A public foundation in Chechnya has handed out 6,000 sheep to poor families in the run-up to the Eid al-Adha holiday, which begins on Thursday and continues through the weekend.
“Poor and needy people of the republic are now able to perform the holy ritual of sacrifice during the forthcoming holiday. On an instruction from [Chechen President] Ramzan Kadyrov the fund allocated money to buy 6,000 sacrificial sheep,” a spokesman for the republic’s council of muftis said.
The sheep were provided by the Akhmat Kadyrov Public Fund, named for the president's father and predecessor.
“Today those animals were distributed to the country’s poorest families… The head of the republic stressed that not a single Muslim should be deprived of an opportunity to duly celebrate the holiday,” he said.
Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, comes the day after pilgrims making the Hajj to Mecca in Saudi Arabia descend from Mount Arafat. It commemorates the Prophet Ibrahim's readiness to sacrifice his first born son Ishmael.
Nowadays, the holiday celebrates commitment, obedience and self-sacrifice in the name of Allah. As a symbol of Ibrahim's sacrifice, all Muslims who can afford it must slaughter a sheep or cow and distribute its meat equally among members of their family, friends and the poor.