‘Id – Ul – Azha’ or ‘Bakr – Id’ is the second biggest Muslim festival, only after ‘Ramzan Eid’. The festival falls on the 12thand final month of Islamic calendar, Dhu al – Hijjah. The celebration is aimed to honor the willingness of sacrifice made by Ibrahim by sacrificing his only son for the sake of the command of ‘Allah’.
In order to testify the faith of Ibrahim, ‘Allah’ appeared on his dreams and asked to sacrifice his biggest possession of life – Ismail, the only son of Ibrahim. Knowing that it is not yet another dream and are direct words from ‘Allah’, Ibrahim decided to fulfill the commands of him. What should be mentioned here specially is that Ismail is just 13 and was born to Ibrahim after many years of prayer to Allah.
Soon after hearing the orders of Allah, Ibrahim wanted to obey whatever he said, but consulted his son to know whether he is willing to sacrifice his life for Allah. Surprisingly, Ismail who just had turned 13 found to be mature enough to inform his willingness to do whatever god said to him. Thus, Ibrahim decided to do that unimaginable act. But, while Ibrahim attempted to cut his throat, god sent a lamb from heaven in place of Ismail and the latter was found unharmed.
And Ibrahim came out successfully from the test and ‘Bakrid’ is the commemoration of that event. As a gift from god, Ibrahim was granted a second son – Isaac.
Eid Prayers and rituals
Starting from dawn and ending just before Zuhar time, prayers are performed at any time during this day. Men are expected to go to mosque, or to be more precise ‘Eidgah’ to participate in prayer. But, menstruating women are not entitled to participate in the prayer. At the conclusion of Eid prayers, the Muslim embraces each other and will greet ‘Eid Mubarak’ to one other. Besides these acts, they will give gifts to children and will visit the homes of families and close ones.
Eid is also a time when personal cleanliness is given highest of importance by the Muslims. In order to practice this, they buy new cloths and are expected to appear in the best clothing. Every family is entitled to sacrifice their beloved domestic animal, but have to meet certain standards in terms of age and quality.
While the meet of the sacrificed animal is divided in to three parts, one third is taken by the family; another one third is given to relatives and friends. The remaining one third portions should be given to poor and needy ones. Thus, Eid also becomes a day to reckon humanity.