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India celebrates Eid-ul-Azha with gaiety; PM, Prez share greetings

Eid-ul-Azha, which is popularly known as Bakrid marks the celebration of Prophet Ibrahim's sacrifice of his son for the Lord.
Last Updated : 17 June 2024, 16:28 IST

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New Delhi: Eid-ul-Azha was celebrated across India with great fervour on Monday with people turning up in large numbers dressed in traditional finery to offer prayers at mosques.

Top country leaders, including President Droupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, extended greetings on Eid-ul-Azha, which is popularly known as Bakrid and marks the celebration of Prophet Ibrahim's sacrifice of his son for the Lord.

In the national capital New Delhi, thousands offered prayers at the historic Jama Masjid. Muslim families assembled at the 17th century mosque on the occasion and shared hugs and wishes after the prayers.

Large number of people also offered special prayers at different mosques across the city. Eid-ul-Azha namaz was also offered on the mosque premises of the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra in Uttar Pradesh.

A local resident Shakeel Rafiq who offered namaz there, said, "We prayed for the peace and prosperity of the country. May the coming years bring prosperity for the people of India."

Speaking to PTI, Prince Vajpayee, Chief Conservation Assistant at Taj Mahal said, "On the occasion of the Eid-al-Adha, the entry for the devotees and others in the Taj Mahal premises was free till 7 am to 10 am."

Sharing greetings on the occasion, Modi said in a post on X, "Greetings on Eid-ul-Adha! May this special occasion further cement the bonds of harmony and togetherness in our society. May everyone be happy and healthy."

He also greeted the royal family and the prime minister of Kuwait, and highlighted the festival is an "integral part of India's multicultural heritage".

"Hon'ble Prime Minister @narendramodi extended festive greetings to H.H the Amir, H.H the Crown Prince and H.H the Prime Minister of Kuwait on the auspicious occasion of Eid al-Adha," the Indian Embassy in Kuwait posted on X.

In his message, Modi emphasised the values of sacrifice, compassion and brotherhood, embodied by this festival, which are "essential in building a peaceful and inclusive world", the statement said.

The President, too, wished people in an X post in Urdu saying, "On this occasion, let us all pledge to work together in the interest of all the citizens, especially the people of the deprived sections," Murmu added in her post in Urdu.

Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee, Pinarayi Vijayan, A Revanth Reddy, Champai Soren, and M K Stalin, and Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha are among other state leaders who greeted the Muslim community on the occasion.

In Srinagar, three former chief ministers -- Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti -- offered prayers at the Hazratbal Shrine where more than 50,000 people gathered for prayers on the occasion, officials said.

Smaller gatherings were seen at all Muslim places of worship across the valley, except for the historic Jamia Masjid in the old city where authorities refused to allow Eid prayers for the sixth year in a row.

"After Fajr prayers today, police personnel closed the gates of Jama Masjid in Srinagar and informed the Auqaf that Eid prayers scheduled for 9:00 am would not be permitted at the mosque," the Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid said in a statement.

The management body of the 14th century mosque claimed that Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who was scheduled to deliver the Eid sermon, was placed under house arrest.

The Eid prayers have been barred at Jama Masjid and Eidgah by the authorities since 2019.

Thousands of sheep, goats and other animals were sacrificed across the valley as per tradition, they said.

Authorities made elaborate security arrangements in Jammu for the celebration of Bakrid. The biggest congregations were held in Eidgah Residency Road, Mecca Masjid, and Jama Masjid Khatikan Talab, where hundreds of Muslims offered Eid prayers this morning.

Muslims in the Uttar Pradesh capital of Lucknow also celebrated the festival with gaiety as thousands offered special namaz at several mosques, including the city's Aishbagh Eidgah where people also prayed for relief from the searing heat.

Eidgah cleric Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahli told PTI that more than 1.5 lakh devotees offered special namaz on the occasion.

People also gathered in large numbers at mosques in Ayodhya and the Deoband seminary in Saharanpur to observe the occasion.

In Kerala, people of Muslim community, including the elderly and children, could be seen gathering in huge numbers in mosques and specially arranged Eidgahs for prayers to mark the occasion.

Imam V P Suhaib Moulavi led the namaz at the famed Palayam Juma Masjid, located in the heart of the state capital Thiruvananthapuram. During his address, Moulavi said the soul of the country is not communal, and if anyone attempts to do it the other way, they won't succeed.

Referring to the reports about the NCERT's decision to exclude the name of Babri Masjid from its textbooks, the scholar also urged it to withdraw from its decision and not to "saffronise" the country's history.

In Telangana, Muslim devotees offered prayers in large numbers at Mir Alam Eidgah and others in Hyderabad and also in different districts of the state.

The southern state of Tamil Nadu also saw large gatherings at mosques and Eidgahs.The festival spirit lifted the sale of meat and sweets in local markets and in several places, jamaths (public) organised 'Kootu Qurbani' (offering Qurbani by sharing the cost).

Jharkhand too saw people of Muslim community thronging their nearest mosques and offering Bakrid namaz. Hundreds gathered at the Ranchi Eidgah in the morning to offer their prayers.

One of the biggest religious holidays celebrated by Muslims around the world, Eid-ul-Azha marks the culmination of Haj rites at Mina, Makkah on the 10th of Zul Hijah (the last month of the Islamic calendar).

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Published 17 June 2024, 16:28 IST

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