- THE FESTIVAL OF SACRIFICE
the festival of sacrifice, is one of the most important
festivals for Muslims. After Ramzan, it is the one festival,
which Muslims around the globe celebrate with religious
fervour and gaiety. Bakrid falls on the last month of
the Islamic calendar.
Bakrid, also known as Idd-ul-Zuha, coincides with the
haj pilgrimage at Mecca, where Muslims from all
over the world congregate to perform the annual ritual
of haj. The significance of the festival is the commemoration
of the ordeals of Prophet Abraham, who was put
to a tough test by Allah to prove his faith. He was asked
to sacrifice his son Ismail and without any hesitation
Prophet Ibrahim blindfolded himself and made the offering
on the Mount of Mina near Mecca. When Prophet Abraham
opened his eyes, he was astonished to find a goat lying
upon the altar and his son Ismail standing in front of
him. Ever since, faithfuls of Islam the world over offer
sacrifices on the festival day of Bakrid.
day of the Idd-ul-Zuha starts with the morning Namaz,
where Muslims of all ages offer special prayers at mosques.
Namazis are required to offer prayers on an empty stomach.
This festival also calls upon every Muslim, who can afford,
to sacrifice an animal - a goat, sheep, camel or bull.
After Namaz, "qurbani" (sacrifice) is performed.
Once the sacrifice is done, meat is served to the family
and distributed in the neighborhood. The meat is generally
divided into three portions - one part for the poor, another
for friends and relatives and whatever remains is for
Hyderabad, Bakrid is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm
and religious fervour. Prayers are offered in the mosques
and in iddgahs. Meeralam and Madannapet iddgahs
are some of the famous iddgahs in the twin cities, where
special prayers are offered during the festivals of Ramzan
and Bakrid. Thousands gather near Charminar to
offer idd prayers in Mecca Masjid and the entire
area from Madina circle to Mecca Masjid is cordoned off
during the prayer time. Muslims wear new clothes and apply
itr (perfume) and soorma on the eve of Bakrid.
Temporary markets spring up along the roadsides where
thousands of goats are brought for sale. Chanchalguda,
Charminar, Mehdipatnam and Musheerabad are
some of the hotspots where the goats are sold on the occasion
of Bakrid. The goats are priced anywhere between Rs. 500
to RS 5,000 depending on the age and weight of the animal.
The essence of Bakrid pervades throughout the day with
prayers and sacrifices.
Photographs: KP Devadasan