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Festivals

Id-ul-Zuha

Id-ul-Zuha (Bakr-Id), is a festival of great rejoice, special prayers and exchange of greetings and gifts mark this festival of Muslims. Id-ul-zuha, the festival of sacrifice is celebrated with traditional fervor and gaiety in India and the world. It is called Id-ul-Adha in Arabic and Bakr-Id in the Indian subcontinent, because of the tradition of sacrificing a goat or 'bakr' in Urdu. The word 'id' derived from the Arabic 'iwd' means 'festival' and zuha comes from 'uzhaiyya' which translates to 'sacrifice'.

According to Islamic belief, to test Ibrahim, Allah commanded him to sacrifice his son Ismail. He agreed to do it but found his paternal feelings hard to suppress. So he blindfolded 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. Joyous festivities and somber rituals mark this event. Every Muslim owning property worth 400 grams of gold or more is expected to sacrifice a goat, sheep or any other four-legged animal during one of the three days of the festival. This symbolises devotion to Allah and his desires. The sacrificial meat is then distributed and partaken of after the Id prayers.

The festival also marks the completion of Haj (pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia).