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High spirit, low temperature

IT?S NOT just the sacrificial lamb getting gooseflesh; the biting cold is chilling everyone. The festive spirit is high, if only the temperature wasn?t so low! ?Unlike Id-ul-Fitr, in which celebrations comprise mostly meeting and eating, in Id-ul-Azha, there are chores to take care of. The lambs have to be sacrificed and the meat to be divided and distributed immediately. Hence, the earlier the namaz is offered the better,? reasons Ejaz Farooqui, who lives in Aliganj.

india Updated: Jan 11, 2006 00:35 IST

IT’S NOT just the sacrificial lamb getting gooseflesh; the biting cold is chilling everyone. The festive spirit is high, if only the temperature wasn’t so low!

“Unlike Id-ul-Fitr, in which celebrations comprise mostly meeting and eating, in Id-ul-Azha, there are chores to take care of. The lambs have to be sacrificed and the meat to be divided and distributed immediately. Hence, the earlier the namaz is offered the better,” reasons Ejaz Farooqui, who lives in Aliganj.

With temperature dipping to a freezing 3 degrees Celsius, the proposition of rising at the coldest hour and bathing for the namaz is something of a penance for most of the devouts, especially, the elderly or the ailing. But the housewives offer the flip side of the weather blues. “When it is so cold, you don’t really have to worry about the curd going sour or other things going bad. So, one can do most of the preparation beforehand,” says Nasreen Fatima, a schoolteacher.

Of course, as in the case of all Muslim occasions/ festivals, the date keeps moving 10 days back, each year. So, it would not be every year that the festival would come in a icy package. “It has been around three decades since the festival last fell on such a cold and frosty morning,” recalls septuagenarian MY Khan.

The much sought-after butchers on this day may not be so hard to get as a high court order has rendered as many as 259 of them out of job. The HC order had asked the municipal corporation to close all illegal meat shops in residential localities in the city. “In any case, even the regular ones usually remain closed because of the festival and the demand for butchers who charge anywhere between Rs 150-250 per sacrifice,” informs Mohd Irfan of New Janata Meat Shop, Indira Nagar. “It is not the flesh or blood of the animal sacrificed but the purity of faith and intention that reaches Allah,” reminds Naib Imam of Eidgah Maulana Khalid Rasheed, appealing to people to ensure cleaning up of waste after slaughter and not dumping it to create a civic nuisance.

The namaz timing is accordingly fixed at most masjids to suit the convenience of the devout. While at most masjids it would be observed as early as at 7:30 in the morning, the Id-ul-Azha namaz at Eidgah (Aishbagh) would be held as usual at 10 am.

“The Prophet of Islam always offered Id namaz at the Eidgah and it is sunnah (sacrosanct) to do so,” reminds Imam of Eidgah Maulana Abu Taiyab Ahmed Miyan Farangi Mahali.