Today is the festival of Bakrid. The festival is also known as Eid-ul-Zuha or Eid-al-Adha which means the Eid (festival) of sacrifice. The festival is celebrated with great joy and fervor at Hyderabad as of course all over the world. However this year, yesterday’s stampede tragedy in Mina, Saudi Arabia, which has left 719 Hajj pilgrims dead and 863 injured would dampen the festive mood.
Before I write in detail about the festival of Bakrid, for those who do not know about it, I must say that I am deeply saddened by this huge stampede tragedy that has affected so many people, their families and friends from different parts of the world. Through this blog post, I wish to express my deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved family members of the unfortunate victims and the injured people.
Despite this mammoth tragedy, normal life has to continue and the important festival of Bakrid has to be celebrated. So, Happy Bakrid, and here is information about the festival:
Bakrid is celebrated by the Muslim community on the 10th day of the Muslim month of Zul-Hijja. On this auspicious day, Muslims are supposed to sacrifice a goat and offer prayers at the mosque. There is an interesting story behind the celebration of this festival. It marks the spirit of sacrifice. This festival is in commemoration of Hazrat Ibrahim's great test of obedience to Allah. Once Hazrat Ibrahim saw a dream in which Allah ordered him to sacrifice his most precious thing. He kept seeing the dream for many days. Then he described the dream to his wife that Allah wants him to sacrifice his most precious thing. After much discussion, Hazrat Ibrahim and his wife decided to sacrifice their only son, Ismail for the sake of Allah because their son was most precious for both of them. Then he asked his son for his consent. Ismail readily agreed to be sacrificed for the sake of Allah. Hazrat Ibrahim was all set to sacrifice his son at the gallows. As he put the sword at his son's throat, Hazrat Ismail vanished and he was replaced by a sheep. Then there was a prophecy that Allah was only testing Hazrat Ibrahim's faith. He need not sacrifice his son and he could sacrifice a ram or a sheep instead. Hence, the festival of Bakrid or Eid-al-Adha came to be celebrated. There are a few guidelines regarding the sacrificed meat in Islam. According to the rules, the sacrificed meat is to be divided into three parts. The larger part of the meat is to be shared with all the poor and needy who cannot afford to have meat or a meal of the day. The two smaller parts are to be shared with friends, relatives and family. Eid-ul-Zuha is a time of celebration. People offer prayers at the mosque. The prayers can only be offered when the sun has completely risen. Women are also encouraged to attend the prayers however it is not compulsory. The distribution of the sacrificed meat among the poor is the most important part of the festival. This distribution is done to make sure that no impoverished person is left without an opportunity to partake the meat. Thus, Muslims celebrate Bakrid or Eid-al-Adha to mark the spirit of sacrifice. It is a time of great joy and lavish feasts and celebration of unity and brotherhood.