Muslims around the world continue to celebrate Eid al-Adha as they slaughter cattle amid reduced festivities due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Today marks the second of the four-day feast of sacrifice, which coincides with the last days of Hajj in Saudi Arabia.
Eid al-Adha commemorates the Muslim belief that the prophet Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God, before God replaced his son with a ram to be sacrificed instead.
Many Muslims who can afford it sacrifice cattle as part of the celebrations, as well as camels, goats, sheep or rams.
Muslim worshipers slaughter cattle during Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice, in Lahore
Muslims attend prayers at a mosque in Peshawar, Pakistan. Eid al-Adha is the holiest of the two Muslim holidays celebrated each year and marks the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage to visit Mecca
People struggle to control a bull to be slaughtered for Eid al-Adha in Karachi, Pakistan
Muslims wearing masks prepare to slaughter a cow during an Eid al-Adha festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The meat is distributed to the poor to commemorate Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, but the economic crisis means many cannot afford to buy cattle.
The rule of sacrifice includes that the animal can only be slaughtered after the Eid prayer, and that it must be an adult at the time it is slaughtered.
Water must also be offered to the animal before the time of slaughter, and each animal sacrificed must be in perfect health without any physical defect.
The coronavirus has cast a shadow over this Eid, with fears of another spike in infections prompting authorities to warn people to minimize movement, avoid livestock markets and refrain from public gatherings to attend the slaughter of sacrificial animals.
Eid al-Fitr, marked in May, was followed by a spike in Covid-19 infections with new cases daily.
Man checks head of cow after slaughtering it during Eid al-Adha sacrificial festival in Banda Aceh
Men gather to slaughter camel for Eid al-Adha in Peshawar, Pakistan
Mosques have imposed strict hygiene rules to prevent the virus from spreading during Eid prayers, while families in many countries are unable to come together as they normally would.
Kosovo and the United Arab Emirates have also closed mosques to limit the spread of the virus.
In Lebanon, Muslim worshipers prayed in mosques under tight security, despite a partial lockdown imposed on Thursday that will continue until August 10.
The pandemic has pushed millions of people around the world closer to the brink of poverty, making it harder for many to respect the religious tradition of buying cattle.
In Somalia, the price of meat has increased slightly. Abdishakur Dahir, an official from Mogadishu, said for the first time he would not be able to afford a goat for Eid due to the impact of the virus on work.
“I could barely buy food for my family,” Dahir said. “We are surviving just for the moment. Life is getting more difficult every day.
Butchers load a truck with meat from cattle during Eid Al-Adha in Baku, Azerbaijan
Man helps slaughter sheep for Eid al-Adha, which typically sees meat distributed to poor people, in Kabul, Afghanistan
In the photo above, worshipers prepare to sacrifice a camel in Lahore as part of their celebrations
Muslim worshipers prepare to slaughter a camel during Eid al-Adha or the “Festival of Sacrifice” in Peshawar
Muslim pilgrims keep their distance by walking around the holy Kaaba while making the Hajj pilgrimage to the Great Mosque of Mecca, which coincides with Eid al-Adha
People carry a goat in a rickshaw for the start of Eid al-Adha in Mumbia, India, which is taking place under the unprecedented circumstances of the pandemic that has brought many people closer to poverty
Iranians now buy sheep from cattle market in Tehran to slaughter for Eid al-Adha
A man carries a sacrificial goat which is usually shared to celebrate Eid al-Adha in Denpasar, Indonesia
The hajj pilgrimage has also been significantly affected by the virus. Last year some 2.5 million pilgrims took part, but this year only 10,000 pilgrims already residing in Saudi Arabia were allowed to participate.
Saudi Arabia’s health ministry said there had been no cases of Covid-19 disease among pilgrims this year.
The government has taken many precautions, including testing pilgrims for the virus, monitoring their movements with electronic bracelets, and requiring them to self-quarantine before and after the hajj.
Pilgrims were selected after applying through an online portal, and all had to be between the ages of 20 and 50.
Sheikh Abdullah al-Manea, a member of the Supreme Council of Great Scholars of Saudi Arabia, used the Hajj sermon on Friday to congratulate the kingdom’s rulers on their “wise decision” to limit the number of pilgrims and protect human life .
“We thank the positive role of Muslims around the world who have complied with the country’s regulations to protect them from the spread of this virus, which leads to the protection of Mecca and Medina,” the sheikh said.