Foremost, I wish the Muslim community in Sri Lanka, my compatriots at home and abroad, as well as anyone celebrating—a blessed, joyful, healthy, and peaceful Eid-al-Adha.
It is unfortunate that this year the global COVID-19 pandemic has prevented millions of Muslims from performing the Fifth Pillar of Islam: Hajj. Eid-al-Adha or the “feast of the sacrifice,” which follows the end of Hajj, essentially symbolizes an ultimate deed of Greater Jihad in submission to the will of God. In the global context, this means a call on the whole humankind to set aside our differences and to come together in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected millions around the world, including many Muslims that couldn’t live to celebrate this Eid-al-Adha.
In the Afghan context, the international Ulema have repeatedly called on the Taliban to heed the will of the Almighty for an end to over four decades of imposed conflicts and bloodshed in Afghanistan. This Eid-al-Adha, it is the desire and demand of every Afghan to see the three-day ceasefire between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban indefinitely extended—allowing for the immediate start of peace and reconciliation talks and concrete confidence-building between both sides towards achieving a sustainable political settlement. Indeed, such an outcome must allow Afghans to build further on their hard-earned gains of the past 19 years.
Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari