Muslims throng mosques to offer Eid al-Adha prayer

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Muslims flocked to mosques across Indonesia on Friday morning to offer prayer to mark Eid al-Adha.

Symbolizing a division of their duties, President Joko Widodo prayed along with thousands of people at the Merdeka Square in Sukabumi, West Java, while Vice President Jusuf Kalla offers prayers at the Istiqlal mosque in the capital city.

On the occasion, preachers made various calls ranging from the need to preserve unity in diversity to boosting economic capabilities.

"Eid al-Adha this time falls on a day that is just two weeks after the country commemorated its 72nd independence anniversary. Now, we commemorate Eid al-Adha, which in essence aims to educate and revive the spirit to sacrifice," Prof. Dr. H. Zainal Abidin MAg said in Palu, Central Sulawesi.

"Fighters had waged jihad by sacrificing their bodies and souls for the country to get independence, and so, it is now our responsibility to preserve it. We must not allow the unity in diversity, which has been passed down to us by them, to be broken by sectarian egoism," the rector of Palus State Institute of Islamic Studies said.

"We Muslims have witnessed as followers of Prophet Muhammad SAW, and so, it would be appropriate if we have to always refer to him on how Muslims should co-exist with other people in a plural society," he said.

In Banten Province, Vice Governor of West Java Andika Hazrumy called on his employees to utilize the momentum offered by Eid al-Adha to improve their services to the public.

"The essence of Eid al-Adha for the provincial government, especially for employees of the provincial administration, is utilizing its momentum to continue to improve their services to the public," he remarked after offering prayers at the Banten provincial administration compound in Serang.

"Dedication and solidarity in giving public service must always be enlivened," he pointed out.

A Muslim figure at the Al-Azhar grand mosque in South Jakarta called on Muslims in the country to boost their economic capabilities to ensure balanced control over the countrys economy.

"Indonesias development must not only rely on quantity but also on quality, including that of its human resources in the areas of science and technology, faith, and control of economic resources," Prof. Jimly Asshiddiqie noted in his sermon.

He stated that 87 percent of the 250 million people in Indonesia are Muslims, thereby makes the country the worlds biggest Muslim populated country.

However, he remarked that control of the countrys economy had, so far, been in the hands of the minority.

"Only some 20 percent out of the 100 richest men in Indonesia are Muslims," he said.

In view of this, mosques across the country must not forget to deliver teachings (dakwah) on the economy, he emphasized.

"It is time for mosques to offer more teachings in the fields of economy and business. Dakwah in the fields is also noble, as it helps to improve the peoples economy," he added.

Asshiddiqie said the business world holds importance for Islam, as it has been demonstrated historically that Islamic civilization across the world had developed due to the role of business.

The Arab traders were the first to spread Islam across the world with support from the Persian traders and Swahili traders who were black Africans and had transformed Africa into an Islamic continent and spread the religion up to Spain, he explained.

"Arab traders and those from Gujarat, India, had successfully established Islam in central Asia while traders from Turkey were able to penetrate up to East Europe," he added.

Islam also developed during the Prophets era due of the role played by Siti Khadijah who along with the Prophet belonged to a family of traders.

"The Prophets family along with Siti Khadijah must be viewed as an example. They taught through business activities," Asshiddiqie pointed out.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) mingled with thousands of people participating in the Eid al-Adha prayer at the Merdeka Square in Sukabumi, West Java.

"The Eid al-Adha event this time is historic for Sukabumi, as it repeats what first president Soekarno did 65 years ago or on August 31, 1952," Sukabumi Mayor Mohamad Muraz noted before the prayers.

He expressed hope that President Jokowis presence would bring blessings to the city. The populist president came to Sukabumi by train. He has approved plans to reactivate the railway line between Sukabumi and Bandung, transform the provincial capital of West Java, as well as, implement other projects including the development of an airstrip.

Sukabumi, spread over an area of 48 square kilometers and with a population of around 323 thousand, has, so far, been able to win various awards from central and regional governments for its achievements.

"Thank you, President Jokowi, for taking time out to visit Sukabumi," Muraz noted.

In line with the spirit of Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice, several people and institutions appeared to compete by offering sacrifice in the form of animals.

President Jokowi also took part by contributing sacrificial animals to several mosques in the country, such as the new Hasyim Azhari mosque in West Jakarta and a mosque in Surabaya, West Sumatra, and also Sukabumi.

Former president Megawati Soekarnoputri also contributed a sacrificial animal in the form of a cow to the Sunda Kelapa grand mosque in Central Jakarta.

"One cow from Ibu (Mme) Megawati," Faruk Rahman, the mosques Edi al-Adha committee chairman, said.

The mosque also received sacrificial animals from businessman Aksa Mahmud and British Ambassador Moazzam Malik.

This year, the mosque received 10 cows and 52 sheeps for sacrifice, he said, adding that the number was smaller than last year.

He pointed out that the animals will be slaughtered, and their meat will be distributed to boarding schools, foundations, and misholas, or small mosques.

Bank Indonesia also took part by contributing a total of 126 sacrificial animals comprising 14 cows and 112 sheep for distribution to mosques and musholas in Jakarta and the satellite cities of Bogor, Tangerang, Depok, and Bekasi.

Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo contributed a cow weighing 1,005 kilograms.

"After seeing Prophet Ibrahims willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail to follow his order, God then ordered him to sacrifice an animal instead. We today also did it to mark the event," Martowardojo noted in his speech at the commemoration event at the central bank.

(T.KR-BSR/H-YH)

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