The Bangladeshi brand of secularism finds its truest and most triumphant expression in the almost determined and vigorous celebration of all it religious festivals – irrespective of the faith and size of its following.
Eid-ul-Azha, one of the two most important festivals in the Muslim faith that is now followed by upwards of 90 percent of Bangladeshis, will be celebrated across the country on Saturday.
Well-off Muslims will sacrifice animals commemorating Hazrat Ibrahim’s devotion to Allah as illustrated by his readiness to give up his beloved son Hazrat Ismail.
All the necessary preparations for holding Eid congregations and celebrations have been completed across the country, including capital Dhaka and Sholakia in Kishoreganj.
Hundreds of thousands of Muslims will offer prayers there seeking divine blessings, peace and progress for the country.
The main congregation of Eid-ul-Azha will be held at the National Eidgah at 8am on Saturday.
President Abdul Hamid offered Eid-ul-Fitr prayers along with hundreds of people from all walks of life at the National Eidgah.
Cabinet members, judges of the Supreme Court, members of parliament, senior political leaders and high civil and military officials also offered prayers at the main Eid congregation.
Besides, a total of five Eid congregations will be held at Baitul Mukarram National Mosque, according to a press release issued by the Islamic Foundation. The jamaats will be held at 7am, 8am, 9am, 10am and 10:45am, the release added.
A four-tier security system was in place at the National Eidgah in the capital.
Devotees were urged not to bring anything other than prayer mats to the eidgah.
The main city streets and road islands have been decorated with the national flags and banners inscribed with ‘Eid Mubarak’ in Bangla and Arabic.
Special diet is served in hospitals, jails, government orphanages, centres for persons with disabilities, shelter homes and vagrant and destitute welfare centres.
State-run Bangladesh Television, Bangladesh Betar and private TV channels are airing special programmes on the occasion.
On the auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina greeted the Muslim Ummah including country people in their separate messages on Thursday.
In his message, the President said, the exemplary love and sacrifice of Prophet Hazrat Ismail (As) for Allah should be reflected in our personal and social life and only then peace and amity can be established, said a press release.
Terming Bangladesh as an example of communal harmony, Abdul Hamid urged everyone through his message to stay alert so that no one can create chaos by giving misinterpretation of religion.
In another message, Prime Minister said, every year, the Muslims establish the message of sympathy and equality by distributing meat of sacrificed animals among the poor and relatives.
“Eid teaches about peace, sympathy, sacrifice and friendship”, she said in her message urging the countrymen to create a peaceful Bangladesh through participating in public welfare activities.