‘Id ul Azha', also known as Festival of Sacrifice, was celebrated with usual gaiety in various parts of the central districts on Monday. A large number of Muslims participated in the special khutba prayers held in the idgah maidans and mosques in the morning.
The Id ul Azha, popularly known as Bakrid in the country, signifies the commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his eldest son Ismail, also a Prophet, in obedience to a command from Allah; and Prophet Ismail's acceptance of this command. The Id celebrations start after the completion of the all obligatory formalities of Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Makkah. Large congregation of Muslims offered prayers in the Jamia Mosque on the bank of Grand Anaicut canal in Thanjavur town and other mosques across the district. In Nagapattinam district, many Muslims participated in the prayers held at the big mosque in the Nagore Dargah campus. Special prayers were held in the mosques in Karur, Pudukottai, Tiruvarur, Perambalur and Ariyalur districts too.
The imams (religious leaders) who led the prayers explained the importance of Haj pilgrimage, the fifth pillar of Islam. Pilgrims wear special clothes – simple garments which strip away distinctions of class and culture, to proclaim to the world that all stand equal before Allah, they pointed out. People of other faiths greeted Muslims on the occasion of Id.