Muslims, either "Sunni" or the "Shites"
believe in the prophet Mohammed . The principles of Islam lie within
the teachings of their holy book the "Koran". The
five pillars of Islam are - Faith in Allah, Praying, five times a day,
Almsgiving, Keeping the Fast and the Pilgrimage to Mecca.
Many pilgrims make the
great Haj or pilgrimage to Mecca. While the pilgrims are making their
sacrifices at Mina, the ceremony is observed simultaneously by Muslims
The feast of sacrifice,
Idul-Adha, in India pronounced Idul Azha and popularly known as Bakri
Id, is celebrated on the tenth day of the month Dhu'l Hijja. The
festival has come to be known as Bakri
it is not originally associated with "bakris" or goats. It
is just that the more affluent in India prefer to sacrifice goats, as
the sacrifice of cows in India is quite out of the question. In some
Arab nations, this sacrifice is usually that of a camel. Prayers are
offered at mosques throughout India during the day. Muslims wear new
clothes and there is feasting and rejoicing. Biryani - a rice dish -
is prepared along with Seviyan - a dessert.
According to popular
belief, Prophet Ibrahim was put to a tough test by Allah to prove his
faith. He was asked to sacrifice his son Ismail. Without any
hesitation Prophet Ibrahim blind-folded himself and made the offering
on the Mount of Mina near Mecca. When Prophet Ibrahim opened his eyes,
he was astonished to find a goat lying upon the altar and his son
Ismail standing in front of him. Ever since, moslems all over the
world over offer sacrifices on this festival day.
The Muslims traditionally offer the sacrifice of a
goat or a sheep or a camel as part of the festival. The animal to be
sacrificed is fed for seven days before being offered to the
Almighty. The meat is then
divided into three portions - one part for the poor, another for
friends and relatives and whatever remains is for the family., Muslims
sacrifice one animal per family or group of families. There are
prayers in mosques, feasting, and rejoicing. New clothes are worn and
visits and greetings are exchanged.
Bakri Id is celebrated
with ritualistic fervor in Andhra Pradesh and in particular, the old
city of Hyderabad.