PESHAWAR, October 8: Eidul Azha was celebrated on three different days in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa because of controversy over moon-sighting.

Eidul Azha, celebrated by Muslims each year, honours the willingness of Hazrat Ibrahim (Abraham) [peace be upon him] to sacrifice his son Ismail (peace be upon him) as an act of submission to God’s command. However, the Almighty God then intervened to provide Abraham with a lamb to sacrifice instead.

On Eidul Azha, Muslims sacrifice halal four-legged animals, as per their affordability, such as camel, goat, sheep or cow. The meat is divided into three equal parts. They can keep the first portion for themselves, but the second must be distributed among relatives, neighbours and friends while the third has to be allocated for the underprivileged in the community.

The sacrifice or qurbani (animals’ slaughter) is performed after Eid prayers, for which all mosques and Islamic centres make special arrangements.

Like previous years, the province witnessed differences with regards to the festival this time as well.

Eid was celebrated in some areas of the province, mostly by Afghan refugees and FATA folks, on the call of Saudi Arabian kingdom on 4 October.

In Peshawar city, its suburban areas and several districts of the province, most people celebrated Eid on 5 October on the call of Maulana Popalzai, who heads unofficial moon-sighting committee based in Peshawar.

However, the festival was celebrated in the cantonment areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other areas of Pakistan and a day later, Monday, as per the announcement of the federal government of Pakistan.

Mufti Popalzai had announced on September 24 that Eidul Azha would fall on October 5. His verdict on moon-sighting is usually accepted by people in various parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The biggest Eid congregation in Peshawar was held at the Masjid Mahabat Khan in the city on 5 October.

Chief Minister Pervez Khattak celebrated Eid in his native town Nowshera on 5 October, while Governor Mahatab Ahmad Khan celebrated the religious festivity on 6 October.

Most of people in Mardan, Charsadda, Nowshera, Swabi, Lakki Marwat, Bannu, Tank and Hangu also celebrated the festivity on the 5th. However, in Chitral, Upper Dir, Buner, Swat, Shangla districts as well as Hazara division, Eid was celebrated on 6 October.

The Afghan refugees living in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and people in most parts of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) celebrated Eidul Azha on 4 October. The Afghans living in Pakistan for decades celebrate both the Eids as per the decision of Saudi Arabian authorities.

Afghan refugees inhabiting Shamshatoo, Azakhel, Khurasan and Zandi camps and those living in Charsadda, Swabi, Haripur and the tribal areas also offered Eid prayers and slaughtered sacrificial animals.

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