Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Eid Al-Adha

On the morning of October the 26th, I woke up early in order to meet Sarah in Kejetia, the largest tro-tro station in Kumasi. After we met up, we traveled back to Old Tafo where my friend Samira, who is a YES Alumni, lives. We were heading to her house since she graciously invited us over to celebrate Eid with her family.
Eid Al-Adha is a Muslim holiday to celebrate the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca. One starts the day by dressing up in their best clothes and heading to the mosque for a special prayer. As we were hurridly getting ready at Samira's house I was reminded joyfully of preparing for Christmas Eve service. The Eid holiday seemed to be similar to Christmas Eve in that it involved attending a place of religion for a special service and includes a big meal.
When we arrived at the mosque, running late, there was already a mass of people there. I looked out on a sea of white, transluscent swaths of cloth partially masking the vibrant colors of everyone's finest dress. The prayer on Eid is special since there are two prayers the first of which includes 7 "Allah Akbars", which means God is Great in Arabic, for the congregation to repeat and the second prayer includes 5 Allah Akbars. Praying in front of the Mosque with Sarah and all the Ghanaian ladies was a very powerful experience. Listening to the beautiful, alluring chant of the iman dance it's way into your soul as you kneels down and humbles yourself before God is extremely moving. Here I was in the middle of Western Africa, one speck on the ground, one of many, who are all the same in God's eyes, all thankful for his blessing of life. That day I truly felt extremely blessed and lucky to be alive spending my time with Sarah, Samira, Rukiya, and the rest of their wonderful family.

The other part of Eid Ahda involves butchering an animal in the halal way and then cooking a huge meal. This part is only obligitory if one has the means to pay for the animal. Those who do butcher the animal are supposed to divide the meat up, giving some of it to their neighbors and the needy. They did not have an animal to kill which was completely fine by Sarah and I.

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