01 August, 2021

Bakrid Diary

In this week's diary, historian RV Smith writes about the Bakrid festivities- tracing it back the Mughal era.

Illustration by Saahil
Bakrid Diary
Early Glimmers In Mehrauli

For the faithful, Bakrid, also known as Id-uz-Zuha and Id-al-Adha, goes back some 4,000 years, when the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) was commanded by God in a dream to sacrifice his dearest possession. He thought of offering his son, but this sacrificial zeal was mercifully arrested at the last moment when an angel stayed his hand. He decided to sacrifice a ram which was found entangled in the bushes of Mount Morea in West Asia. The tradition born of this event became Qurbani Id. When Mohammad Ghori conquered Delhi, Bakrid began to be celebrated in the city. His viceroy, Qutubuddin Aibak, observed the festival in Mehrauli. His Id spread was, of course, coarse compared to later ones. Such food was refined in the reign of Ghiasuddin Tughlak; his son Mohammad bin Tughlak added more...

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