Stories about Eidul Azha

Eid is not what it used to be

It’s almost that time of the year again. Yes, that time, when the city is intoxicated by the smell of rotting intestines, and fresh blood: Eid. It’s been a while since I’ve experienced it, and no that’s not nostalgia or longing embedded into that phrase. I’ve been away for the past few bakra Eids, and somehow they all seem to mesh into one in my mind. I’m trying to think back and dissect them into individual moments and memories. 2013 This is my first Eid away from home. I wake up to Eid Mubarak messages but I’m not really feeling festive. There is ...

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Is it necessary for animal sacrifice to take place in homes?

The year was 1348. A mysterious disease broke out, killing up to 60% of the people of Europe. It is estimated that a third of the world’s population had succumbed to the disease. Some estimates are that more than a 100 million people perished. The disease was called the Black Death, which was caused by the bites of fleas carrying the microbe from infected rats to humans. The plague was so lethal that those who came in contact with the sick were themselves infected and died within a few days. According to those who survived, citizens avoided one another, neighbours stopped talking to each ...

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An open letter to bakra mandi owners

Dear bakra mandi owners,  This letter is to express my absolute stupefaction over your outrageous, albeit devious, marketing tactics, yet again, at Eidul Azha this year. The prices of goats and cows have escalated to a level that is beyond the financial capacity of the middle class group to afford. Even the lower upper class is having second thoughts about fulfilling this necessary religious obligation. More and more people are forced to take shares in cows. For me, as well as for millions of other like me, I’m sure, taking shares in cows is extremely embarrassing because it openly screams of the fact that I ...

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Don’t touch my bakra!

Eidul Azha is probably one of our most anticipated holidays in the yearly calendar. Depending on one’s inclination, people normally plan for this religious duty months in advance. Its popularity is also due to the high level of interest that children take in the festivities and it would not be incorrect to say that it is more of children’s Eid than ours. Personally, I am not inclined towards it – I guess the sight of animal blood, urine and faeces all over our cityscape is not very appealing to me and we have our efficient government to thank for this. We have had roughly 69 Eids ...

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What’s for lunch this Eid? Biryani, chapli kabab and kulfi

My childhood memories associated with Eidul Azha are still very clear. I was raised in a joint family household, so just imagine around a dozen people, including young boys, trying to get to the congregational Eid prayer on time. I miss that chaos, the preparations, and the presence of various butchers sharpening their knives, while all the children would surround them in anticipation. The girls, including myself, would get ready and watch the qurbani, all the while helping our mothers in the kitchen. Laying the table, taking out the fancy china in the rooms filled with air soaked in the appetising smell of butter ...

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Why should Indian Muslims and Christians be barred from taking part in the Garba?

I vividly remember the time I spent during my school and college days with Ghulam Farid, one of my best friends. He was like family to me. We have, however, not been able to catch up ever since I moved to Delhi and he remained in Rajasthan taking care of his family business. We would celebrate our respective festivals together every year. On Eidul Azha he would always invite me to his place, and I would relish the scrumptious biryani and mutton curry cooked by his gracious mother. On Diwali, I used to go to his shop and offer him sweets. And on Holi, ...

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It was the night of Lailatul Qadr

It was the night of a thousand angels, a night of sins forgiven and a night of deeds untold. It was the night of Lailatul Qadr when she opened her eyes for the first time. “That’s what we’ll name her,” said her mother. The father smiled and announced his newborn daughter’s name to his wife, the hospital staff and into the ear of the child to be named, “Lailatul Qadr.” As her parents devoted themselves to worship, for it was the night of a thousand prayers, Lailatul Qadr, or Laila as she would come to be known, spent the entire night in her ...

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Eid at Rama Pir’s Festival: A weekend of qurbaani meat, prasad and religious harmony

Tando Allahyar, a district tucked away in interior Sindh, had a very curious Eidul Azha this year. On the night of September 24th, while cows and goats sheepishly awaited slaughter in the narrow galis (streets), the Rama Pir ground was alive with the sounds of bells and chants. I visit Tando Allahyar every year to celebrate Eid with my family. When I was young, I used to be able to go out on the streets without a care in the world. Now that I’m older, I can’t leave the house without a distinct purpose and a chaadar wrapped around my body. When my ...

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#IStandWithIndianMuslims: Indian police detain ‘Muslim’ lambs on Eidul Azha

In international conferences on human rights, India likes to claim it is all for freedom of religion and equal rights. When countered on social media with respect to its minorities, right-wing Indians become defensive, claiming they treat their minorities all too well and it is the Indian Muslims who like to whine for nothing. “This country exists in the name of Hinduism and Muslims should accept their second-class status here. What’s the big deal? Can’t Muslims be thankful we gave them a home?” said one of the country’s leading Hindu cleric Pundit Srinath Ramkumar, echoing the sentiment of the right-wing Hindus. India ...

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Hunger Games 2015: The chosen raan

It started right after I was born, the race. My parents pushed me into the running without as much as a heads up. I was competing for the position before my first “Behhh”. Their motive was clear, I had to be chosen. But I guess it’s only natural for them to want me slaughtered on Eid, after all they are my parents. And any respectable family wants their offspring to reach that level of achievement. My parents had their own milk business, so they never got the chance to be chosen as qurbani (sacrificial) animals. My sister had to stay alive to produce ...

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