Bakr Id/Eid ul-Adha in India
Bakr Id, also known as Eid ul-Adha, is a significant Islamic festival celebrated in India and across the world. In India, this festival is known by various names, such as Bakrid, Id-ul-Zuha, or Eid al-Adha, depending on the region and local language. The festival commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God's command. However, God provided a lamb to be sacrificed instead, symbolizing the importance of devotion and submission to God.
Eid ul-Adha is celebrated annually on the 10th day of the Islamic lunar month, Dhu al-Hijjah, which usually falls 70 days after the end of the holy month of Ramadan. As the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle, the date of Eid ul-Adha varies each year according to the sighting of the moon.
Although the origins of Bakr Id are rooted in Islamic tradition, the festival has been celebrated in India since the arrival of Islam in the country. The Delhi Sultanate (1206-1526) and the Mughal Empire (1526-1858) played significant roles in popularizing the festival, as the Muslim rulers observed and promoted Islamic festivals, including Eid ul-Adha. Over the centuries, the celebration of Bakr Id has become an integral part of the Indian cultural mosaic.
National customs for Bakr Id in India
Eid ul-Adha is a public holiday in India, and the celebrations are marked by various customs and rituals. The festival begins with a special prayer called the "Eid Prayer," which is performed in mosques and prayer grounds across the country. The prayer is followed by a sermon, in which the imam emphasizes the importance of sacrifice and charity.
One of the key aspects of Bakr Id is the act of "Qurbani" or the ritualistic animal sacrifice, which commemorates Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son. Muslims who can afford it are required to sacrifice an animal, such as a goat, sheep, or cow, and distribute the meat among family, friends, and the less fortunate.
Another important custom during Bakr Id is the act of charity, known as "Zakat al-Fitr," which involves giving alms to the poor and needy. The festival is also marked by feasting, visiting friends and family, and exchanging gifts.
Local customs for Bakr Id in India
India is a diverse country with various regional customs associated with Bakr Id. In northern India, especially in cities like Delhi and Lucknow, the festival is celebrated with great fervor, and many mosques and monuments are illuminated with lights. Special dishes, such as biryani, kebabs, and korma, are prepared and shared among family and friends.
In southern India, the festival is known as "Perunnal" in the local Malayalam language, and the celebrations are marked by prayers, feasting, and the distribution of meat among the community. In the western state of Maharashtra, the festival is known as "Bakri Idd," and it is common for people to prepare and distribute sweets, such as sheer kurma and seviyan, among their neighbors and friends.
Bakr Id or Eid ul-Adha is an important Islamic festival celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion in India. The festival holds a special place in the hearts of Indian Muslims, as it showcases the spirit of sacrifice, charity, and unity. The various regional customs and traditions associated with Bakr Id add to the rich cultural tapestry of India and make the celebrations even more vibrant and unique.