While strolling in the avenue of your town, if you perceive a sound like “Ma’aa… Maaa’a’aa…” from every second house, affirm it that you are on the way to Bakra Eid. Second in the series of Eid festivals, Eid-ul-Azha is marked by Muslim world on 10th of Zul-Hajj every year. It is the memorial of compliance of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) to sacrifice his son Hazrat Ismael (AS) for Almighty Allah.
The arrangements for this religious carnival set in motion ten to fifteen days earlier than the event. After fostering their livestock throughout the year, the Bakray walas (the merchants of cattle) march towards the big markets of the cities to sell their animals and earn the income of the entire year.
The expedition of purchasing a healthy Bakra (or any other animal you desire to purchase) at economical rate is not less than a ‘work of genius’. This particular deal isn’t much different from the other ‘deals’ that usually take place in our beloved country (in which every one tries to fool other to achieve his purpose). The merchants of the animals move heaven and earth to sell their animals at ceiling price and on other hand we, the poor purchasers, do our level best to settle the transaction at economical rate. And when the deal is done at a reasonable price, there isn’t any perimeter of exhilaration, specially of children. They profoundly take pleasure in this entire adventure. “A week before the Eid, I anxiously wait for the night when I along with Baba and Chachu set off to purchase Bakra. The journey always happens to be quite amusing. We visit various markets reserved for the Eid animals, and come across a variety of livestock at one place. After the struggle of one to two hours when Baba pays money for the desired animal, I instantly grasp its rope and run towards the car”, says ten years old Fa’iz Bin Shoaib. Another thing about which this young-world remains curious is the colour of their animal. Momin Salman, a student of grade five states, “Every year we purchase three goats, but I play with the only one who is white or light brown in colour.”
Where children commemorate this event jovially and relish the every jiffy of it, there elders also duly perform this religious duty. Azam Maqbool Sheikh, sub-editor of an English-daily comments, “Eid-ul-Azha is the event which spiritually revives the entire Muslim world. A number of lucky Muslims get the honour of visiting the house of Allah. In Makkah, the presence of a large Muslim community, belonging to various countries on the globe, demonstrates that Islam promises equal status to every Muslim without any classification of cast and creed.” Revealing the gloomy state of current society he further adds, “At times I remain down in the dumps that our sacrifice which ought to be meant for the pleasure of Lord, is drawn in “ostentation”. Some of us put on show that they spend abundance of money on “qurbani” every year. We have to realize that by this way we might be able to get some room in the good books of the world but actually, we would obtain nothing in return in the life hereafter.”
The preparation of mutton food is the peculiarity of Bakra-Eid day. Out of three equal divisions of the meat (one for poor, one for relatives and one to be used in home), one is used to cook scrumptious and lip smacking food. And for this, women start buying various condiments and other necessities of cooking, week before the Big Day.
When we talk about Eid-ul-Azha and forget mentioning butchers, the kings of the day; it is just like not to bring the ballpoint in examination hall. Butchers are the icons of the day who are supposed to be millionaire over the night. One has to take appointment from them as if they were the president of the country.
Indubitably, Eid-ul-Azha is celebrated with much fervor and zeal in our society; scrumptious foods are prepared, people meet their kindred, greet their friends and enjoy the gala but still most of the youngsters seem to have a thing about Eid-ul-Fitar. Wajiha Arshad, 15, relishes Chotee Eid (Eid-ul-Fitar) more than Baree Eid (Eid-ul-Azha) as she can’t observe the patience to see her animals being slaughtered in front of her. She states, “I love Chotee Eid as when the goat is slaughtered on Eid day, tears start shedding out of my eyes unwillingly. But on other hand, it also makes me realize that what the level of patience would be of Hazrat Ismael (AS) who was at the beck and call of his father promptly.”
Fahad, a student of grade 9 is dotty about Eid-ul-Fitar as he can not grab the bundles of Eidee on Eid-ul-Azha. He adds, “Though I make the most of Bakra Eid by playing with animals, visiting the place of the kindred, enjoying the savoury food but still I love Eid-ul-Fitar just because of one thing; that is “Eidee”. The charm of grabbing Eidee from Baba and other elders of the family is simply matchless. And that’s why Eid-ul-Fitar has always been much enchanting to me as compare to Bakra Eid.” Another thing which pulls us towards Eid-ul-Fitar is the sanctity of the month of Ramazan. After observing fasts throughout the month, the merriment of Eid very next day happens to be more relishing and virtuous.
Whether we talk about Eid-ul-Fitar or Eidul-Azha, both are the gifts of Almighty Allah that are celebrated by Muslim across the world with religious fervor and zeal. May Almighty Allah accept our sacrifice and grant His special blessings upon the entire Muslim world. Ameen. Eid-ul-Azha Mubarak!
(This article of mine was originally published in DAWN.)