificial animals, food, clothes, and drinks. The days are meant to help and support less privileged individuals, orphans, and widows. To bring them the taste of happiness and pleasure within these three days—in order to equalize the higher and the lower class Muslims in
happiness and prosperity. This is the Islamic purpose of Eid-el-Kabir for Muslims across the whole world.
This year’s Eid-el-Kabir in Nigeria is one of the toughest Eid, because of the myriad of challenges that girdle the country—ranging from insecurity, poverty, corruption, etc. Muslims’ happiness and pleasure are tied to a minimum by man-made economic disasters. Eating three times daily by most Nigerian families is hard activism. Food prices skyrocket day and night without rest. For most of Muslim family heads are after what to silence the crying stomach of their wives and children, not the yummy
fleshes. How to let the hands of their dependents into a bowl—is what they are after not the expensive animals that their monthly earnings cannot buy. The price of the animals is also not favorable to them. Few from villages who reared by themselves can afford to make the sacrifice as required. And the worst of it is the poverty rate keeps increasing.
Another most disturbing story is the insecurity rising and widening to every part of the country untackled and unseriously looked at by the personnel. Many in the Northwest part of Nigeria, which majority are Muslims are forced to leave their houses and become refugees or wander from bush to bush, from village to village to escape their souls from bandits, kidnappers, and cattle-rustlers. People are not secure. Their lives are valueless. Their homes are theirs no more. Everything theirs, which would benefit them is being burned or stolen from them. To these people, Eid-el-Kabir will not be something of concern even if they pretend to make it so. This Eid-el-Kabir witnesses the separation of families and death. Many families are forced to be separated and dispersed into no whereabout. Children and women and men are killed on daily basis. This was how Nigerian Muslims celebrated this year’s Eid-el-Kabir, in blood, hunger, thirst, and grief.
Poverty keeps broadening its wings to every corner of the country and flapping around almost every house. The gap between the poor and wealthy class constantly continues to expand. The rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. The unemployment rate amongst youths is increasing always. Nothing left to ignite the flame of happiness in the heart of poor Nigerians. This year’s Eid-el-Kabir was celebrated by a few people who have the keys to the celebration. Because the majority have no opportunity to care for themselves, talk less of someone beyond themselves and their families. Life is indeed very tough and the time is indeed the trying one.
However, too much complaint and hope cannot change anything, but action can do. Constant action can surely change the present narrations. It can change the fate of the 2023 Eid-el-Kabir and beyond that for Muslims in Nigeria and the other citizens of the country. Let’s adhere to the teaching of Islam. Help one another in this trying time. The wealthy amongst us should share with the poor ones. The orphans and widows should receive mercy from us. Old men and women should also be visited and fed. Our hands should be on deck. Let’s help one another and promote peace and unity within ourselves. Christians and Muslims should learn to tolerate peaceful coexistence.
Moreover, our thinking to help should be beyond yonder. To reach as far as possible— remember the children and women become refugees. The families that left their comfort zones. Pay them a visit and share with them the happiness and pleasure of this day. The children in the orphan houses. The blind and limbless who are far from us and closer. Let’s take the occasion to them. Give them meat, food, drink, and clothes. Invite them to your apartment and sit with them, eat with them and chat with them.
Show them love. Show them care and celebrate Eid-el-Kabir with them.
I celebrate with my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters across the globe this year’s Eid-el-Kabir.
Specifically, Nigerians—especially the less privileged, orphans, refugees, old men, and women, may Allah the Almighty bless you all. May He show us many more Eids-el-Kabir.