Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Today is the festival of Bakra Eid celebrated in the muslim culture. In this festival families purchase and slaughter goats. It is a day to thank God for good fortune and to share it with less fortunate people.
According to the custom, meat has to be divided into three equal parts among the family, friends and poor neighbors. Delicious food, desserts and beverages are cooked and served on this festival to people who visit any Muslims house. Being a vegetarian, and not too keen on Indian sweets, I try to miss this event as all my Muslim friends homes feels inclined to treat me as a combination guest and sacrifice. A sort of “foie gras” hospitality you could say.
In the market here there are plenty of goats for sale for bakra eid. To help sell the goats the men owning the goats have named them after Bollywood stars. Sharuk Khan and Salman Khan are favorite names for the goats. It would be the equivalent of naming your sacrifice Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise. Maybe this is something we may want to introduce in Hollywood?
For those of you more interested, read on………….
Legend has it that Hazrat Ibrahim (Abraham) was asked by the Almighty Allah to sacrifice his son Ismail on Mount Mina near Mecca. That was the moment when Ibrahim blindfolded himself for carrying out the pronouncement of the God so that he wouldn't be able to see his son being killed by him. When he took off the blindfold, a lamb lay slaughtered on the altar and his son stood there unharmed. That was the message clear enough to make him understand that the God was testing his ability to sacrifice his will. This spirit of sacrifice is what truly underlines the spirit of Bakr-Id. Incidentally, the day also coincides with the day when the holy Quran was declared complete.
Festivities mark the first day, when people wear new clothes, offer prayers at the mosque, and greet friends and relatives. Special prayers are offered on all three days. It is said that the celebrations are carried on over three days to ensure that the entire Muslim community partakes in the noble of act of giving and sharing. Bakr-Id is celebrated all over India with much fervor, as it is in the rest of Islamic world. The name Bakr-Id, however, is most popular in India. In Arabic, the feast is usually referred to as Id-ul-Azha or Id-ul-Zuha.
Posted by Michael at 1:21 AM
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