Mumbai: Muslims in Mumbai on Saturday celebrated Eid-ul-Azha or Bakrid with gaiety and in a spirit of sacrifice. The community offered prayers in the morning at various mosques in the Muslim pockets across the city and adjoining Thane district. Over four lakh goats and sheep were sacrificed in the city on the occasion.

More than 1.5 lakh goats and sheep were slaughtered at the Deonar abattoir alone, in eastern Mumbai, one of the biggest in the city. Over two lakh goats will be sacrificed in housing societies and other places where slaughtering is allowed.

The abattoir, the largest in Asia, ensured no illegal animal was brought in for slaughtering as per the circular ordered by the Bombay High Court.

Experienced officers at the abattoir checked the animals before giving them a certificate to ensure that no ill or below-age animal is allowed to be slaughtered.

The 41-year-old Deonar abattoir has already sold 1.51 lakh of the 1.72 lakh goats it acquired Oct 11. The meat will then be used to prepare a variety of dishes.

"Muslim households generally prepare a variety of sumptuous dishes like sheer khorma, payas and biryani," said Sayeeda Shaikh from the densely populated Byculla pocket of south central Mumbai.

City, state and traffic police officials chipped in to maintain a strict vigil in Colaba, Nagpada, Mumbai Central, Govandi, Bandra, Santacruz, Jogeshwari, Malad, Borivli, Bhandup and Ghatkopar and other Muslim pockets like Mira Road, Vasai and Virar, in Thane district, Nashik city and Malegaon in Nashik district, Aurangabad and Pune.

The Governor of Maharashtra, K. Sankaranarayanan also greeted people on the occasion.

"Bakrid is one of the most auspicious festivals celebrated by Muslims all over the world. The festival reminds us of the spirit of sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim. Islam attaches great importance to charity and caring for the poor and the less privileged," he said.

According to tradition, after cutting a goat or a sheep, every Muslim divides the meat into three parts. One part goes to the poor, the second to relatives and the third remains with the family. This is done to show the spirit of remembering the poor and also including relatives in the celebration.

Eid-ul-Azha, commonly known as Bakrid, is a three-day sacrifice festival celebrated in the memory of Prophet Ibrahim, who offered to sacrifice his son Prophet Ismail to please Allah.



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