Thousands of believers congregated at mosques, stadiums, and open grounds on Monday to celebrate Bakrid, an important Islamic occasion to mark prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his only son Ismael, as an act of obedience to God.

Saifudeen Haji, president, Vallakadavu Muslim Jama-at said the festival also demonstrated the solidarity of believers with the thousands who made their pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia, a religious duty of every able-bodied Muslim who could afford the journey.

State Governor M.O.H. Farook attended the Id prayers organised by the Palayam Muslim Jama-at at Chandrasekharan Nair stadium. By 7 a.m., the stadium brimmed with believers, dressed in their best. Palayam Imam Jamaludeen Mankada led the special prayers, which lasted nearly 20 minutes.

The Imam urged believers to shun the path of materialism and to show sympathy and courtesy to fellow human beings. He prayed for universal peace and prosperity.

Immediately after the prayers, the huge and ordered crowd disbanded into smaller groups. Friends and strangers hugged one other. Elders called aside relatives and friends and urged them to set aside differences and to forget and forgive perceived slights and insults.

The scenes of camaraderie, fellowship and sharing were similar at the more than 350 mosques in the district. The largest congregations were witnessed at Palayam, Manacaud, Vallakadavu, and Beemapally mosques. Id prayers were also held at Central Stadium. Chief Imam Thennoor Muhammad Bafaki and former Palayam Imam Abdul Gaffoor Moulavi led the prayers at Vallakadavu and Manacaud respectively.

Most believers spent the day visiting relatives, particularly aged and ailing persons. Fine home cooking and lavish lunch spreads, including richly laden tables brimming with meat, fish, and poultry preparations, marked the Bakrid feast.

Reaching out

Various cultural and social forums also organised special celebrations. Many believers visited hospitals, old age homes, hostels for the destitute and orphanages with gifts and food. Quiz was held for children and adults to test their knowledge of the Koran. Mapilla song competitions were held and balloons and pigeons released to signify world peace.

The C.H. Muhammad Koya Literary and Cultural Foundation distributed colourful handkerchiefs as gifts. Former Minister V. Surendran Pillai inaugurated the foundation's inter-religious peace meet. Hantex managing director K.S. Halim presided. The Kerala Muslim Cultural Forum celebrated Bakrid as ‘humanity day' and held prayers for peace. The Islamic Sahitya Samithy said that Bakrid symbolised sacrifice and selfless love.

Keywords: Eid al-AdhaBakridqurbani