Mumbai: This will be the first time in decades when Muslims in Maharashtra will celebrate in the last week of the ongoing month Eid al Adha or Bakraeid, as it is widely called in India, amid strict restrictions and curb on slaughter of bulls and bullocks.
Even as the local authorities are keeping a strict vigil so that the listed animals are not brought for slaughter during Eid al Adha, they have failed to impose a curb on the passion and fervor normally associated with one of the two biggest festivals of the Muslims. For, the Muslims, totally avoiding purchase of the banned animals, are exploring other options to fulfill the obligatory sacrifice of animals on the Eid day.
Vehicles carrying goats, buffaloes and other animals of their breed are seen in a large number in markets and Muslims are seen purchasing them well in advance then the Eid al Adha.
Eid al Adha or Baraid will be celebrated in India and other neighboring countries this year on Friday September 25, 2015. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states will celebrate Eid al Adha a day ahead on September 24. Since the United States, UK and other European nations follow Saudi moon sighting, Muslims in these countries will also celebrate Eid al Adha on September 24.
Eid al Adha is celebrated on the 10th day of Zul Hijjah and Haj Day, also called as Arafat Day, coincides with 9th day of Zul Hijjah.Haj and Eid al Adha are celebrated to commemorate the sacrifices made by Prophet Ibrahim, Prophet Ismael and his mother Hager.
According to the Islamic belief, Prophet Ibrahim had sacrificed his beloved son Prophet Ismael after he was ordered to do so in three consecutive dream. Prophet Ibrahim took the Ismael of his life in one hand and the knife of his faith in the other and he walked until he reached the place of sacrifice.
Prophet Ibrahim was suffering while believing and at every moment it was possible for him to retract and turn back. Yet he layed Prophet Ismael on the ground, putting his face away from him to give strength to his crushed soul and paralysed hand. And so he slaughtered Prophet Ismael.
But, by Allah's grace, the knife did not cut. Ibrahim received a sheep and was called by Allah: "O Ibrahim! You have confirmed the Vision Thus indeed do We reward those who do right This is indeed the manifest trial!" (Quran - 37:104-105)
To commemorate this extraordinary display of faith, Muslims all over the world sacrifice animals on Eid al Adha. Animal sacrifice is also part of Haj ritual and millions of Hajis every year sacrifice animals at the very place where Prophet Ibrahim had on the order of the Almighty Allah almost slaughtered his beloved son Prophet Ismael.
Keeping with this tradition, Muslims in Maharashtra too used to slaughter animals including bulls, bullocks, goats and others of their breed on Eid al Adha. This year however will different as the very first thing the BJP led government in the state did after coming to power was to ban slaughter of bulls and bullock in addition to cow slaughter which was already banned since 1976.