Muslims across the globe are celebrating the festival of Bakrid, the festival which commemorates the readiness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son in order to prove his obedience to Allah. In India, the festival is celebrated with joy and religious fervour. One unique way of celebrating the festival of sacrifice is reported from the city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh.
The city of Nawabs and kebabs has shunned celebrating the quintessential sacrifice of a goat or lamb to mark the festival and have instead chosen what has been termed as an eco-friendly manner. According to news agency ANI, some people have decided to cut cakes with the image of goat over it instead of the usual sacrifice of an animal.
The sacrifice of goat is a part of the festival among the Muslims. A buyer told ANI that the custom of goat sacrifice is not right. “The custom of sacrificing an animal on Bakrid is not right. I appeal to everyone to celebrate the festival by cutting a cake instead of an animal,” the buyer said.
Meanwhile, according to some media reports, the move is initiated by a Muslim organisation, Muslim Rashtriya Manch, which is affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The RSS is the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP. The Manch has appealed to the Muslims in the past as well to not sacrifice animals on the festival.
According to a Hindustan Times report, a real estate businessman asked a baker in the Balaganj area to make a 25 kg cake in the shape of a goat. The businessman, a member of Muslim Rashtriya Manch, told the baker that he wanted to cut the goat-shaped cake to raise the need to stop the animal sacrifice. However, the baker was reluctant to make a goat-shaped cake, eventually, it made a normal cake with the image of a goat over it.
“They (baker) delivered a 5-kg normal cake with a picture of a goat on it. The cake was not what we had asked for but at least we made a beginning. They thought it was a sin but then is animal sacrifice justified?” said Raees Khan, the MRM’s convenor. He was also present during the ‘cake-cutting’ ceremony.
However, the move has invited sharp criticism from Darul-Uloom Deoband. Maulana Abdul Khalid Sambli described it as ‘najayaz’ or illegal. “The sacrifice that took place in Lucknow on Tuesday is not valid in Islam,” he told HT.