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Muslims in Asia Celebrate Eid al-Adha Amid Prayers for Gaza

JAKARTA, Indonesia – On Monday, Muslims all around Asia celebrated Eid al-Adha with food, prayers, and acts of charity, paying particular attention to those who are suffering in Gaza as a result of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

One of the most important Islamic holidays, Eid al-Adha, commemorates the faith of the Prophet Ibrahim by offering sheep as sacrifices and distributing the meat to the needy. The festivities take place in tandem with the last rituals of the Hajj in Saudi Arabia.

While some nations, like Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt, and Yemen, celebrated the festival on Sunday, others, including Indonesia, Malaysia, India, and Bangladesh, celebrated it on Monday.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, worshippers gathered for communal prayers, with preachers urging prayers for Gaza. “Our prayers and thoughts are with our brothers and sisters in Palestine,” said Adi Prasetya. Berlina Yustiza added, “May Allah give strength to those affected by war and bring peace.”

Indonesia’s unique Eid traditions, influenced by other religions, include the “gunungan” procession in Yogyakarta and the “manten sapi” or “bride cow” ceremony in East Java. In Demak, Central Java, villagers paraded livestock in a gratitude procession called “apitan.”

Eid al-Adha commemorates Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Ismail, a story shared in various forms by Judaism and Christianity.

In Malaysia, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim joined prayers in Putrajaya, emphasizing the importance of humility and asceticism inspired by the Hajj pilgrimage.

In New Delhi, India, thousands prayed at Jama Masjid, with families gathering and merchants selling goats for the sacrifice.

Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority country, saw massive gatherings for prayers, with the largest congregation in Kishoreganj district and a prominent gathering in Dhaka. Millions of cattle were slaughtered nationwide to mark the occasion.

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