Bakra Eid being celebrated today

Published On: June 17, 2024 09:10 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, June 17: Bakra Eid (Eid al-Adha), one of the two major festivals in the Muslim faith, is being celebrated today in mosques across the country.

Eid al-Adha is traditionally celebrated on the 70th day after Ramadan. Muslims begin the day with a ritual bath and then proceed to the nearest mosque or Idgah to offer prayers. Following the prayers, it is customary to exchange greetings with one another.

Muslims gather in mosques and Eidgah nationwide, including the Nepali Jame Masjid and Kashmiri Masjid on Durbar Marg. According to the Hijri calendar, this festival, which began 1439 years ago, commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ishmael at the command of Allah.

Maulana Rahmat Ali, a Muslim religious scholar, explained that Prophet Muhammad, born in Mecca in 571, is part of Ibrahim's lineage. This connection underpins the historical significance of Bakra Eid. Muhammad's contributions in passing down religious practices and the Hadith scriptures are central to the celebration.

"The Hadith, studied in madrasas, tells that Muhammad, born in Mecca, migrated to Medina at the age of 53. In remembrance, large gatherings are held at these two holy sites in Saudi Arabia," Maulana Rahmat Ali said.

Traveling to Mecca and Medina during this festival is considered highly auspicious. The Ministry of Home Affairs facilitates these pilgrimages through the Haj Committee Secretariat. However, even those unable to make the journey celebrate Bakra Eid at home. The primary ritual is the Qurbani, the sacrifice of animals deemed permissible by Islamic law.

According to tradition, Allah commanded Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail, born to his wife Hagar, when Ibrahim was 90 years old. However, as a test of faith, Allah replaced Ismail with a ram from heaven, which Ibrahim ultimately sacrificed. This act of devotion is remembered and honored through the continued practice of animal sacrifice.

The sacrificial meat is divided into three parts: one portion for the poor and needy, another for friends, and the third for the family. 

The celebration of Bakra Eid spans three days, concluding on Wednesday. Mansoor Hussain, Secretary of Nepali Jame Masjid, stated that sacrifices are performed on all three days of the festival. In honor of this significant occasion, the government has declared a public holiday today.

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