New Delhi: Thronging
mosques, sacrificing goats, greeting friends and rustling up
delicacies, millions of Indian Muslims celebrated Eid-ul-Zuha
Monday. The day passed off peacefully, barring in Jammu and
Kashmir where clashes broke out between stone pelting youths and
What reigned supreme was the spirit of sacrifice. Be it Delhi or
Mumbai, Kerala or Uttar Pradesh, the festive mood prevailed
everywhere as friends and family got together to mark the
occasion, also known as Bakr-Eid.
In Muslim-dominated Kashmir Valley, protests erupted soon after
Eid prayers in Sopore, Anantnag and some parts of old Srinagar.
Youths, shouting slogans, started pelting stones at police and the
paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). More than two
dozen security personnel were injured, a senior policeman said.
Batons and teargas shells were used to disperse the protestors.
Celebrations were, however, peaceful in other parts of the state.
The devout thronged Eidgahs and mosques to offer prayers despite
the morning cold. Among them were Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and
his father, union Minister for Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah.
In the capital, thousands crowded the 17th century Jama Masjid and
Chants of "Allah ho Akbar" resonated in the narrow lanes of
Delhi's old quarters from the loudspeakers of the Jama Masjid, the
biggest mosque in India and one of the main centres for Eid
"The Jama Masjid was packed, thousands morning attended the namaz
at 8.30 a.m," Syed Ahmad Bukhari, Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid,
India has the third highest Muslim population in the world at 14
million, after Indonesia and Pakistan. And on Monday, many of them
fondly recalled the legend associated with Eid-ul-Zuha.
The story goes that bowing to Allah's command, Prophet Ibrahim
offered his son Ismail in sacrifice. When he blindfolded himself
and moved the knife on his son's throat, Allah ordered a ram from
heaven to replace Ismail.
In a symbolic gesture, on this Eid thousands of animals are
sacrificed Monday to commemorate the historic sacrifice offered by
"The festival underlines the truth that sacrifice brings man and
god close to each other. It is not about the sacrifice of goat or
sheep, but a reminder of one's submission to god and the feeling
of sacrifice and obedience attached to it," Mukarram Ahmed, a
resident of Jamia Nagar in south Delhi, said.
Around five lakh goats and sheep were sacrificed in Mumbai, nearly
two lakh at Deonar abattoir alone. The abattoir, one of the
largest in Asia, ensured no illegal animal was brought in for
slaughtering as per a court order.
According to tradition, after cutting a goat or a sheep, every
Muslim divides the meat into three parts. One part goes to the
poor, the second to relatives and the third remains with the
The meat was used to prepare a variety of dishes.
"Muslim households generally cook sheer korma, payas and mutton
biryani. Unlike Eid-ul-Fitr which is celebrated at the end of
Ramzan, Bakr-Eid is not just about sweet dishes," said Sajeda Khan
from the densely populated Byculla pocket of Mumbai.
It was a special day for commoners and celebrities alike.
Superstar Mammootty, a devout Muslim, took a day off from films
and was at his home in Kochi. "This is one of the rare days when I
take a break from my profession," he told IANS.
The festival coincides with the Haj pilgrimage in Makkah.