This Muslim festival of sacrifice, Id-ul-Zuha
(Arabic) or Bakrid in India is celebrated all over the country.
It falls on the 10th of Dhul-Hagg, the last month of the lunar year.
On this day Muslims sacrifice a goat or Bakr (Urdu) to commemorate
the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim, who willingly agreed to kill his
son at the behest of God.
According to Islamic belief, to test Ibrahim's
faith, Allah commanded him to sacrifice his son Ismail. He agreed
to do it but found his paternal feelings hard to suppress. So he
blind - folded himself before putting Ismail on the altar at the
mount of Mina near Mecca. When he removed his bandage after performing
the act, he saw his son standing in front of him, alive. On the
altar lay a slaughtered lamb. This festival coincides with the Haj
pilgrimage in Mecca.
In Kerala as in other parts of the world,
this day dawns with the resounding of Thakbir (Allahu Akbar), the
declaration that God is great. Every Muslim house wakes up with
the spirit of sacrifice and festivity. Men, women and children,
dress themselves in their best attire and reciting the Thakbir,
proceed to the Id-Gah which is the wide open space set apart for
The whole atmosphere is filled with the
resonance of "Allahu-Akbar". The Assembly then prepares
for the congregational prayer led by the Imam. After the ceremonial
Id prayer, the leader addresses the devotees, exhorting them to
be conscious of their duties to God and follow the example of Abraham.
With the completion of the prayer and the
sermon, the gathering exchange greetings and as an expression of
affectionate brotherhood, hug each other.The festivity continues
at homes with celebratory feasts and social visits.
Muslim women in Kerala pay visits to the
neighboring homes and take part in singing and dancing. In the evenings,
special meetings are held in which members of non-Islamic communities
participate. Such meetings are perfect examples of the spirit of
tolerance and mutual friendship that exist between communities in