Eid-ul Adha connection with Hajj a misconception

26th Oct 2018

Sir, Assalamulaykum. [Ref Article: ‘Divided on Eid al-Adha in Kenya’, The Muslim News, September 28]. Kenya is a non-Muslims country with just over 11 per cent Muslims, which is no different from other countries with Muslim minorities where the Eid-ul Adha was also divided over two days (August 21 – 22).

This wasn’t the case at the end of Ramadan when most countries celebrated Eid-ul Fitr on the same day (June 15). The question arises, why was Eid-ul Fitr was united but Eid-ul Adha was divided?
The answer to that question lies in understanding the fact that both the Eid-ul Fitr and Eid-ul Adha were celebrated by the Prophet Muhammad (S) with the sighting of the moon from 2 AH in Madinah when Ramadan became obligatory, well before Hajj became obligatory in 9 AH in Makkah.

However, there is a misconception that Eid-ul Adha is connected with Hajj and whenever Saudi Arabia makes a mistake with moon sighting, such as was the case at the start of Dhul Hijjah 1439 (when the moon was not visible in Saudi Arabia or anywhere in the inhabited parts of the world on August 11), there is always a dispute with Eid celebration in other Muslim minority countries.

In conclusion, the correct date of Eid-ul Adha in Kenya (and throughout the whole world), was on August 22, even though the non-pilgrims within Saudi Arabia were obliged to celebrate Eid-ul Adha on August 21 for legal reasons. The advice of the Saudi scholars to foreign countries such as Morocco (or the UK) is to follow local moon sighting and not Saudi Arabia. Wassalam,
Yours
Qamar Uddin
York (UK)

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