Nigeria declares a 2-day public holiday, from Monday 11 July, to commemorate the Muslim celebration of Eid al-Kabir.

Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola announced the dates yesterday 8 July 2022 in a statement.

The festival commemorates the sacrifice that Prophet Ibrahim made from his strong faith in God. Muslims therefore use the feast of eid el Kabir to reflect on the initial sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim.

Christians recognize the festival from Abraham’s sacrifice of a ram in place of his son when God tested his faith.

In most jurisdictions, the eid lasts for around three days. This year the celebrations begins in Nigeria tomorrow, Sunday July 10 to spill over into the holidays.

Interior Minister Aregbesola urged Muslims to imbibe Prophet Muhammad’s sense of “love, peace, kindness, and sacrifice” during this period. He counseled them to use the period to “pray for peace, unity, prosperity and stability,” given the insecurity in the nation.

He assured that President Muhammadu Buhari still commits to secure lives and property, empower citizens, provide social investments, and secure schools.

Other political leaders across the nation also sent goodwill messages, praying for peace in the country.

What is eid el Kabir?

Muslims worldwide celebrate Eid el Kabir, also known as Big Sallah in Nigeria. It commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s sacrifice of a ram in place of his son when God tested his faith. Christians and Jews also recognize the spiritual significance of the story of Abraham and his son in their holy books. Thus, a similar story appears in the Muslim Koran, Christian Bible, and Jewish Tanakh.

The Muslim world variously identify Eid el Kabir as Eid al-Adha, Bakrid, Bakra Eid, and Eid ul-Zuha. They celebrate the feast on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah, which is the 12th month of the Islamic or lunar calendar. Similarly, Jews read the story (called Akedah or Binding of Isaac) on the second day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. It appears in the Christian Bible in Genesis 22: 1-19. This is however where the similarity ends.

In the story, God orders Abraham to sacrifice his son on Mount Moriah. Abraham agrees, but God stops him at the last minute through an angel sent to show him a ram for use as alternative sacrifice. Muslims consider Ishmael, Abraham’s first son born to the maidservant Hagar, as the object of intended sacrifice. Christian and Jewish scriptures however identify Isaac, the second son of Abraham by his wife Sarah, as the intended for sacrifice.

Beyond this divergence of view, Muslims, Christians, and Jews agree that this singular act is the height of patience and submission when both father and son expressed readiness to suffer self-sacrifice in obedience to God’s command. It subsequently became a big Muslim rite when those who can afford it offer animal sacrifices to commemorate the day.

Nigeria declares 2-day holiday for eid el Kabir