India is known for its religious and cultural diversity; and each one of it adds its own flavor. A country of festivals there is always a spirit of celebration. Each festival has its own signature style and varies from one region to another. Every festival has a significant story or history behind it with a moral attached to it something which restores our faith in the supreme power and makes us realize about the power of good. The story is also the key reason to all the rituals and customs that are performed for them.
Bakrid, to be rightly called as Eid-ul-Zuha or Eid-al-Adha , is one of the most important Muslim festivals. This festival is observed and celebrated as a Festival of Sacrifice by Muslims all over the world. It falls on the 10th of Dhul-Hajj, the last month of the lunar year.
On this day, all the Muslims gather in the mosque or open ground and offer namaz empty stomach After Namaz, Qurbani an important part of the festival in which an animal is sacrificed, is performed all over the world by those Muslims who possess wealth equal to more than 90 grams of gold. 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.
Like any other festival Bakrid too hold a very interesting story behind the celebration of this festival. It marks the spirit of sacrifice. Let us have a look as to why Bakrid is celebrated.
Story Of The Sacrifice:
As per an article in Huffington Post, more than a thousand years ago, the assets of a man were made up of his goats, camels and cattle. The ultimate sacrifice one would make was to give away his precious assets in gifts. Today, the most loved possession is money, and people are willing to give up a lot of things but the money.
Sacrifice is willingness to give up what is essential for our survival. It is about parents going to sleep without food but feeding their kids; it is clothing their kids while waiting to get their own. In case of extremities, we would rather get the bullet and save our loved ones, we are willing to rescue the child from a freezing lake risking our own life, and even strangers do that. That is sacrifice: the willingness to value life of the loved ones over our own.
This festival is a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim’s great test of obedience to Allah. Once Prophet Ibrahim saw a dream in which Allah ordered him to sacrifice his most precious thing, as a test of obedience. 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, Prophet Ibrahim and his wife decided to sacrifice their only son for the sake of Allah because their son was most precious for both of them. Then he asked his son, Ismail for his consent. Ismail readily agreed to be sacrificed for the sake of Allah. Prophet Ibrahim was all set to sacrifice his son at the gallows. Ibrahim willingly submitted to Allah’s command, wherein Allah, by His Mercy, replaced Ismail at the moment of sacrifice with a lamb. Then there was a prophecy that Allah was only testing Prophet Ibrahim’s faith. He need not sacrifice his son and he could sacrifice a ram or a sheep instead. Ibrahim’s selfless act of obedience is commemorated by the sacrifice of a domestic animal such as a lamb, sheep, cow, or goat, the meat of which is then distributed to relatives, neighbors, and the poor.
Hence, the festival of Bakrid or Eid-al-Adha came to be celebrated. The animal sacrifices made during the festival are mainly to provide food to the poor and to commemorate the noble act of Ibrahim. In parts of the world that preclude Muslims from personally sacrificing an animal, Muslims donate money to charitable organizations, which then sacrifice the animal on their behalf and distribute the meat to the poor.
There are a few guidelines regarding the sacrificed meat in Islam. According to the rules, during the three days of the festival; a goat or a camel or a sheep is slaughtered and one-third portion of its meat is given to the poor, one third to the relatives and the remaining is for self use. This sacrifice can be offered at any time before the afternoon of the third day.
This practice of sacrifice is strictly followed during Haj in Mecca where pilgrims from all over the world flock to perform special rituals.
On the day people wear new clothes, offer prayers, visit relatives and friends and exchange greetings. Prayers and feasts are an integral part of this festival.
This festival reminds us that we are not alone and that Allah is looking after each one of its child. It reminds us that we should rise above our differences and help the people in need. Because it is only when we give away is when we receive more.
Check out this beautiful video from Sabina England, a filmmaker and theater artist on Bakrid, explaining for the deaf audience! Please put on English subtitles.
Sabina is Bihari by origin and a filmmaker, playwright, novelist and stage performance artist. She has been profoundly deaf since she was two years old. She is fluent in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language.
May on this EID
The Plate of your life is filled
With juicy Kababs & Tikkas topped
With Chatni of Happiness and
Covered with Salad of Love.