03 Jul How the World celebrates Bakrid, “The festival of Faith & Sacrifice”
Bakrid, also known as Eid al-Adha or the “Festival of Sacrifice,” commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s profound faith and willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael, as ordained by Allah. Miraculously, Ismael was replaced with a lamb at the moment of sacrifice. This divine intervention by the merciful Allah is remembered and celebrated by Muslims across the world as Bakrid.
On the morning of Bakrid, Muslim communities worldwide gather at mosques to offer a special congregational prayer known as Salat al-Eid. The community comes together to express gratitude, seek forgiveness, and renew their commitment to faith. During the prayer, an Imam (refers to a religious leader who leads the congregation in prayers and provides guidance to the community. The word “imam” is derived from the Arabic word “amama,” which means “to stand in front” or “to lead.”) delivers a sermon, reminding the congregation of the significance of Bakrid and imparting valuable lessons from the story of Ibrahim.
After the prayers, there is a ritual sacrifice of a halal animal, often a sheep or a goat. The meat is shared among family, neighbours, and the needy, symbolizing communal harmony and charity. Muslims exchange warm greetings of “Eid Mubarak” and visit friends and relatives to share joy and blessings. Grand feasts are prepared, consisting of exquisite traditional delicacies. Special dishes like Biryani, Kebabs, Sheer Khorma (a sweet vermicelli pudding), and many other dishes which vary from region to region are savoured. Finally, exchange of gifts among friends and families, further magnifies spirit of celebration.
Bakrid is not just a religious festival but also an occasion that promotes social harmony and cultural integration. It serves as a platform for people of different faiths to come together, appreciate diverse traditions, and strengthen communal bonds. In India, many non-Muslims join their Muslim friends and neighbours in celebrating Bakrid, reflecting the multicultural fabric of India. From the lively streets of Istanbul to the serene mosques of Jakarta, and from the vibrant neighbourhoods of Lagos to the bustling cities of India, the spirit of Bakrid unites Muslims in a global act of faith and compassion. Just as Bakrid signifies selflessness and brotherhood, it also serves as a reminder that all religions have something to teach us about compassion, mercy, and love. It is a time to come together as a community and celebrate humanity.
Festivals of India exemplifies core values such as Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity and serves as a beautiful reminder of the virtues of compassion, generosity, and communal harmony. Here are some specific ways to create an impact among different religions as an equal community during festivals in India.
- Invite people of other faiths to join in the festivities.
- Relish food and share stories about the festivals with the younger generation.
- Learn about the history and significance of every festival from people of different faiths.
- Use the festival as an opportunity to connect and network with the global community.