Muslim faithful across the continent are in celebration mood for the final festival of the Islamic calendar – Eid-ul Adha (festival of the sacrifice).
It is the second annual celebration observed by Muslims and falls on 10th of Dhul Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calender.
Worshipers clad in their best clothes from Cairo to Dakar, Mogadishu to Abuja, Khartoum to Addis Ababa, Yaounde to Brazzaville and Harare to Windhoek are marking the day with prayers said at open-air prayer grounds or in mosques.
After the two unit of prayer led by an Imam, they head home to slaughter their animals, also an act of worship as per Islamic tenets. The animals accepted for purposes of this act of worship are camel, cattle, sheep and goat.
A Muslim is supposed to share his sacrifice into three parts, a third for his family, the other to his acquaintances and the last as gift to other people.
The significance of the slaughtering is in line with the obedience of Ibrahim (Abraham) who accepted to sacrifice his son Ismael (Ishmael). Allah later allowed him to use an animal to replace his son. Ibrahim passed Allah’s test and Muslims have since symbolically followed his step.
The Eid-ul-Adha comes 2 months and 10 days after the end of the Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the end of 30 or 29 days of fasting in the month of Ramadan.
As people celebrate elsewhere around the world, pilgrims in the holy city of Makkah continue rites of the fifth pillar of the faith, by observing the symbolic stoning of the devil in precincts of the House of Allah – the Kabah.