Stories about Eidul Azha

Gullu Butt bakra, Raja the cow and our immature Pakistani media

The end of an Islamic year is marked by the performance of Hajj, an act of submission that Allah has allocated a huge reward for. Pilgrims from across the globe stand humbly before their Lord, seeking His affection. Days and nights are devoted in praising Him, whilst cutting oneself off from worldly desires and temptations. The end of this strenuous round of worship is marked by performing the qurbani (sacrifice) to honour Hazrat Ibrahim’s (AS) sacrifice. This is done not just by pilgrims but also by Muslims across the globe. However, in Pakistan, Eidul Azha has a comic side as well. A side that is mostly projected by our media. As soon ...

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Put all that meat to good use with some handi kebabs

We, Pakistanis, love our barbeque and our Eidul Azha is incomplete without some form of meaty delight. So, as Eid came, I decided to whip up a saucy dish for my guests. I always loved cooking on charcoal. But if you have limited time and want to serve your guests a good quality barbeque dish, then you can cook this scrumptious delicacy on the stove as well. This recipe was passed on to me by my colleague, Mrs Jabeen, who happens to be a darling and an exceptional cook. A lot of memories are attached with this recipe and I just want to thank her ...

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This Eid, there was no spirit of sacrifice for me

Six-year-old Osama ran hurriedly down the stairs of his apartment, as did the other kids. Children came rushing out of their houses, some from their homework and others from their video games. Mothers shrieked and grandmothers grumbled but to no avail. The street was soon swarming with kids of all ages and sizes, running towards something that seemed to possess a magnetic prowess. At length, the Pied Piper of Pakistan stopped, and the children stood around it, anticipating the descent of the much awaited cow. Excitement was widespread in the crowd, every child and every man was discussing in hushed ...

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Eidul Azha and Pakistan’s hygiene issue

A few days ago, the cattle markets began receiving a huge number of people every hour, coming from different parts of the city, to buy the sacrificial animal that suited their budget and met their needs convincingly. Different animals, ranging from cows and goats to camels, were seen almost everywhere, albeit on a street or a former empty, barren piece of land. Animals were tied to posts almost every step of the way. And we all know, where there is a herd of cattle, there is a foul smell taking over the air. The city started to look, and smell, like a ...

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I am a girl and I love going to the mandi

It is considered a universal fact that a cattle market (mandi) is no place for a woman. “It’s a guy thing”, they say. “What would you do in a mandi?” They ask. “Are you sure you want to spoil that dress of yours while going there?” They ridicule. However, it wasn’t until I was physically present in a cattle market that I understood why the mandi was no place for a woman. And no, it had nothing to do with the animals. It had more to do with the people who were there to buy and sell. For me, they were the real ...

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When one starts questioning the rituals of Eidul Azha

Eidul Azha in a rural set-up has jarring differences when compared to how we celebrate this Eid in cities. I live and celebrate my Eid in Karachi, but if I celebrate it in my ancestral village in Khairpur, Sindh, this is what would be different. The animals would be much less expensive, much more readily available, and the sense of community in sharing the meat would be the focus. Less affluent neighbours and relatives will casually come to the house where an animal is sacrificed and ask candidly for a share of the meat. The ones giving it out will not look ...

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This Eidul Azha, go Kheer a la mode!

For me, there can’t be an Eid without the ravishingly delicious Kheer – the ultimate sweet indulgence. A new twist to this traditional delight will surely bring a smile to your lips and, while the tongue revels in its milky glory, its creamy decadence will keep you entranced and craving for more. Food aficionados like me are fascinated by the Mughals who brought their rich, aromatic food culture, and thereby refined cooking to an art form. The exotic use of spices, dried fruits and nuts makes Mughlai cuisine undeniably unique in style. Extravagant connoisseurs of beauty, they left behind an enduring legacy of culinary ...

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My Eid in a different Pakistan

I hold the bills and hard earned cash Mentally calculating if I have any left For the new shoes my two sons want For Eid-ul-Adha. But I know I don’t.   My husband had told me quietly in the morning, “Get some good shoe polish. I’ll make the old shoes new. They won’t mind”. But I know they will.   Eid is no longer cheery and blithe, The celebration it used to be For the middle-classes. It has become an ordeal; A trial for the common man. A supreme, exhausting test of nerves, Agonising over where corners to cut, In order to salvage some percentage of festivity In the two Eids At least for our children.   It had never been this ...

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From Houston to Karachi

As happens quite frequently now, my mind and heart tend to gravitate towards the next writing mission for the Karachi-Houston diaries. In fact, just the other day I thought to myself, “Perhaps you should take a break from writing a new entry. It is, afterall, a break from work too.” But as always, the muse intervened, “Write comparatively about festivities in Karachi and Houston.” And as always, the muse won. I have found ritual celebrations interesting to observe. Bari Eid (Eidul Azha) with its sacrifice of animals and meat consumption is a case in point. The ritual is not about the day itself; family members, males for ...

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18 memorable moments that define Bakra Eid in Pakistan

1. Wear new Eid clothes! Take photos of family looking like a cheesy ad Photo: xcitefun.net   2. Wake up early to go pray at the local mosque. Photo: Shahbaz Malik/Express   3. Pray there is no terrorist attack. Keep one eye on the security… Photo: Express/File   4. Buy a giant balloon for the house after Eid prayers (just because) Photo: AFP   5. Exchange the first of 220 hugs with family members and friends Photo: PPI   6. Check out celebrity hugs on TV (just because) Photo: Tariq Hassan/Express   7. ...

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