London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Muslims across the world gathered at mosques on Tuesday to carry out Eid prayers to mark the beginning of the four-day Islamic Eid Al-Adha celebrations.
Eid Al-Adha—the Feast of the Sacrifice—marks the end of the Hajj; pilgrims spend the night at Muzdalifah where they collect stones which they use in a symbolic ritual of stoning the devil in Mina. Following this, Muslims take part in Eid prayers before animals are slaughtered to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Ishmael.
Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz, deputizing for Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, received a number of princes, scholars, ministers, and military commanders at the Royal Palace in Mina on Tuesday to celebrate Eid.
King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman also exchanged cables of congratulation with Kings, Emirs, and heads of Islamic states on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha.
In his annual Eid sermon, Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh urged Muslims across the world to avoid chaos and sectarianism.
“Your nation is a trust with you. You must safeguard its security, stability, and resources,” he told worshipers.
“There can be no salvation or happiness for the Muslim nation without adhering to the teachings of the religion,” he added.
Elsewhere, Eid celebrations were not so placid.
In Afghanistan, a bomb reportedly hidden in a microphone exploded and killed Logar Progince Governor Arsala Jamal as he was making a speech following Eid prayers. One other person was reportedly killed in the attack.
A bombing also occurred outside a Sunni mosque in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, reportedly killing 12 people and wounding at least 24. The explosion occurred just after Eid prayers.
Violence also continued in Syria despite calls for an Eid ceasefire, with government forces conducting air-strikes on several rebel-held areas, opposition forces responded with mortar attacks on Damascus.
State news reported that 23 rebel fighters had been killed in the air-strikes.
In his first public appearance in months, state news broadcast images of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad conducting Eid prayers at Hassiba mosque in Damascus. The embattled Syrian president appeared in good spirits, smiling and waving to supporters.
Egypt enjoyed a low-key Eid after security forces shut down key public streets and squares, including Tahrir and Rabaa Al-Adawiya Squares.
Peaceful protests were reported outside Giza’s Istiqama mosque on Tuesday morning as supporters and opponents of ousted president Mohamed Mursi confronted one another. Muslim Brotherhood supporters chanted slogans referring to the Rabaa Al-Adawiya massacre and former president Mursi, while the rival protest chanted in support of Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
According to Egyptian media reports, Muslim Brotherhood supporters chanted “Abdel-Fattah [El-Sisi] is the slayer;” while opponents of Mursi chanted “We love you, Sisi.” Both protests ultimately fizzled out, with Egyptian security forces implementing tight security measures across the capital.