Happy Eid-ul-Adha! Muslim Community Gearing Up for a Sombre ‘BAKRID’ amidst Pandemic

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Happy Eid-ul-Adha! Muslim Community Gearing Up for a Sombre ‘BAKRID’ amidst Pandemic

Mangaluru: Once again, Covid-19 shadow looms over Eid-ul-Adha aka BAKRID Celebrations, where mass congregational prayers are banned, and only 50 devotees are allowed for mass prayers at the Jama Masjid on the eve of Bakrid 2021. The decision was taken given the prevailing Covid-19 situation.

The government and District Administration has issued strict orders that animal sacrifice should not be carried out in public places and must be done only at designated spots for the ritual. On Bakrid day, Devotees wear new clothes, and offer Eid-Al-Adha prayers at the mosque and greet each other and exchange Bakrid wishes. All throughout the year, people wait for Bakrid to arrive so that they can gorge on delicious food as well as spend a day serving the poor.

CM Yediyurappa had said that the ‘Qurbani’ of animal sacrifice should not be carried out in public places and must be done only at designated spots for the ritual. The CM said there should be no killing of prohibited animals such as cows and camels for performing any ritual. The government also said that apart from allowing 50 people at the mosque, people will have to maintain a distance of 6 feet among them. Devotees should carry their praying cloth (Jaanemaaz) while visiting Mosques. Children below 10 years old are not allowed to visit Mosques. All those who enter the Mosque should wash their hands properly and wear a mask at all times. Butchering animals publicly is strictly prohibited.

But no matter what, the Muslim Community are in the full spirit of the feast by doing their shopping spree at shops and malls. The Market Road in Mangaluru saw a large Muslim community doing their last-minute shopping, especially buying new clothes, since they didn’t have a chance to buy during Ramzan, due to the lockdown. To contain the spread of coronavirus, the government and District administration has issued fresh guidelines announcing restrictions for mass gatherings on the eve of Bakrid and appealed to people to take precautions and follow the Covid-19 protocol.

In his communication to the media, Mangaluru Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar has said, “We will be taking preventive measures and to avoid untoward incidents in view of Bakrid which is on 21 July, nearly 25 check posts will be set up in the city police commissionerate. These check-posts including Udupi and Kasaragod borders are opened to prevent any untoward incident and as a precautionary measure. Two check posts under every police station limits in the city police commissionerate and also on the borders of Dakshina Kannada and Kerala and Udupi borders will be set up. Peace meetings have already been conducted under all police station limits and police security has been made at religious places. As per the guidelines of the government, mass gatherings and prayers at open places are not permitted”.

“Since scores of people travel to Mangaluru City from the Kerala side and other parts of that state for education, jobs, health and other purposes on a daily basis, hence, those crossing the borders must produce a certificate of taking at least one dose of vaccine or RT-PCR negative certificate. Further, we have set up screening at the check posts for rapid tests and RT-PCR tests. I appeal to people to celebrate the festival following all Covid-19 guidelines. Festival prayers can be held with the presence of a maximum of 50 devotees inside mosques. We have also convened a meeting with mosque committees to explain the guidelines to be followed. No one should attempt to disrupt peace in the City,” added the Police Commissioner.

On the other hand, shops in the City had a steady flow of customers, unlike the previous years during Bakrid or Ramzan. Though for many the festival will be muted due to high inflation due to the pandemic, and especially high prices of the goats which most Muslims sacrifice on Bakrid, the community leaders say the festival’s spirit should not be compromised even if some families don’t sacrifice animals. Muslim households will prepare a variety of sumptuous dishes, including sheer khorma, payas and mutton biryani. “Unlike Eid which is celebrated at the end of Ramzan, Bakrid is not about sweet dishes. It is mostly about dishes made of meat and I too am planning a few nice dishes for the occasion,” said Ms Mumtaz Syed, who was buying cosmetics at a fancy store on Market road.

Like many others, Mumtaz too is concerned that the high prices of goats have drilled big holes in the Muslim pockets this year. Many families have been forced to forego the animal sacrifices as they couldn’t afford to buy high-priced goats. “It is for the first time that we will not be sacrificing a goat. We will contend with the meat that we might get from my friends,” said Mohammed Iqbal, a trader on Bibi Alabi Road. But then Bakrid is not just about animal sacrifice and feasting. “It is a mark of respect to the tradition set by Prophet Abraham, revered by followers of all the three Abrahamic religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. When Muslims sacrifice animals, they perform a duty ordained by Allah,” said Rasheed, a professor at a private college in Bunder.

However, Rasheed also warned against hurting the sentiments of those who are against animal sacrifice and said that sacrifice should not be done in the open and, especially in the localities and buildings where people of other faiths too reside. Bakrid’s spirit of sharing is obvious in the fact that meat is divided into three parts: the first part goes to the poor, the second to close relatives and friends and the third remains with the family which is sacrificing the animal. He also said Bakrid which is the ‘Festival of Sacrifice’, holds a very special place in the heart of the entire Muslim community worldwide and is celebrated with great zeal and excitement. Eid – Al- Adha honours the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail to prove his devotion and obedience to the Almighty. Muslims all across the world celebrate Bakrid by sacrificing a male goat, as a symbol of Ibrahim’s sacrifice. They feast on the meat and then distribute it to the needy.

Special Feast on Eid-Al-Adha/Bakrid:

Food is an integral part of any festival. For the Muslim community, Eid – Al – Adha is a very special occasion and undoubtedly, there is a lot to gorge on during this festival. Usually, before the prayer or namaz, people eat light. Women in the Muslim households get busy from early in the morning, preparing different delicacies like mutton biriyani, chapli kebab, mutton paya, mutton korma, bhuna gosht, Haleem, galauti kebabs and a lot more. The meat of the sacrificed animal is used to prepare a side dish. For sweets, there is usually shahi tukda, firni, kheer and sevai, which is an essential part of a special Bakrid meal. The colour, taste and preparation of these sweets vary from region to region. The meat dishes and sevai are usually stored for the next three to four days.

Early in the morning, Muslims go and offer their prayers in the mosque, followed by a greeting session among their friends. Then the animal sacrificing ritual is performed where a goat or a lamb is slaughtered. Different dishes are prepared using the meat and then distributed equally among family, friends and the poor. The different varieties of food are the main attraction for all age groups during this festival.

History and Significance of Eid-Al-Adha:

Eid-Al-Adha in Arabic means “Feast of the Sacrifice”. It is one of the most celebrated festivals among the Muslim community which largely celebrates devotion and obedience towards the almighty. It was on the day of Eid-Al-Adha, that God decided to test the faith and devotion of Prophet Ibrahim. Legend has it that he had a dream in which the almighty commanded him to sacrifice his son, Ismail. Ibrahim and his son showed immense willingness to fulfil God’s command and when he was just about to perform the ultimate sacrifice by slitting his son’s throat, the almighty gets moved by his devotion and replaces his son with a lamb and asks him to sacrifice the animal instead of his son.

So, to commemorate his devotion, obedience, and unquestioning faith in the almighty, every year, Muslims all over the world sacrifice a male goat and offer their prayers. The goat is typically divided into three separate portions. These portions are meant for different purposes – one part is meant for the poor and the needy, the other part is meant for their family and friends and the third part is for their own family members. Bakrid also coincides with another day of great Islamic importance, the completion of their Holy Quran.

Team Mangalorean wishes our Muslim Brethern a Happy EID!

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