MUSLIM FESTIVALS - ID
Hinduism, India is also the home of innumerable other
faiths and the religious and cultural diversity of this
nation is manifested in the large number of non-Hindu
The sizeable Muslim communities have their Ids in common
with Muslims across the world. Idu'l Fitr, Idu'l Zuha
and Id-i-Milad are the three festive occasions widely
celebrated by Muslims in India.
Id is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over the
country, and one can see Muslims of all age groups and
from all stratas of society attired in new clothes,
visiting mosques to offer namaaz.
The tombs of many Sufi saints attract devotees of all
religious persuasions, especially during the urs or
death anniversaries. The best known urs are centred
at tombs in towns like Ajmer, Delhi, Manakpur, Nagore
Id-ul-Fitr (Ramzan Id)
Coming with the new moon, this festival marks the end
of Ramzan, the ninth month of the Muslim year. It was
during this month that the holy Koran was revealed.
Muslims keep a fast every day during this month and
on the completion of the period, which is decided by
the appearance of the new moon, Id-ul-Fitr is celebrated
with great eclat. Prayers are offered in mosques and
Idgahs and elaborate festivities are held.
Id-ul-Azha or Id-ul-Zuha (Bakr-Id)
The Id-ul-Azha commemorates the ordeal of Hazrat Ibrahim,
who had been put to a terrible test by God when he was
asked to sacrifice whatever was dearest to him and he
decided to sacrifice the life of his son. As he was
on the point of applying the sword to his son's throat,
it was revealed to him that this was meant only to test
his faith, and it was enough, if instead he sacrifices
only a ram in the name of Allah. This is celebrated
on the tenth day of Zilhijja, when the Haj celebrations
at Mecca are rounded off by the sacrifice of goats or
camels. In India, too, goats and sheep are sacrificed
all over the country and prayers are offered.
The Prophet was born on the twelfth day of Rabi-ul-Awwal,
the third month of the Muslim year. His death anniversary
also falls on the same day, the word 'barah' standing
for the twelve days of the Prophet's sickness. During
these days, sermons are delivered in mosques by learned
men, focussing on the life and noble deeds of the Prophet.
In some parts of the country, a ceremony known as 'sandal
'rite is performed over the symbolic footprints of the
Prophet engraved in stone. A representation of 'buraq',
a horse on which the Prophet is believed to have ascended
to heaven , is kept near the footprints and anointed
with sandal paste or scented powder, and the house and
casket containing these are elaborately decorated. Elegies
or 'marsiyas' are sung in memory of the last days of
the Prophet. The twelfth day or the Urs proper is observed
quietly, in prayers and alms-giving.