The festival, celebrated by Muslims across the globe, symbolizes sacrifice, absolute devotion to God Almighty and compassion for the poor. Attired in their best, Muslims brethren offered special prayers at the Idgahs and mosques in the morning and exchanged greetings. In the Capital city, thousands of Muslims offered prayers at Mir Alam Idgah, Mecca Masjid, Masab Tank and other places.
The City Police Commissioner visited various places in the old city and supervised the arrangements for the festival. Police made elaborate security arrangements in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The festival was also celebrated at many places like Nizamabad, Bodhan, Warangal Kazipet, , Karimnagar, Peddapalli, Adilabad, Nirmal, Bhainsa, Zaheerabad, Khammam, Mahbubabad, Nalgonda, Tandur, Vikarabad and other places.
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and Governor of the two Telugu States E.S.L. Narasimha Rao greeted the people on the occasion. Tens of thousands offered prayers in Hyderabad and 30 other districts of Telangana State.
Delivering 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 Bakr-id or Eid-e-Qurban, it is the second major festival of Muslims. The meat of the sacrificed animal is divided equally into 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 Old city 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 for Rs 5,500 to Rs 8,000 each. In response to the appeal made by a group of religious scholars, Muslims preferred sacrificing goats, sheep and cattle rather than cows.
Deputy Chief Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali had appealed to Muslims to respect sentiments of their countrymen by avoiding sacrifice of cows. He advised them to sacrifice goat or other cattle. 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. The imams in Hyderabad prayed for peace in the country and across the world. They also prayed for rains as the city is facing drinking water shortage due to insufficient rains this season.
Tight security arrangements were made in the communally sensitive old city of Hyderabad in view of the ongoing Ganesh festivities, which will conclude with the annual immersion processions on Tuesday. In Andhra Pradesh, huge Eid congregations were seen in Vijayawada, Guntur, Kurnool, Kadapa, Anantapur and other major towns of the State. (NSS)