Hyderabad, Sep 25 (IANS) Eid was celebrated with religious fervour and gaiety across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Friday.
The day began with Muslims, attired in their best, offering Eid prayers at Eidgahs or open grounds and mosques in towns and villages across the two Telugu states.
Tens of thousands offered prayers in Hyderabad and nine other districts of Telangana and all 13 districts of neighboring Andhra Pradesh.
After the prayers, Muslims sacrificed goats or other cattle commemorating the great sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim.
Imams and khateebs (who deliver sermons) exhorted Muslims to imbibe the spirit of sacrifice and follow Prophet Ibrahim, who offered to sacrifice his son, Prophet Ismail to please Allah. The Almighty replaced Ismail with a sheep just as Ibrahim was about to sacrifice him.
The priests also offered special ‘dua’ (supplication) for over 700 Haj pilgrims who died in the stampede in holy city of Mina in Saudi Arabia on Thursday.
The biggest congregation in Hyderabad was held at the historic Mir Alam Eidgah where thousands people offered prayers.
The historic Mecca Masjid, Madannapet Eidgah, Hockey Ground Masab Tank and Military Ground Mehdipatnam witnessed other big congregations. Prayers were also held in hundreds of mosques in the city.
During their speeches before the prayers, the imams also prayed for peace and prosperity in the country.
Also known as Bakrid or Eid-e-Qurban, it is the second major festival of Muslims.
The meat of the sacrificed animal is distributed equally in three parts. The person making the sacrifice keeps one part for his family while the other two are distributed among relatives and the poor.
The streets of the Muslim-majority old city of Hyderabad wore a festive look while butchers, coming from other districts, did brisk business.
The sacrifice can be made during the three-day celebrations, with Friday being the first day.
Islamic seminaries and socio-religious organisations were busy receiving the animals’ skins, the proceeds of which are used for their activities.
Muslims families prepare special dishes of meat to celebrate the Eid. The visitors are also treated with sweets.
Eid was also celebrated in Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar, Adilabad, Warangal and other towns of Telangana.
In Andhra Pradesh, huge Eid congregations were seen in Vijayawada, Guntur, Kurnool, Kadapa, Anantapur and other towns of the state.
Governor of both states, E.S.L. Narasimhan, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and his Andhra Pradesh counterpart N. Chandrababu Naidu greeted Muslims on the occasion of Eid.
Ministers and top officials in the two states visited Eidgahs to greet Muslims.
In Hyderabad, Police Commissioner Mahender Reddy visited the old city and greeted Muslims. With the Eid coinciding with the ongoing Ganesh festivities, police made tight security arrangements in the old city and other communally sensitive areas.