Eid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) will fall this year on 6 November 2011.
UAE government departments, schools and universities will receive a one-week holiday, commencing from 5 November.
Workers in the private sector are entitled to a three-day holiday that starts on the first day of Eid (Sunday), but the announcement is yet to be made by the Ministry of Labour.
Eid Al Adha or Eid Al Kabir (Greater Eid) is a Muslim festival celebrated around the world to commemorate the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son Ishmael, before God intervened to offer a ram to sacrifice instead of the boy.
Muslims, Christians and Jews all include this story in their Scriptures. While some of the details are different, the essential values of trusting God no matter the cost and the gift of divine provision, are commonly commended.
To show appreciation and willingness to obey, Muslim families sacrifice an animal (the size and value according to their means) and divide it—one-third for the family, one-third for relatives, friends and neighbors and one-third to the poor and needy.
Muslims are encouraged to prepare themselves for Eid by washing, engaging in the pre-sunrise prayer and putting on new or the best clothes available.
Eid Prayers in Fujairah
People gather for Eid prayers at their mosque or city gathering. In Fujairah around 6.30am worshippers will gather at the Grand Eid Musalla (mosque and prayer ground opposite the Emiri Court). At the end of the service there is an exchange of greetings (‘Eid Mubarak’- ‘Blessed Eid’).
Following Eid prayers there is the preparation of meals (making sacrifice), the giving of gifts to children, visiting and celebrating with family, friends and neighbors. The festivities go on for three days.
Instead of killing animals in the backyard or farm, people now have to take their animals to the abattoir or buy animals there.
Welfare organizations like the Red Crescent and the Fujairah Welfare Association have a system where you can pay for others to undertake the slaughter and gift the meat to those in need. This facility also includes making a cash sacrifice to the needy that can be directed anywhere in the world.
Humane and Hygienic Sacrifice
This week the Fujairah Municipality issued the following statement about the conduct of animal sacrifice in Fujairah:
Under the directives of Engineer Mohammad Saif Al Afkham, Director of Fujairah Municipality and Aseela Al Mualla, Administrative Director of General Services and Environment, the Fujairah Municipality affirmed its readiness to receive Eid Al Adha sacrifices at the Fujairah Automatic abattoir and Tawyeen Abattoir. Al Mualla confirmed that preparations for Eid are complete and the two abattoirs are ready. The butchers were doubled in number this year to facilitate the process of slaughtering and make it easier for the citizens. The number of butchers at the Fujairah Abattoir reached (16 butchers, 3 supervisors and 6 cleaners), and at the Tawyeen Abattoir the number reached (9 butchers and 1 supervisor). The two abattoirs were supplied with the necessary machinery and tools to facilitate the process and prevent crowding.
Aseela revealed that the abattoir will be opened for slaughtering on the first day of Eid directly after the Eid prayer and until the citizen’s sacrifices are finished. It will also be opened on the second and third days of Eid from 6 am to 1 am and from 6 am to 8 pm on the remaining days of the Eid holiday. The abattoirs serve, in addition to citizens, a number of associations and charities.
Al Mualla added that slaughtering tools and machinery were prepared under the supervision of Dr. Basheer, Chief of the Abattoir Division, who asks citizens not to slaughter their sacrifices at home and head for the abattoirs instead. Abattoirs, he explained, have health supervision by specialized veterinarians and this is good for the citizen because the sacrifice will be tested before being slaughtered to avoid diseases. There will also be an inspection team for all Eid days to make sure that no one slaughters their sacrifices outside of the abattoirs or uses unqualified butchers for slaughtering. In case they find any offenders, the person who violates the rules will be held legally accountable. Random slaughtering is dangerous for public health and ruins the civilized look of the Emirate.
On this holy occasion, the official working hours of the Health Section employees and inspectors are as follows:
The Office of Emergency and Market Control: 24 hours a day, all Eid days.
Inspection Services: 8 am – 9 pm at all areas of the Municipality.
Food Control Centre: 8 am – 9 pm.
Fujairah Abattoir and Tawyeen Abattoir:
First day of Eid: After Eid prayer until the sacrifices are finished.
Second day of Eid: 6 am to 1 pm.
Third day of Eid: 6 am to 1 pm.
Remaining Eid days: 6 am to 8 pm.
Festival Without Fireworks
The Fujairah Municipality also made this statement about fireworks for Eid but also fireworks generally:
“It is absolutely prohibited for all companies and commercial establishments to import, display, distribute, buy or sell fireworks for children in the Emirate of Fujairah.”
Eid Without Alcohol
The Municipality also stated:
“It’s also prohibited to display, offer or sell alcohol in Hotel apartments, restaurants, hotels, and clubs. Night clubs, bars, and massage centers will be closed and the specialized employees at the municipality will make sure of that through inspection. Any establishment or facility that violates this will be closed for a week and will have to pay a fine and be legally accountable. “
For any questions or for more information about Eid in Fujairah, the Fujairah Municipality encourages people to call their hotline: 80036222.
More Fujairah news, information, resources and photos are posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.
Image: His Highness, Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, attending Eid prayers at the Grand Eid Musalla in Fujairah on an earlier occasion. (Photo courtesy of Gulf News)