Bakri-Id, the festival of sacrifice is also called as Id-ul-Azha. This is one of the most celebrated festivals in the Muslim community. Bakri-Id is celebrated for three days i.e. on 10th, 11th and 12th day of Islamic month Dhu’l Hijja. This usually comes after 70 days after the end of Ramadan. This festival is celebrated in all parts of India where Muslims reside.
Bakri-Id comes from the word “Bakri” meaning goat and Id meaning festival. On this day, to show their faith in Allah Muslims sacrifice goat, sheep or any four legged animal. The meat obtained will be divided into three parts. One third of it is retained by the family and one third is given to relatives or friends and the remaining part is given to the poor people. Sacrifice of a four legged animal is followed by prayers at mosque. On this day Muslims wear new clothes and wish their friends and family members.
It is believed that this festival of sacrifice started with a dream of Prophet Ibrahim in which Allah directed him to sacrifice his beloved son Ismail. This is a test to Ibrahim on his faith in Allah and his son’s faith in his father. He tied a cloth around his eyes in order to overcome the paternal feelings while fulfilling the Allah’s wish. He put Ismail on the altar of mina near Mecca and carried out with sacrifice. But, when he opened his eyes he was surprised to see that his son is safe and in the place of his son a dead ram was laying. And this made Muslims to practice sacrificing a four legged animal a sheep or a goat on this day. And thus this festival is dedicated to Prophet Ibrahim.
This day coincides with the anniversary of the day when Quran was completed. And most Muslims undertake pilgrimage to Haj at this time. People who have gone to haj start this festival with their Eid-prayers and later they visit the mina grounds where prophet Ibrahim sacrificed his son to fulfill Allah’s wish. The male pilgrims shave their heads there. All the pilgrims collect 70 pebbles called kakras to throw at the three stones which are believed as “shaitan” which dissuade Prophet Ibrahim thrice from making the sacrifice.
This festival is celebrated in all parts of India where a sizable Muslim population is found. One can watch the grand celebrations especially in Old Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
Old Delhi: This festival is celebrated with great pomp and show in the capital city of India. People gather at Jama Masjid in old Delhi to offer prayers. They embrace and greet each other after the prayers.
Mumbai: A huge crowd is found offering prayers at Deonar Abattoir in Mumbai on this day. An animal market is set up in Mumbai where vendors set up stalls for three days. People organize family meals and offer sweets to relatives and friends.
Hyderabad: This festival is mostly celebrated in older parts of Hyderabad. Muslims celebrate this festival with lot of fervor. They offer prayers at Makkah Masjid, one of the oldest mosques and sacrifice a goat or sheep and exchange greetings with relatives and friends.