As we approach the highly anticipated Islamic festival of Eid-ul-Adha, also known as Bakra Eid or Bakrid, it is essential to understand the rich history, significance, and joyous celebrations that accompany this auspicious occasion. Falling on June 29 this year, Eid-ul-Adha holds a special place in the hearts of Muslims worldwide, commemorating the unwavering devotion of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to Allah. Join us as we delve into the details of this significant festival.
Mark your calendars for June 29, as this is the date when Eid-ul-Adha will be celebrated in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Canada, and Singapore. However, it’s important to note that Saudi Arabia will observe Bakrid on June 28.
History of Bakrid
The origin of Bakrid, also known as Eid al-Adha, can be traced back to the story of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) in Islamic tradition. This story holds immense significance and serves as the foundation for the observance of Bakrid among Muslims worldwide.
The Story of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham)
According to Islamic teachings, Prophet Ibrahim was a devoted follower of Allah and received numerous divine revelations. In one pivotal moment, he received a profound command from God that would test his faith and obedience. Allah commanded Ibrahim to sacrifice his beloved son, Ismail (Ishmael), as an act of devotion.
The Test of Faith and Obedience
This command presented Ibrahim with an enormous dilemma. His love for his son was undeniable, yet his devotion to God compelled him to carry out this challenging task. Despite the immense personal sacrifice it required, Ibrahim decided to fulfil the command of Allah. Ismail, who was aware of his father’s prophetic mission, willingly submitted himself to the will of God. As Ibrahim prepared to carry out the sacrifice, Satan attempted to dissuade him from his duty, but Ibrahim remained steadfast in his commitment to Allah.
Divine Intervention and Mercy
Just as Ibrahim was about to fulfil the command, Allah intervened and replaced Ismail with a ram, which was to be sacrificed instead. This divine intervention demonstrated Allah’s mercy and love for His creation, highlighting the ultimate purpose of the test: to assess Ibrahim’s faith and willingness to submit to the divine command.
Principles Exemplified in the Story
The story of Ibrahim and the sacrifice signifies several fundamental principles within Islam. First and foremost, it exemplifies the concept of absolute obedience and surrender to God’s will. Ibrahim’s unwavering faith and submission serve as a timeless example of complete trust in Allah, even in the face of challenging circumstances.
Furthermore, the story emphasizes the importance of sacrifice in the path of spirituality. Ibrahim’s willingness to give up his cherished son mirrored his readiness to sacrifice worldly attachments for the sake of pleasing Allah. This act of sacrifice encompasses not only material possessions but also personal desires and ambitions.
Observance of Bakrid: Commemoration and Symbolism
The observance of Bakrid today symbolizes the commemoration of Ibrahim’s unwavering faith and submission. It serves as a reminder to Muslims of the significance of sacrifice, both in the literal sense of sacrificing an animal and in the metaphorical sense of sacrificing personal desires for the sake of Allah.
Ritualistic Sacrifice and Distribution
During Bakrid, Muslims worldwide engage in the act of Qurbani or Udhiya, which involves the ritualistic sacrifice of an animal, typically a goat, sheep, cow, or camel. This act of sacrifice is performed following the footsteps of Ibrahim. It demonstrates the believers’ readiness to offer their best and most valued possessions to Allah.
The meat from the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts. One-third is consumed by the family, while another-third is shared with friends and relatives. The remaining third is distributed among the less fortunate, ensuring that everyone can partake in the joyous celebration and experience the blessings of Bakrid.
Spiritual Reflection, Gratitude, and Celebration
In addition to the act of sacrifice, Bakrid is a time of spiritual reflection, gratitude, and celebration. Muslims gather for communal prayers, listen to sermons that remind them of Ibrahim’s sacrifice and its underlying teachings and engage in acts of charity and goodwill. Families come together to share festive meals, exchange greetings, and strengthen the bonds of kinship and community.
Renewing Commitment to Islamic Values
The origin of Bakrid, rooted in the story of Prophet Ibrahim’s sacrifice, holds profound spiritual and moral lessons for Muslims. It highlights the principles of faith, obedience, sacrifice, and compassion, which are integral to Islamic teachings. By commemorating Bakrid, Muslims renew their commitment to these values and strive to emulate Ibrahim’s exemplary devotion and trust in Allah.
Bakrid Celebrations in different regions of the globe
Bakrid is a significant occasion celebrated by Muslims around the world. The joyous festivities of Bakrid bring communities together, transcending cultural boundaries and uniting believers in the spirit of faith, sacrifice, and generosity.
In various parts of the world, Bakrid is marked by vibrant and diverse celebrations. From the bustling streets of Cairo to the serene villages of Indonesia, Muslims come together to honour this auspicious day.
In countries such as Saudi Arabia, which is the birthplace of Islam, the atmosphere during Bakrid is electric. Pilgrims who have completed the Hajj pilgrimage gather in the holy city of Mecca to offer prayers and engage in the symbolic stoning of the devil. The grandeur and devotion witnessed during this time create an unforgettable experience.
In Turkey, Bakrid, known as Kurban Bayramı, is a time of family reunions and elaborate feasts. Families gather to perform the Qurbani ritual, sacrificing an animal, often a sheep or a cow. That, to commemorate Ibrahim’s act of sacrifice. The meat is then distributed to the less fortunate, fostering a sense of community and compassion.
In parts of South Asia, including India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, Bakrid is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Muslims visit mosques for special prayers and sermons, followed by festive gatherings with family and friends. Delicious traditional dishes, such as biryani and kebabs, grace dining tables as families come together to share the joy of Bakrid.
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, also celebrates Bakrid with great fervor. Communities organize communal prayers, and families dress in their finest attire to attend mosque services. The sacrificial meat is shared among family members and distributed to the less fortunate, emphasizing the importance of sharing blessings.
Celebrations around the world
In each corner of the globe, Bakrid celebrations reflect the cultural richness and diversity within the Muslim community. These celebrations serve as a reminder of the universal values of faith & sacrifice. And also the compassion that is at the heart of Islam. They reinforce the sense of unity among Muslims, regardless of their geographic location, and contribute to the strengthening of bonds within the community.
Bakrid celebrations around the world not only uphold the religious significance of the occasion. But also showcase the traditions and customs unique to each region. These celebrations create an atmosphere of joy, generosity, and communal harmony. Thus, leaving a lasting impact on the hearts and minds of those who participate in them.