Gambian Muslims, both young and old, fill the local mosque in Sinchu and every available space outside to pray during the first day of Tobaski. Eid al-Adha, or known as Tobaski in West Africa, is also called the Feast of Sacrifice. Celebrated throughout the Muslim world is the second of the two Eid celebrations. During Tabaski every family will buy a sheep which will be sacrificed and the meat distributed to family, friends, the poor and the needy.

As the Gambian leader and many communities in the Greater Banjul Area and rural communities observed the Eid al Adha on Sunday, other Gambian communities are observing the day on Monday.

Almost more than half of communities in the rural Gambia are observing the Eid al Adha this Monday.

Conflicting days of observing the Muslim festival have always been a contentious issue in The Gambia for many years.

The former president Yahya Jammeh once deployed security men to prayer grounds, after some communities refused to observed the Eid prayer on the same day as the government sanctioned day.

But almost every Gambian at home and abroad condemned Jammeh’s heavy-handed action.

Meanwhile, the same conflicting observation of Eid al Adha is also trending in neighbouring Senegal, as only half of its population were reported to have observed the Eid al Adha on Sunday.

The Sengalese president Macky Sall is observing the Eid today.

Eid al Adha or feast of sacrifice is a Muslim festival that honours the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command. But, before Abraham could sacrifice his son, God provided a lamb to sacrifice instead. In commemoration of this intervention, an animal is sacrificed ritually and divided into three parts. One share is given to the poor and needy, another is kept for home, and the third is given to relatives.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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