Eid-ul-Azha, the festival of sacrifice also known as ‘Bakra Eid’, will be observed today with religious fervor across Jammu and Kashmir.
A huge congregational Eid prayers gathering are expected at Srinagar Eidgah and Aasar-e-Sharif Dargah Hazratbal here, besides in Eidgahs, Masajids and Shrines across the State where Islamic clerics will throw light on the significance of Eid-ul-Azha.
As per the Islamic teachings, on this Eid, which is being celebrated on the 10th of the Islamic calendar’s last month, Dhu’l-Hijjah, a spiritual Muslim offer a goat or sheep as a sacrificial animal while one camel and a calf will suffice for the vow of seven Muslims.
Allah ordered Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) to sacrifice his son Ismail (Peace be upon him). When the blindfolded father moved the blade on his son’s throat to carry out the divine command, an animal from heaven replaced Ismail (Peace be upon him).
It is to celebrate the absolute submission of Prophet Ibrahim to Allah’s command and the saving of Ismail’s life that Muslims offer animal sacrifices on Eid-ul-Azha.
The Muslims Ummah as per Islamic teachings will start performing the act of sacrificing animals following the congregational Eid prayers.
Muslims celebrate Eid-ul-Azha to commemorate Prophet Abraham’s (Peace be upon him) willingness to follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his son Ismaeel (AS).
Meanwhile, on Fridayt, the markets in Kashmir especially the commercial Hub Lal Chowk and other adjacent areas in Srinagar witnessed a huge rush of shoppers from past several days, who were seen buying essentials and other food stuff for the Eid.
While queues of buyers were seen outside bakery and mutton shops, the most crowded places in the city were the makeshift animal markets, especially at the Eidgah ground in the old City.
The other main attractions were on bakery products. Cakes, pastries, cookies and biscuits sold like hot cakes. Some of the better known bakery shops in Srinagar had taken orders as long as a month back.
The traffic cops deployed on Srinagar roads had also a tough time regulating the flow of vehicles.
The volunteers including boys and girls were also assisting them to ensure the smooth movement of commuters.
Meanwhile, the authorities in view of the Eid have formulated a comprehensive Traffic Route Plan to ensure smooth flow of vehicular movement.
Makeshift bakery shops, pavement vendors and hawkers carting their goods have choked all the major roads in Srinagar as traffic policemen threw up their hands surrendering to the merriment of buyers and sellers.
Prices were nobody’s bother and it looked as if the various regulatory authorities had decided not to play spoilsport while Eid shoppers emptied their purses to the demands of the shopkeepers.
Officials of the consumer affairs and public distribution department, however, asserted that market checking squads were out to control prices, but because of staff shortages they were not very conspicuous.
Sacrificial animal markets have come up at every imaginable space in the city wherever a herd of sheep and goats can be parked.