New Delhi, Sep 25 (IANS) People celebrated Eid-ul-Azha with joy and fervour here on Friday, with thousands of Muslims thronging mosques early in the day to offer Eid prayers.
Though most of the elderly men preferred praying at Old Delhi’s Jama Masjid, the country’s biggest mosque, others preferred praying at mosques located near their homes.
“To mark this occasion every year, I get up before sunrise and get ready in my new dress. Today also I went to Jama Masjid and offered my Fajr (prayers). As I was away from my home, I visited some of my friends and shared delicacies especially prepared for the occasion,” Asif Ali Mazumder, a Tilak Nagar resident working with a global NGO, told IANS.
According to Jama Masjid authorities, over 1.5 lakh devotees offered prayers at the medieval mosque.
Muslims across the city greeted each other and distributed the meat of sacrificed animals among friends, relatives and the poor. Animals are sacrificed to commemorate the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim.
Special delicacies like biryani, korma and sewaiyan (pudding made with semolina) were also prepared at homes.
East Delhi-based Farah Khatoon, a research scholar, told IANS: ” Eid-ul-Azha is all about sharing and sacrifice and the day starts with the same feeling. The men of the family go for their namaaz in the nearest Masjid. The ladies take over the kitchen after performing prayers at home.”
“I usually prepare breakfast and lunch. So the menu includes sewai, puri or parantha served with the sacrificed animals meat. As the preparations for lunch are done, my dad divides the meat to be distributed in the neighbourhood, among relatives and also the less fortunate ones,” she said.
Extending greetings to the people of the entire country, Fatehpuri mosque’s Shahi Imam Mufti Mohammed Mukarram Ahmed, told IANS: “Eid is an occasion of happiness and I wish it brings prosperity to the life of every individual…The festival is meant for spreading peace and love all around. So people must show affection and love for others,” he said.
Ahmed also expressed grief over the death of over 700 Haj pilgrims, including 14 Indians, in Thursday’s stampede near Makkah in Saudi Arabia