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Nov 15, 2010, 12:23 PM

This year's Eid-ul-Adha, which will be celebrated tomorrow, has offered the Muslim Umma another opportunity to live out the Islamic creed of sharing with one’s neighbours.

Throughout the Islamic world, Muslims generously shared with friends, relatives or neighbours food and drinks and money during the Eid-ul-Adha. 

As is with all feasts, there is so much gaiety, with almost everyone expected to turn out in their best clothes.

In the build-up to the big day, there is a run on the salons, the shops, and the banks, especially the Western Union units, where remittances are been eagerly awaited and then received.

And the various car parks will be brimmed up with eager passengers who would jostle with one another in a bid to make it to the provinces on time. For most people, it is a time of reunion with folks back home.

But the most sought-after people in the run-up to the feast are the ram sellers around town. These are the people who are commanding the most attention, because the faithful are all over them, haggling to get at least one ram for the obligatory sacrifice. Those who could afford it would have more than one ram for the feast, which they will share generously with the needy, who due to circumstances could not afford to slaughter a ram.

Aside from the merriment, the Eid-ul-Adha also instills in the faithful the value of sharing what little one has with one's neighbours.

But this should not be confined to the festival period only. The faithful would be wise to internalize the practice by making it habitual.

It should also breed in the faithful the spirit of forgiveness, which will enable them to live amicably with one another. It also offers us an opportunity to reflect on what has gone before, and try to amend our ways.

As we saw during previous Eid-ul-Adha feasts, it is always hard to tell Christians apart from Muslims, as they all happily in one way or another take part in the feast.

This is how it should be, as all religions teach harmony and good neighbourliness.

It is pointless for the adherents of the various religions to fall on one another; instead, they must learn to co-exist in peace and unity.


“Religion is in the heart, not in the knees”.