Bakrid or Eid ul Adha – A festival symbolizing selfless sacrifice


Team Udayavani, Jun 17, 2024, 9:36 AM IST

The purpose of festivals is to revive fading moral values in life and to inspire and infuse new energy into living. Festivals are not merely moments of feasting and enjoyment; they are opportunities to delve into the religious and philosophical depths embedded within them.

Bakrid, also known as Eid ul Adha, is one such festival that falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the final month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

Bakrid is a festival commemorated in memory of the extraordinary sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim as per divine command. Only when life is filled with sacrifice in its true sense can prosperity and peace be achieved.

The Story of Sacrifice

The roots of Bakrid are found in the story of Prophet Ibrahim, (known in the Bible as Abraham).

According to Islamic tradition, Ibrahim was commanded by God, in a dream, to sacrifice his beloved son, Ismail (Ishmael).

Despite his deep love for his son, Ibrahim chose to follow God’s command. However, just as he was about to sacrifice Ismail, God intervened and presented a ram to sacrifice instead.

This act of faith and obedience is remembered by Muslims through the ritual of animal sacrifice.

The Rituals of Bakrid

Eid ul Adha begins with a special prayer known as Salat al-Eid. This prayer is usually performed in large congregations in open areas, such as fields, community centers, or mosques. The sermon following the prayer emphasizes the significance of sacrifice, obedience to God, and helping those in need.

The central ritual of Bakrid is the Qurbani, or sacrifice. Muslims who can afford to do so are required to sacrifice a goat, sheep, or camel.

The meat from the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts: one-third is given to the poor and needy, another third is shared with relatives and friends, and the remaining third is retained by the family. This act symbolizes the spirit of giving, community, and equality.

Spiritual Significance

Bakrid is a time for reflection and deep spiritual contemplation for Muslims. It reminds them of the importance of faith, submission to God’s will, and the virtues of charity and brotherhood.

The festival reinforces the values of empathy and compassion, urging believers to extend a helping hand to those less fortunate.

Global Observance

Eid ul Adha is celebrated with great fervor and joy across the Muslim world. From Saudi Arabia to India, and beyond, the rituals and customs of Bakrid bring together millions of Muslims in a unified expression of their faith.

In addition to the religious observances, the festival is marked by feasting, social gatherings, and the exchange of gifts.

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