By Simon Abaho
The government of Uganda has announced that Tuesday July 20th, 2021, shall be a public holiday because the Muslim Community will be celebrating Eid Adha
This was revealed in a letter issued by Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Public Service Commission, which has since been circulated to all public offices and private enterprises, notifying them of the same.
Ms. Birakwate’s letter, dated July 19, 2021 reads in part thus;
“This is to request you to relay the following announcement on Uganda Broadcasting Corporation Network:
“The Honorable Minister of Public Service informs the general public that Tuesday 20th July 2021 is Eid Adhuha and will be observed as a Public Holiday throughout Uganda.”
Due to the prevailing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on gatherings to prevent the 3rd wave infections, the day shall be observed and celebrated in a scientific way.
Eid al-Adha, Arabic for Festival of the Sacrifice, is the latter of the two official holidays celebrated within Islam (the other being Eid al-Fitr).
It honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of obedience to God’s command.
The Jewish and Christian religions believe that according to Genesis 22:2, Abraham took his son Isaac to sacrifice.
Before Ibrahim could sacrifice his son, however, Allah provided a lamb to sacrifice instead.
In commemoration of this intervention, animals are sacrificed ritually. One-third of their meat is consumed by the family offering the sacrifice, while the rest is distributed to the poor and needy.
Sweets and gifts are given, and extended family are typically visited and welcomed.