Praying in Jama Masjid and feasting on mutton - it’s Eid!By Rahul Vaishnavi, IANS
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
NEW DELHI - The area around Jama Masjid in Delhi’s old quarter was a sight to behold Wednesday as men of all ages, dressed in crisp white pathani suits and matching skull caps, visited the 17th century mosque to offer prayers on Eid-ul-Azha and hugged each other, saying “Eid Mubarak”!
Muslims around the capital celebrated the festival by first offering prayers, distributing food among the needy and then feasting on mutton delicacies.
“I offered my prayers at Jama Masjid in the morning with my friends and relatives. Then we sacrificed the two goats and three lambs we had got a week back,” said Faisal Jehan, a resident of Daryaganj.
“Now my mother is preparing some delicacies and I’ll also be visiting my relatives who put up nearby.”
Muslims across the globe celebrate Eid-ul-Azha in honour of Prophet Ibrahim, who was willing to sacrifice his son Ismail to please Allah. According to Muslim belief, Allah replaced Ismail with a sheep just as Ibrahim was about to sacrifice him. Hence, the tradition of sacrificing an animal.
Mufti Haneef, the imam at Eidgah grounds in central Delhi, said in his message that peace and harmony should prevail in the country. While prayers took place in mosques, many women offered namaz at home.
Food, of course, casts an enduring spell on the festival. Platters with liver as the core ingredient are prepared in homes as are equally mouth-watering sweet sevaiyan.
People usually commence feasting with a dish made of kaleji or liver. The usual delicacies are liver fry and liver curry, which are supposed to be eaten with khameeri rotis - round fluffy breads made of flour.
“It is a common ritual to feast on the liver of the goat or lamb which has been sacrificed. So a dish made of liver is usually had before gorging on other delicacies,” Zahir Abbas Khan, who sacrificed 10 goats, told IANS.
“I am preparing fried liver, mutton stew and sevaiyan for the festival. Our neighbours and friends will bring home made dishes and it will be like a community lunch,” said Parveen Nasreen, a homemaker in Azad Market.
Shops around Jama Masjid remained open late into the night on the eve of Eid-ul-Azha and people thronged shops which seemed to be selling everything, from footwear to hookahs to kebabs.
“Every year on the eve of Eid, we remain open all night and down our shutters only at around 6 a.m. The market remains crowded with so many shoppers that sales are equivalent to that of a whole month!” said Taha Umar, owner of a footwear shop in Jama Masjid market.
The enthusiasm was hard to miss.
“I love this festive season as the markets remain open till late and there is so much of activity everywhere. I went to Meena Bazaar last night and got a hookah for myself,” Faizan Miraj, a resident of Chandni Chowk, told IANS.