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Monday, October 14, 2013

Baqr Eed

According to the Qur’an, only those Muslims who perform Haj are required to sacrifice animals. If Muslims do this on their own, wherever they are during that period, that's up to them. In the Qur’an there is no direct or indirect indication of a requirement that a non-pilgrim Muslim is required to perform Qurbaani (sacrifice) to celebrate Haj. The Prophet and the early khalipha (caliph) never practiced it.

I heard the mulla at a mosque many years ago, in Iqbal Town (I always used to tell people that it was named after Iqbal Bano!), state openly - in a Baqr Eed prayer gathering - that all Muslims who had performed the Qurbaani must come and be in the front rows while others should be behind them on such an occasion. Hmmm …

بقر (Baqr) means Calf.
It is also the name of Qur'an's Second Sürah.

In Pakistan some of our people can't pronounce Baqr and say Bakr (that sounds like a ک instead of a ق to others). This has led people to think it is Bakr Eed and the original term must have بکر in it. But بکر (Bakr) means a Goat. This has made some members of a new generation begin to call the festival: بکرا عید (Bakra Eed) meaning a Happy Goat's Day (but not for goats, I guess).

I must tell you, though, that one greeting card I received last year from USA had بكرید (Bakrid) written across the front page. Pleeeez: Let's get back to Baqr Eed. Or to Eed-ul-Adhaa, if Arabic is your preferred choice ;)


One of you have asked me on our phone call yesterday about why won't Jews, Christians, and Muslims, celebrate Baqr Eed together …  since they all 'follow' this prophet.

There are simple - but very contradictory - answers.

In Bible's Old Testament, the book of Genesis says that Hazrat Ibrahim (Abraham) was 64-ish when he married Hajira (Hagar) and 90-ish when he had Hazrat Ishaaq (Isaac). And it categorically states that it was Hazrat Ishaaq who was to be sacrificed by Hazrat Ibrahim.

The Qur'an says Hazrat Ibrahim was asked to sacrifice his son but makes no mention of Hazrat Ismail (Ishmael). However, almost all translators do add Hazrat Ismail's name in their Tafseer.

It is only in Hadees that Muslims find proof about which son of Hazrat Ibrahim it really was. 

While the majority of Muslims do accept Hadees as a fact … and some even consider the non-acceptance of Hadees as a 'Sin', one must understand that there are are some Muslims who do not accept the Hadees! Not just as an anti-Hadees group, which also exists, but some of my friends and family members (staunch Muslims on their own) who do not accept Hadees at all.

There are other Muslims who will say they accept the Hadees … but if you show them some specific Hadees they will say 'this one is not true', 'it was misunderstood', or 'it was for that time only'.

Those who do not believe in the Ahaadees need to tell us where they get this version of story from, if not from the Hadees. If they have a proof (other than the fact that other Muslims believe this, too), it would be great to know.

Am waiting!


In case you are wondering why I spelt the festival as Baqr Eed and not Baqr Eid, take a look at my earlier post.

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Blogger Zakintosh said...

OK, so here's one that came in today:

Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor)
10/16/13, 6:58
On my way to Palayam mosque, Thiruvananthapuram, on BakrId morning.

16 October, 2013 11:27

Blogger Zakintosh said...

And here's another one that was on Facebook:

Romana Zaman
idd mubarak

16 October, 2013 11:47

Anonymous La-makani said...

Its a ritual based more on devotion rather than tradition and commandment. All the affluent Muslims who can afford, i.e Malik-e-Nisaab, do sacrifice their best halal domestic animals as a symbol of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his only son in the name of Allah (which is the highest level of devotion and association). The sacrificed animals, called aḍḥiya (أضحية‎) are symbolic representation of what our father Isma'eil offered to his father Abraham in terms of his obedience, and in turn, what Abraham offered to Allah in terms of his devotion and obedience.

In my opinion, Eid brings a remarkable way of distributing food within the society, that you can not observe in any other tradition or culture. More precisely stating, people sacrifice animals and distribute their meat within the society so that everyone eats and it helps bridging the socio-economic gap between the privileged and needy (at least for a few months of the year).

So, summing it up: It's a thing we do to facilitate and help the already suffering society.

Since I know what is at the back of your head, so, lets look at it from another angle. Society keeps slaughtering animals for their survival and consume their meat (it is happening from past few gazillion years I guess so nobody says anything on that, and anyone with a speck of wisdom in his/her head will not argue on that). This is basically how it works: we move to places and consume other species and multiply, and keep repeating the same thing until the supply exhausts. We are doing it successfully ever since we have evolved into what we are.

Finally, If you hate blood and gore that you observe around the street, yes, I am with you on this and it should be banned. But if you are indirectly suggesting that the act of slaughtering animals is a bad one, then kindly immigrate to Mars or something.

16 October, 2013 23:33

Blogger Zakintosh said...


"Since I know what is at the back of your head…"


20 October, 2013 07:51


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