As Muslims prepare to welcome a somber `Eid Al-Adha, in line also with a minimized hajj, due to COVID-19, a local food bank in Toledo, Ohio, is busy collecting donations to share festivities with the less fortunate.
Every year, the Islamic Food Bank of Toledo accept monetary donations for local distribution of lamb meat in Udhiyah or Qurbani to Muslim and non-Muslim families in need.
The Udhiyah ritual commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail to Allah as an act of obedience and submission.
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“We’re seeing a tremendous response,” M. Razi Rafeeq, chairman of the Islamic Food Bank of Toledo, told Toledo Blade.
Coming in the middle of a global pandemic, `Eid Al-Adha celebrations have been pushed online or outdoors in different countries.
Despite the odds, the Islamic Food Bank plans to distribute double the amount of meat they share every year.
“Four thousand pounds of meat will go a long way,” he said. “We’ll be able to help 200 families.”
Dr. Rafeeq said they anticipate facilitating the donation of 60 lambs this year, an increase from the 25 to 30 that have been typical of previous year’s programs. In addition to several pounds of meat, each recipient through the food bank receives a box of pantry staples.
“We feel like this program is a great way for us Muslims to fulfill not only our Islamic Eid al-Adha obligations,” he said, “but also meet a need in the local community.”
`Eid Al-Adha, or “Feast of Sacrifice”, marks the end of the Hajj season and is one of the two most important Islamic celebrations, together with Eid Al-Fitr.
A financially-able Muslim sacrifices a single sheep or goat or shares with six others in sacrificing a camel or cow as an act of worship during the four-day `Eid Al-Adha celebrations.
It is permissible that someone in another country could perform the sacrifice on one’s behalf.