General News of Friday, 1 September 2017
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed satisfaction with the organisation of the 2017 Hajj pilgrimage which he said has been successful so far.
“I’m delighted to know that this year, the Hajj has been large without a problem. My government is committed to maintaining the atmosphere that allows people of all religious persuasions to practice their religion without hindrance,” he said in a speech to mark this year’s Eid al-Adha celebration on Friday, 1 September.
He encouraged Ghanaians to pray for the pilgrims especially the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Dr Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu, for divine protection and safe return to Ghana.
He praised the “peace and mutual respect that exists among people of all religious persuasions who live here in Ghana” and charged Muslims to be “ambassadors of peace in a world where Islam has been hijacked by people who pervert its values.”
Nana Akufo-Addo further commended Muslims across the country for their important contributions towards development in the society.
Mr Akufo-Addo lauded the illustrious human resource that has been churned from the Muslim community including Vice-president Dr Mahamudu Bawumia whom he said are helping to execute the transformational agenda of Ghana.
He said Muslims constitute 17 per cent of Ghana’s population and “your contribution to national development is significant and in my government in particular where some of the leading figures including the Vice-president of the Republic are.”
Also called the “Sacrifice Feast”, Eid al-Adha is the second of two Muslim holidays celebrated worldwide each year.
It honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of submission to God’s command. Before he could sacrificed his son, God intervened by sending his angel Jibra’il (Gabriel), who then put a sheep in his son’s place.
In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts: the family retains one third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbours; and the remaining third is given to the poor and needy.