Waikato Muslims will observe Dhul Hijjah with fasting, prayers, sacrifice and celebration, said the President of the Waikato Muslim Association Inc. The announcement comes after the Hilal (crescent moon sighting) Committee of FIANZ earlier confirmed that the new moon for Dhul Hijjah was sighted on Sunday 11 July.
"Waikato Muslims will perform Salat Eid ul Adha at 7.50am on Wednesday 21 July," said Asad Mohsin.
Salat (prayers to mark Eid ul Adha) will be held at the Claudelands Events Centre located at the corner of Brooklyn Road and Heaphy Terrace.
"We encourage everyone to arrive promptly. The Claudelands Events Centre car park can be accessed via Gate 4 on Brooklyn Road. Claudelands Events Centre staff will collect $5 per car (cash only) parked inside the venue. This will go to the Hamilton City Council, which owns the venue. Free parking is available on the surrounding streets," said Asad Mohsin.
The salat is being held in the Arena portion of the Claudelands Events Centre for the first time. This space has a concrete floor and everyone is strongly advised to bring a prayer mat to have a comfortable surface to pray on.
Eid ul Adha ("the feast of the sacrifice") is the second of Islam's two annual festivals. It honours the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (peace be upon him) to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of obedience to Allah's (God) command. Before Ibrahim could sacrifice his son, however, Allah provided a lamb to sacrifice instead. In commemoration of this intervention, animals are sacrificed ritually. One third of their meat is consumed by the family offering the sacrifice, while the rest is distributed to the poor and needy. Sweets and gifts are given, and extended family are typically visited and welcomed.
"In addition to the Eid prayers on Wenesday 21 July, Waikato Muslim Association is also hosting a family fun day for the whole community on Saturday 24 July," said Asad Mohsin.
The Family Fun Day is to be held at the Hamilton Mosque at 921 Heaphy Terrace. The Family Fun Day will include activities for children, face painting, henna, candy floss and popcorn, ice cream and churro trucks and much more.
Eid ul Adha occurs on the tenth day of Dhul Hijjah, the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar. It is a very sacred month in the Islamic calendar, when the Hajj (Pilgrimage) to Mecca in Saudi Arabia takes place. One of the Hajj rituals is the Day of Arafah, which takes place on the ninth day of Dhul Hijjah. It is the holiest day in the Islamic calendar (the holiest night being The Night of Power) and the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage.
"The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: 'Fasting on the Day of Arafah expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year,'" said Asad Mohsin. Waikato Muslim Association will host an iftar (meal to break the fast) after sunset on Tuesday 20 July at the Hamilton Mosque at 921 Heaphy Terrace.
Details of all events can be found here.