Eid al-Adha, popularly known as Bakr Id in India is the Islamic festival celebrated all over the world each year. Eid al-Adha is called Id-ul-Adha in Arabic and Bakr-Id in the Indian subcontinent, because of the tradition of sacrificing a goat or “bakri” in Urdu. The word “id” derived from the Arabic “iwd” means “festival” and “zuha” comes from “uzhaiyya” which translates to “sacrifice”.
Abraham also named Ibrahim, is recognized as a prophet and messenger of God in Islam. To be the messenger, one of the main trials of Abraham’s life was to face the command of God by sacrificing his beloved son. In Islam, Abraham kept having dreams that he was sacrificing his son Ishmael. Abraham knew it was the command of God and told his son as mentioned in Quran. Abraham prepared to submit to the will of God and prepared to slaughter his son as an act of faith and obedience to God.
During this preparation, Satan influenced Abraham and his family by trying to discourage them from carrying out God’s commandment. But Abraham drove Satan away by throwing pebbles at him. In remembrance of their rejection of Satan, stones are thrown at symbolic pillars Stoning of the Devil during Hajj rites.
Acknowledging that Abraham was willing to sacrifice what is dear to him, God honored both Abraham and Ishmael. Angel Gabriel offered a lamb from heaven to the prophet Abraham to slaughter instead of Ishmael. Muslims globally celebrate Eid al-Adha to commemorate both the devotion of Abraham and the survival of Ishmael.
The purpose of sacrifice in Eid al-Adha is not about shedding of blood to satisfy Allah. It is about sacrificing something devotees love the most to show their commitment to Allah. It is also essential to share the meat of the sacrificed animal in three equivalent parts. One for family, another for relatives, and friends, and others for poor people. The celebration has a clear message of devotion, kindness, and equality. It is said that the meat will not reach Allah, nor will the blood, but what reaches Him is the devotion of devotees.