Lockdowns in Australia’s two biggest cities have ruined plans for Muslims marking one of the biggest festivals on their calendar.
In Wollongong and Shellharbour cities in New South Wales, Muslims decided to celebrate `Eid Al-Adha at home, putting their community first.
“Making sure people are healthy is the number one priority. That’s why it is important all Muslims follow the rules and stay at home to celebrate. That is what I’ll be doing,” Illawarra Islamic Society president Mehmet Ozturk told Illawarra Mercury.
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“My wife usually makes sweets and tasty foods such as burek and sarma but she hasn’t made some this year because no one can come over.
“Even my sons and family can’t come. This is of course annoying but we understand why it must happen and encourage everyone to follow the rules.”
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`Eid Al-Adha, or “Feast of Sacrifice”, marks the end of the Hajj season and is one of the two most important Islamic celebrations, together with Eid Al-Fitr.
It begins with special prayers to mark the day, Muslims then offer udhiyah, a ritual that commemorates the great act of sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim and his son Isma`eel were willing to make for the sake of Allah.
Festivities and merriment then start with visits to friends and relatives.
Traditionally, everyone wears new clothes for `Eid, and the children look forward to gifts and the traditional `ediya (cash).