Of the two most prominent festivals of Islam, Bakra Eid is one of them. The first one being Ramadan. Let’s go into detail as what the day means and what are the significance of the celebration of the auspicious day in the Islamic world.
How the day got its Significance
There are many different stories that together combine the significance of this day. Many stories that have illustrated the origin, the essence and have carved the beauty of this auspicious day.
We shall go through some of them in detail here. First, let talk about the why an animal is sacrificed on this day and how it all began.
It all began when God or the Father gave a command to Abraham to sacrifice his dearest position. And to Abraham his only dearest prized possession was his son, we are going to mention him as Ishmael, as no specific name has been provided yet in the holy book of Muslims, Quran.
Although it has been mentioned in the holy book Bible that his name is Isaac. So as per God’s wish Abraham had to do the most difficult task and that was to sacrifice his son to God.
He, however agreed to do so and willingly came to a conclusion of offering his dearest son to god.
While in the process there came the devil or the Satan as mentioned in the Holy Scriptures, the Satan tried to lure Abraham into deceiving his God and to forgo the wish and the command of God by persuading him to not follow the God’s command.
The Satan tried its best to stop Abraham. But Abraham did not surrender to Satan’s tricky deviation. Abraham finally took the courage and cut his son Ishmael’s throat but he got a massive shock and was surprised to see a breathtaking miracle.
And that was that his son Ishmael, was unharmed and he was alive and well. Abraham found out that he actually had killed a ram instead.
He soon realized that this was a test put by the God to see his devotion towards him. And that he was graced by the Lord. And hence the sacrifice of an animal is marked to signify Abraham’s devotion.
This time we also see that people all around the world, not preferably Muslims but other religion who wish to succumb themselves to devotion, peace and service come and gather at Hajj, to make their devotion stronger than ever.
One of the rituals of the Hajj is to throw pebbles at the constructed pillars of Kabba, this actually signifies them throwing stones at the Satan that tried to deviate Abraham from his path of serve the Lord.
People in the Hajj they have a rite where they throw stones at the devil.
Speaking of Kabba, let us also discuss about how this place got its importance. Kabba was built by Abraham, on the command of the God.
Abraham was called to Canaan by the heavenly lord. Years after he returned back he was once again instructed by the God to make a place where devotees can come and worship and even mark their bond to be strong with the God.
And so Abraham along with his son, Ishmael built a construction where people come from all over the world during the time of Hajj and offer prayers. The building can be depicted to be in the form of a mortar. It gives out a structure of that of a mortar.
This place of worship is built near a water spring that was graced to Abraham’s daughter Hagar, the scriptures state that she was going through starvation, thirst and dehydration and on one account even broke down and fell. She then looked up prayed while sitting next to the infant Ishmael.
The angle blessed her with the water source which is called Zamzam, near which Abraham and Ishmael build their worship construction.
The rituals of Bakra Eid
This auspicious day of Muslims is celebrated with much faith and even more dedications. All the men, women and even children belonging to the Muslim community observe this day with love.
The main tradition or ritual that belong to the celebration of the day is the sacrifice of an animal.
There are many more rituals that the Muslims observe on this day, based on their region but the sacrifice of an animal, be it a cow, a camel or a goat the need for sacrifice of an animal is a must as it marks the actual meaning behind the celebration of the day and even the origin of the celebration of the festival.
The second most auspicious festival of Muslims after Ramadan is the Bakra Eid. The day begins with a prayer in large grounds or even in mosque.
It marks the beginning of the celebration of the main festival on the given day. All the people belonging to the Muslim community are dressed up. They suit themselves in their best attire and offer prayers in the mosque, or as it is said Eidgah in English.
They gather in a large open ground and together commence their prayers. Then comes the ritual of sacrificing an animal or animals.
The sacrifice of animal can be traced back to the story mentioned, that states that Abraham had to sacrifice his son on the command of the god and that he had accepted this fate of his son and even without any reluctance agreed to sacrifice his son to the god.
But it so happened that his son was saved and Abraham found out he didn’t actually killed his son but butchered a “ram”, instead. This sacrifice is also called Halal, where we can see that the wealthiest Muslims offer animals for sacrifice.
There is no conventional restriction as what animal should be presented as a halal. But based on region, there are exceptions. In India, we see that Muslims offer goats, where as in the Arab nations the Halal animals may include goats, cows, and camels.
The animals that are presented for sacrifice are called “Qurbani” in terms of Arab language. There are certain points that are to be kept under consideration while conducting this process, with keeping in accordance to the conventional rituals.
One cannot just offer any animal for being sacrificed. The presented animal should be of finest quality. It should be of certain age. Yes, the animal should acquire a certain age before being sacrificed.
Other pointers that need to be taken into consideration include, a certain standard set according to the rituals. And a certified quality. Only then the animal can be qualified fit for halal.
After this process of sacrifice of the animal is over then comes the step of distributing the meat. The meat that is procured after the cutting of the animals is majorly given to the poor and the impoverished.
According to the conventional rituals the meat is distributed among the family, the relatives sometimes even neighbors and the last potion is given to the poor.
But the wealthy and the majority choose either to distribute the entire share to the impoverished sections of the community, which is considered to be a noble deed.
Or the share is consumed entirely by the family itself. Others who are for some reasons incapable of obtaining the halal animal and could not take the meat and distribute to the concerned parties, join themselves with the communities that distribute the halal meat and that’s how they perform their ritual for the day.
As for at what time the prayers begin it is observed. According to the rituals, the prayers which are performed in a large open ground or even in a mosque, it can be done any time after the sun has completely risen.
However, there are some exceptions that includes that normally the prayer is to be done on the tenth day, but if that day is declared to be a day on which some natural calamity has proven to be occurring then the prayer is placed on the twelfth day of Dhu al-Hijjah.
Along with it there are some special conventions that a Muslim individual should follow. Some of those practices includes that only the male section of the community is allowed in the mosque and the women are not allowed to pray in the mosque.
This is in some certain practices that women are barred to enter the Eidgah. However it is not the case everywhere. Some practices have recently started to motivate women and have even stopped barring women of the community to attend and offer prayer in the Eidgah.
There are certain set of rules that still apply on women section. Some of those include that the females who are going through the monthly order of the nature are not to enter the mosque for the prayer but they can participate while the process is being conducted. Other than that, it is practiced that participants should be of good health.