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Bakrid or Id-ul-Zuha

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There are various festivals in the Muslim calendar. But Bakrid or Id-ul-Zuha is one of the most celebrated festivals among Muslims all over the world. It is a day of sacrifice for the Muslims. According to legends.

It all started with a dream in which Allah directed the patriarch Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail. It was Ibrahim's faith in Allah and his son's faith in his father that were on test. Before performing the sacrifice Ismail tied a cloth around his father's eyes. But when Ibrahim opened his eyes he found his son safe and sound.

In his place lay a dead dumba or ram. It is in honour of this test of faith that Muslims around the world sacrifice an animal on the occasion of Id-ul-azha to show their allegiance, faith and sincerity towards Allah. In India the Muslims mainly sacrifice the goat, which is why the occasion is spoken of in Urdu as Bakhr or Bakrid. The festival is to celebrate the strong faith of those devoted to Islam.

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The festival coincides with the anniversary of the day when 'Quran' was declared complete. It is from when many Muslims undertake Haj to Mecca and people offer prayers in mosques. On the day of Id, the pilgrims reach the grounds of Mina where they sacrifice an animal each. It was here that Ibrahim is believed to have sacrificed his son. The pilgrims then shave their heads.

The purpose is to be one with the millions of devotees who converge to Mecca each year for the Haj. The sacrificial meat is distributed after the ceremony among friends and family members. Special delicacies and sweets are prepared on the occasion. The celebration of Bakrid starts from the tenth to the twelfth day in the Islamic month of Dhu'l Hijja.

On the Id day people wear new clothes, offer prayers, and visit each other and exchange greetings. There are special prayers, which take places on the three days of Id. Ceremonial prayers, and feasts are part of this festival.

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