Mumbai: Muslims in Mumbai celebrated Eid-ul-Zuha Monday with gaiety and the spirit of sacrifice. Around five lakh goats and sheep were sacrificed in the city on the occasion.
The community offered prayers in the morning at various mosques in Muslim pockets across the city and adjoining Thane district and then got down to sacrificing goats and sheep.
Nearly two lakh goats and sheep were expected to be slaughtered at eastern Mumbai`s Deonar abattoir alone, while over three 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 a circular 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 was used for sacrifice.
The meat will then be used to prepare a variety of dishes.
"Muslim households generally prepare a variety of sumptuous dishes like sheer korma, payas and mutton biryani. Unlike Eid-ul-Fitr which is celebrated at the end of Ramzan, Bakr-Eid is not just sweet dishes," said Sajeda Khan from the densely populated Byculla pocket of south central Mumbai.
Also doing their bit were the city and state police, including traffic officials, who maintained a strict vigil throughout areas like 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.
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 to include relatives in the celebration.
India has over 140 million Muslims, the third largest population of Muslims in the world after Indonesia and Pakistan.