As the city gears up to celebrate the Muslim festival of sacrifice, Eid-ul-Zuha, on Wednesday, prices of goats to be sacrificed have touched half a lakh of rupees. Depending on the size and the breed, you may have to shell out anywhere between Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 50,000 for a goat in the tricity.
(At the goat market in Manimajra near Chandigarh. Sant Arora/HT)
Every year, about 4,000 goats are sacrificed as part of the festival in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar. These goats are available mainly in Manimajra, Burail and Sector 26 for Chandigarh and Panchkula, while in SAS Nagar they are sold in Phase 6, Shahimajra and Kharar too. Sellers say the minimum price at Manimajra is Rs. 5000 going up to Rs. 50,000, while in SAS Nagar the price ranges between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 18,000.
EId-ul-Zuha or Bakr-EId is celebrated by Muslims throughout the world at the traditional end of Haj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. The story behind it is that to show his loyalty, prophet Ibrahim had agreed to sacrifice anything at the will of Allah, even his eldest son. But when Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, God said that he had already fulfilled the vision, and in place of Ismail, his son, a lamb was sacrificed. It was seen as a test of faith; so Muslims sacrifice a beloved animal in the name of Allah on Bakr-Eid.
Mohiuddin, a resident of Sector 56, said, "Traditionally, one is required to nurture the goat for a year before the sacrifice, as the festival symbolises the sacrifice of a loved one."
"Also, as per the ritual, no bargaining is allowed. The goats are not weighed as such; but an estimate is made by looking at it carefully. Only those people who are earning and are free from debt can sacrifice an animal, says the ritual," added another seller at Manimajra, who identified himself only as Zira, Mohammad Surabuddin, who had come from Pinjore to sell goats at Manimajra, told HT, "A black goat is considered to be of good breed, and if the animal has a moon or a star formation on its hide, the rates shoot up."
Naseer Ahmed, a resident of Burail, who paid Rs. 10,000 for a goat, said, "The animal should not be injured or ill. The meat is divided into three portions - one for self, another distributed among friends and family, and the rest is for the poor."