In Hyderabad, faithful throng Mir Alam Eidgah, Mecca MasjidBy IANS
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
HYDERABAD - Over 200,000 people offered prayers at the historic Mir Alam Eidgah, making for the biggest Eid-ul-Azha congregation in Hyderabad. They were among millions of Muslims who celebrated the festival in Andhra Pradesh Wednesday.
The day began with Muslims, attired in their best, offering prayers at hundreds of mosques and Eidgahs or open grounds. The imams, or priests, recalled the great sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim and urged Muslims to follow his teachings and the Quran.
While Mir Alam Eidgah here saw the maximum number of the faithful, Mecca Masjid witnessed the second biggest congregation.
Eid was also celebrated in other towns of Andhra Pradesh with people turning out in large numbers at Eidgahs and mosques to offer prayers. Muslims constitute about 10 percent of the state’s 78 million population.
After prayers, people sacrificed goats and other ‘halal’ animals commemorating Prophet Ibrahim’s great act of faith many centuries ago. Legend has it that Allah put him to a most difficult trial and he readily agreed to sacrifice his only son Ismail. The almighty accepted his sacrifice by replacing Ismail with a goat.
Meat is, therefore, sacrificed on the festival and distributed among neighbours, relatives and the poor.
Also known as Bakr-Eid or Eid-e-Qurban, it is the second major festival of Muslims after Eid-ul-Fitr. They exchange greetings with relatives and friends and treat those visiting their home with sweet dishes.