Hyderabad: Gaiety marked Eid-ul-Adha, the festival of sacrifice, across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Monday.
Muslims in Hyderabad and in other towns of Telangana, and in the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh offered Eid prayers and sacrificed goats or cattle commemorating the great sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim.
Lakhs of Muslims offered prayers at hundreds of mosques and at Eidgahs in Hyderabad and 30 other districts of Telangana and all 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh.
The day began with Muslims attired in their best, offering Eid prayers. At many places, Eid prayers were offered few minutes after ‘Namaz-e-Fajr’ or the regular pre-sunrise prayers.
The imams’ or priests offered ‘dua’ (supplication) for peace in the country, especially in Jammu and Kashmir, where restrictions are in force following scrapping of Article 370. ‘Dua’ was also offered for the people of flood-hit Kerala, Karnataka and other states.
The biggest congregation in Hyderabad was held at the historic Mir Alam Eidgah, where over one lakh Muslims offered prayers led by Maulana Mohammed Rizwan Qureshi.
The historic Mecca Masjid, Madannapet Eidgah, Hockey Ground Masab Tank and Military Ground Mehdipatnam witnessed other big congregations. Prayers were also held at hundreds of mosques in the city.
During their speeches before namaz, the imams exhorted Muslims to imbibe the spirit of sacrifice and follow Prophet Ibrahim, who offered to sacrifice his son Prophet Ismail to please Allah. The Almighty replaced Ismail with a sheep just as Ibrahim was about to sacrifice him.
Also known as Bakrid or Eid-e-Qurban, it is the second major festival of Muslims.
The meat of the sacrificed animal is distributed equally in three parts. The person making the sacrifice keeps one part for his family while the other two parts are distributed among relatives and the poor.
The sacrifice can be made during the three-day celebrations, with Monday being the first day.
The streets of the Muslim-majority old city of Hyderabad wore a festive look while butchers coming from other districts did brisk business.
Hectic activity was seen in many parts of the city as the sale of goats continued throughout the night. The goats and sheep were sold at Rs 7,000 to Rs 9,000 each.
Police made tight security arrangements especially in the communally sensitive old city of Hyderabad to prevent any untoward incident. Special check posts were formed at different places to prevent illegal transport of cattle.
Eid was also celebrated with gaiety in Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar, Adilabad, Warangal and other towns of Telangana.
In Andhra Pradesh, huge Eid congregations were seen in Vijayawada, Guntur, Kurnool, Kadapa, Anantapur and other major towns of the state.
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and Telangana Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan greeted people on Eid.