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Pakistan Marks Eid ul Adha Under the Shadow of Gaza War

As Pakistan joins the global Muslim community in celebrating Eid ul Adha, the joyful spirit of the festival is dampened by the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Eid ul Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, is one of the most significant Islamic holidays. It commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to Allah. This year, the celebrations in Pakistan and around the world are overshadowed by the tragic events unfolding in Gaza.

Gaza War Casts a Shadow Over Festivities

Since October 7, Israel's military offensive in Gaza has resulted in the deaths of at least 37,337 Palestinians and left 85,299 injured, according to the Gaza health ministry. The war has left much of Gaza in ruins, displacing millions and causing severe humanitarian crises. The conflict has profoundly affected the way Gazans, and Muslims worldwide, are observing Eid ul Adha this year.

In Gaza, where the usual practice of slaughtering sheep and sharing the meat with the needy is a significant part of the celebrations, many families are struggling to find basic necessities, let alone celebrate the festival. The customary joy and excitement of Eid have been replaced by a pervasive sense of misery and despair. This year, Eid ul Adha in Gaza is marked by mourning, with families remembering those lost to the conflict and hoping for an end to the violence.

Celebrations in Pakistan Amidst Conflict

In Pakistan, Eid ul Adha is celebrated with special prayers, acts of charity, and festive meals shared with family and friends. Muslims in Pakistan also perform the ritual sacrifice of animals, distributing the meat among family, friends, and the less fortunate. Despite the somber backdrop of the Gaza conflict, Pakistanis are striving to uphold the spirit of Eid by showing compassion and solidarity with those affected by the war.

The country's top leadership, including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President Asif Ali Zardari, have extended their warm greetings to the nation and expressed solidarity with the people of Palestine and Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. 

Security Measures and Eid Prayers

To ensure the safety of citizens during the religious festival, security has been tightened across Pakistan. Thousands of police personnel have been deployed to maintain peace and order, specially in mosques.

At Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem, 40,000 Muslims performed Eid al-Adha prayers, significantly fewer than the estimated 100,000 attendees in 2023. Reports from the Wafa news agency highlighted the difficulties faced by worshippers due to Israeli forces' restrictions and assaults on those trying to enter the mosque.

A Lesson of Compassion and Sacrifice

Eid ul Adha teaches Muslims the value of sacrifice and compassion. The story of Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his beloved son as commanded by Allah serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of obedience, faith, and selflessness. This year, the lessons of Eid ul Adha are particularly poignant as Muslims around the world witness the suffering of their brothers and sisters in Gaza and other conflict-ridden areas.

Muslims are encouraged to look after the less fortunate and include them in their celebrations. Acts of charity, such as distributing meat from the sacrificed animals, are integral to the festival. 

How to Celebrate Eid with Compassion

  1. Acts of Charity: Beyond the ritual sacrifices, Muslims are urged to engage in various charitable activities. Donating to relief efforts, providing food and clothing to the needy, and supporting humanitarian organizations working in conflict zones are meaningful ways to celebrate Eid.
  2. Community Support: Building a strong sense of community is essential. Visiting the sick, elderly, and those who are alone during the festival can bring much-needed comfort and joy.
  3. Prayers for Peace: Special prayers for peace and an end to the conflicts in Gaza, Kashmir, and other troubled regions can unite Muslims in solidarity and hope.
  4. Spreading Awareness: Educating others about the significance of Eid ul Adha and the current humanitarian crises can foster empathy and inspire more people to help those in need.
  5. Celebrating with Purpose: While enjoying festive meals and gatherings, Muslims can reflect on the true meaning of Eid and strive to embody the values of sacrifice and compassion in their daily lives.

Solidarity and Hope for a Better Future

As Pakistan and the global Muslim community observe Eid ul Adha, the ongoing conflicts remind us of the fragility of peace and the importance of solidarity. 

The leadership of Pakistan has reiterated their support for the Palestinian and Kashmiri people, emphasizing the need for a peaceful resolution to these long-standing conflicts. The prayers and acts of charity performed during Eid ul Adha serve as a testament to the resilience and compassion of the Muslim ummah.

Despite the challenges, the spirit of Eid ul Adha endures, offering hope and a reminder of the power of faith and community. As Muslims around the world celebrate this sacred festival, they carry with them the message of sacrifice, unity, and the enduring pursuit of peace and justice.

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