The Eid-ul-Adha, also known as the Hajjira, is one of the five pillars of Islam – the others are prayers (salat), alms (zakat), fasting (sawm), and faith (shahada).
Ramaphosa said the Muslim community was celebrating Eid this year under difficult conditions due to the coronavirus pandemic, but “the community continued to perform admirable acts of charity towards their co-religionists and non-Muslims alike.”
“The message of Eid-ul-Adha of resilience and remaining steadfast in the face of great tribulations resonates deeply with us all in these difficult times,” Ramaphosa said.
He added: “As our Muslim brothers and sisters distribute food to the needy during Eid, we remain grateful for the community’s charitable acts since the onset of the pandemic -- and in the aftermath of the unrest in parts our country in recent weeks,” he said.
During Eid al-Adha, Muslims sacrifice an animal that is divided into three to be shared equally among family, friends and the needy.
The president noted that the story of Abraham being called upon to sacrifice his son was familiar to many and common to a number of faiths, and a reminder that South Africans had far more in common than differences.
“The past few weeks have sorely tested our very nationhood, with racial tensions flaring up in some communities,” he said.
“At such times, let us hold fast to the common values we share and to our shared quest to build a country rooted in peace, social harmony and non-racialism. Eid Mubarak!” the president said.