Bakrid / Eid al Adha

Bakrid, or the Feast of Sacrifice, is an Islamic holiday that is celebrated in India and other areas of the world with large Muslim populations.

Culture & Heritage | Faith & Spirituality


Since the holiday is based on the Islamic calendar, it is not celebrated on the same date each year. This holiday honours the faithfulness of Prophet Ibrahim when Allah ordered him to sacrifice his son, Ismail. This important festival in India is a day of reverence and respect. It is also an excellent opportunity for Indian Muslims to enjoy a day off from work and to bond with their friends and family members.

To test Ibrahim’s obedience, Allah ordered Ibrahim to sacrifice Ismail. At first, Ibrahim believed this demand to be a test, so he ignored the demand. Ibrahim eventually realized that this demand was truly the word of Allah. Soon after this, Ibrahim brought Ismail to the summit of Mount Arafat. Filled with grief and hesitation, Ibrahim tethered Ismail to an altar. Ibrahim closed his eyes as he plunged a dagger into the sacrifice.

Upon opening his eyes, a dead ram was on the altar in Ismail’s place. Ibrahim was initially very shocked and thought that he would be punished by Allah for not sacrificing his only son. Allah reassured Ibrahim that he appreciated Ibrahim’s loyalty and that he could keep Ismail. Ibrahim was extremely grateful, so he committed the remainder of his life to serving Allah. The Feast of Sacrifice honours the actions and sacrifices of Ibrahim in this story.

One of the most famous activities of the Festival of Sacrifice is the sacrifice of a domestic animal. Some of the most commonly sacrificed animals are camels, sheep and goats. The act of sacrificing an animal is also known as qurbani.

During this festival, a portion of the sacrificed animal is kept for a feast and the remaining meat is distributed to homeless and poor people. Since every Muslim family is expected to sacrifice an animal and give charity during Eid al Adha, everyone is well-fed on this holiday.

Several special prayers, or dua, are recited at certain times of Eid al Adha. One of the most important prayers is recited before the sacrifice of an animal. It is believed that the prayers of the Feast of Sacrifice bring peace and prosperity.