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Sunday, December 11, 2016
Caritas distributes Muslim prayer kits for Eid Adha festival
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 On Friday, Muslims celebrated the festival of Eid, remembering the story of the prophet Ibrahim and his son Ishmael. It is a day of family celebration and prayer which the Caritas team, of which CAFOD is a member, marked by distributing 'religious kits' in Aceh. The kits contain a prayer mat used by Muslims as part of the requirement of Islam to pray five times a day in a clean area free from dust and insects, a sarong which is traditionally worn by men to attend the mosque and a 'mukena; or female Moslem outfit that cover their heads and bodies when they pray. The 2500 kits were distributed in the Meulaboh area of Aceh to people living in camps. The kits arrived in time for people to use their contents for the Eid festival. The Caritas team leader Pat Johns said: "We talked to our local staff and the community leaders in the area to ask them what they needed. Many people in Meulaboh and the surrounding area lost everything and the loss of items that are important for their Muslim faith was particularly distressing. "As a faith based organisation, we recognise the importance of faith to many people, so as a mark of respect for the festival of Eid, Caritas decided to distribute what we are calling 'religious kits'." Caritas staff in Banda Aceh marked the occasion in a very different way by donating a bull and three goats to the local mosque in Geuceu Kompleks village which just opposite the Caritas base. Part of the Muslim tradition of Eid is to eat meat and mosques distribute meat donated by wealthy members of the community to the poor people of the area. In the story of Ibrahim and Ishmael, which is shared by Islam and the Old Testament, God asked the prophet to prove his faith by sacrificing his son. Torn between his love of God and his love for his son, Ishmael agreed to do God 's will but just as he was about to sacrifice Ishmael God made a goat appear. He then told Ibrahim that he had proved his faith and so could sacrifice the goat. Source: CAFOD
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