Eid Holidays Perspective Top

Eid honors sacrifice

A goat kept in Karachi for Eid. (Anya Farooqui/YJI)

Karachi, PAKISTAN – Just like Eid-al-Fitr, Eid-al-Adha is an Islamic holiday marking an important pillar of Islam. It is celebrated for days after the end of the month of Zil-Hajj, during which Muslims go on a pilgrimage known as Hajj, to the holy site of the Kaaba in Makkah.

As Hajj is a physically and financially taxing journey, Eid-al-Adha is about the spirit of honoring this sacrifice. It is also done as a memorial dating back thousands of years to the time of the Prophet Abraham, who – when asked to sacrifice his son – followed God unquestioningly.

His son was replaced with a ram, which is why Muslims today sacrifice animals like cows, goats, sheep, and camels.

In Karachi, this Eid – which just ended – is known as ‘bari’ Eid, (big Eid) as it requires a lot of preparation, particularly in getting an animal.

It’s also called ‘bakra’ (goat) Eid, because goats are the animal most commonly sacrificed.

Muslims are encouraged to spend time with their animal before sacrifice, in order to understand the significance of its life. This year my family sacrificed a goat and a cow. We kept them in my father’s cousin’s house, and went over to see them as well.

The author’s family goat, Shero, before Eid. (Anya Farooqui/YJI)

People will usually only sacrifice one animal, but since we are a large family, and have relatives abroad who send money for animals to be sacrificed in their name, we did two this year.

Most of the meat goes to the poor. For many people, Eid-al-Adha is the first time they will have meat in months.

Eid-al-Adha brings benefits to a lot of people, such as the poor, and also to the livestock farmers whose largest profit of the year comes from Eid. Naturally, it is not a great time of the year to be a goat!

But this festive time also brings some problems to the city. Since most people keep their animals inside their houses, or in tents on the street, they also do the sacrifice in the same place.

Although it is not compulsory, men often perform the qurbani (sacrifice) themselves. Unfortunately, people do not always clean after themselves. This leads to rivers of blood in the street, with entrails scattered, essentially cooking beneath the hot sun.

Eid-al-Adha requires less visits to relatives than Fitr, despite being known as the ‘larger’ Eid. This year we only visited a few relatives and did so mostly to households where there had been a specific incident, like a birth, death or wedding. It is a much calmer holiday.

Although Eid-al-Fitr is my favorite Eid, I definitely enjoyed this one, too.

Anya Farooqui is a Junior Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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