Middle East turmoil dominates Eid prayers in South Africa

Muslims in South Africa prayed for the return of peace in Muslim countries.

Middle East turmoil dominates Eid prayers in South Africa

Political turmoil in the Middle East has dominated the prayers of Eid al-Adha in South Africa, with worshippers praying for the return of peace in Muslim countries.

"As we celebrate our Eid peacefully in South Africa, let's remember our brothers and sisters who are either politically persecuted or facing civil war in countries such as Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan among other Muslim countries," Moulana Abdurrahman Garda told over 3,000 Muslim worshippers outside a sports ground in the predominantly Muslim suburb of Mayfair in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

"We ask Almighty Allah to return stability and the rule of law to these countries," he said.

The cleric urged Muslims to leave their sectarian and political difference and unite as one Ummah.

"Muslims should stop being divided along religious sects, politics and tribe," he said. "If we unite as one Ummah we shall achieve a lot for our community which is lagging behind because of these divisions."

South Africa's Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha, a major Islamic feast, on Wednesday.

The festival comes amid turmoil in several Arab and Muslim countries, including Egypt where democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the powerful military after mass protests against him.

"I was touched by today's preaching, especially when the Imam (preacher) made the special prayer for our brothers and sisters who are politically persecuted in Egypt, those facing civil war in Syria, occupation in Palestine, Kashmir and other Muslim countries," Mohamed Habibala, chairman of the Arab Association in South Africa, told the Anadolu Agency.

Joy for the poor

In an attempt to draw a smile on the faces of poor Muslims, charities have provided free meat, groceries and clothes to thousands of poor people on the advent of Eid al-Adha.

"Today, we have distributed several hundreds of sacrificed animals and thousands of food parcels to poor Muslims who cannot afford to buy these items on this auspicious day," Hassan Choonara, the regional director of Africa Muslims Agency (AMA), told the AA.

During the Eid al-Adha, Muslims traditionally sacrifice animals – 'Udhiyah' in Arabic – to commemorate the Prophet Abraham's willingness to obey God's command by sacrificing his son Ismail.

Muslims make up about three percent of South Africa's total population of 51.19 million.

AA

Last Mod: 16 Ekim 2013, 13:33
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