The significance of Bakri Eid
By Nishal Lama | Published: November 27 2009
One of the most important festivals in Muslim Community Bakri Eid, or Id-ul-Adha in Arabic – is round the corner, and also coincides with Hajj, one of the largest Pilgrimages by a single ethnic group.
Bakriid or Id-ul-Zuha is basically a day of sacrifice for the Muslims, when animals are offered in the name of God
With just one more day for the festival, Bangalore seems to have all geared up for the upcoming event, and there seems to be just no stone unturned to celebrate the festival in all its grandeur. Bakrid, which in Islam marks the day when people from the community sacrifice an animal (goat or sheep; Bakra in Hindi, a full-grown camel, or a cow), and then distribute the meat in equal parts of 1/3rds between family friends, the poor and self. This, however, holds a strong meaning in the Muslim community as it’s a day that commemorates the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim who surrendered to the will of Allah and agreed to behead his son Ismail, at the almighty’s behest. But after blind folding himself, as he could not watch beheading his son, he saw that he had only only sacrificed a ram instead.
In Bangalore, animals are brought from far and wide, even from states like Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan
Bangalore, too, has few places where hundreds of these animals are brought in from different places from within the state, and across the country, particularly for this reason. Mir Obaidulla Road, at Shivaji Nagar is one of the spots where hundreds of these animals can be found, which are been brought particularly for this reason. “The whole idea of celebrating Bakrid is to follow the ritual that has been on for years’ now. This is the time when every Muslim (at least the ones who can) will sacrifice a ‘Bakra’ (Goat) to redeem his sins. We, in Muslim community, believe that the sacrifice of an animal during the festival signifies the sacrifice of the follower himself.”
The ritual, henceforth, is suppose to have started, which marks its existence till date. Pasha B, says “Significance of Bakrid aka Id-Ul-Zuha lies in the offering of an animal. It’s a ritual that has been passed on generation after generation.” “On this date,” he added “devout Muslim offer special prayers before the sacrifice. This is basically done to pay homage to Prophet Ibrahim’s deeds that he had done years ago. On the day of Bakrid, once the morning-prayer (‘namaz’) gets over, the animal can be sacrificed anytime during the first three days of Bakrid.”
In Bangalore, the celebration is huge, and with every passing year, it has seemed to get even bigger. Today, these animals are brought from places far and wide, and just for this cause. Adil Pasha, a vendor, corroborates: “You can see a lot of these animals brought from even places like Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. Camels are brought from Rajasthan.” Adding more to it, Pasha said, “Doomba’s are the most popular ones amongst the lot. They are sheep’s without tails, and they are mainly brought from Uttar Pradesh. They are healthy too, which is why people like to buy them.”
Being one of the most celebrated festivals amongst the Muslims, Bakriid or Id-ul-Zuha is basically a day of sacrifice for the Muslims. Priced anywhere between Rs.4000/- to Rs. 1,00,00/- people don’t mind being a bit extravagant to celebrate the festival. “The healthier the better it is,” said Ajaz Ahmed Quraishi, who is the President of the Jamiatul Quriesh, Bangalore. He added: “People who come here to buy these animals mainly look for the bigger and the healthy ones.” About the festival, he explains: “It is basically a day for Qurbani (Sacrifice) in Muslim Community. If one goes by the belief, it’s the duty of every Muslim to do an animal sacrifice, but again, there are the rich and the poor ones. So, the poor (if he is not able to do sacrifice of a whole animal) can share it with seven others to sacrifice an animal. So, seven people can contribute one animal.” He adds: “Having said this, I don’t mean to say that it’s mandatory for every Muslim to do it. One who can should do it, whilst others who can’t simply can go to a mosque and do his prayers.”
Apart from the sacrifice part, the festival also has some other reasons for people for some merriment, especially the vendors. Quraishi says, “It’s a great time for the vendors who come to sell their animals. We get vendors who come here from all across the State, even from distant districts. They come here with the sole purpose to sell their animals. In fact, a lot of them, I guess, wait only for this festival when they get the chance to sell the animals they would have brought up all throughout the year. It’s a livelihood for them.”
In Bangalore, some of the places that sell these animals for sacrifice are Gurudhalli, Tilak Nagar (Jayanagar 4th Block), Johnson Market, Banshankari. The festival coincides with the anniversary of the day when 'Quran' was declared complete. It is from when many Muslims undertake Haj to Mecca and people offer prayers in mosques. On the day of Id, the pilgrims reach the grounds of Mina where they sacrifice an animal each. It was here that Ibrahim is believed to have sacrificed his son.
The Bakri Eid coincides with Hajj(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hajj), which is a pilgrimage that all Muslims who are physically and financially able to, should perform at least one in their lifetime. When the pilgrims are in Mecca, they purchase sacrifice vouchers, which allows them to partake in the sacrifice, this meat is then packed and distributed to the needy across the globe.