Be it Mammootty or common Muslims, Eid-ul-Azha touches allBy IANS
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM - Malayalam superstar Mammootty wasn’t the only one who took a break from work on Eid-ul-Azha. Thousands of ordinary Muslim men and women in Kerala celebrated the festival of sacrifice with prayers and feasting Wednesday.
The biggest crowds, all dressed in their best, were seen in Muslim dominated Malappuram district besides Kozhikode, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. Prayers were offered in mosques and specially erected Eidgah centres.
In most places there were special sections for women to offer prayers and they came in large numbers.
Mammootty, a devout Muslim, said he arrived at his home in Kochi Tuesday night to take a day off from the shooting of the film “August 15″ here.
“This is one of the rare days that I take a day off from my busy schedule because I want to be with my family besides attending prayers with the people,” said Mammootty.
Around 24 percent of Kerala’s 3.2 crore population is Muslim, making it the second biggest community in the state after Hindus. Wednesday was a public holiday in the state.
Muslims sacrifice either a goat or a buffalo to commemorate the great sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim who was so devoted, faithful and obedient to god’s will that he unhesitatingly agreed to sacrifice his only son Ismail at his behest.
Moved by his paternal feelings and yet determined to follow Allah’s instructions, Ibrahim blindfolded himself. But when he opened his eyes after the sacrifice, he found his son alive and a slaughtered lamb at the altar instead.
Since Tuesday evening there have been huge crowds in front of mutton stalls across the state. The sacrificial meat is distributed after the Eid prayers to the family and friends.
Mohammed, a leading mutton seller in the main market of the capital city, said sales have been good considering the price of mutton.
“We have had good business and compared to the last Bakr-Eid, the price of mutton has gone up by Rs.100 to touch Rs.350 a kg. We had doubts about whether we could do good business, but now our stocks have run out,” said Mohammed.
At Kozhikode, the Joint Eid Committee decided to have just one Eid Gah, or prayer centre. Set up on the beach side, thousands flocked to it.
The festival coincides with the Haj pilgrimage to Makkah.
Salim Afsal, an IT professional, said as his parents have gone to perform the Haj, he would spend the day with his brother.
“All of us attended the morning prayers in our family mosque and the women folk are busy in the kitchen preparing lunch. After lunch it would be a session where we would visit our relatives and then it would be back to our homes,” said Afsal.