Muslims in India are celebrating the annual festival of Eid al-Adha, also known as the 'Festival of Sacrifice' or 'Bakra Eid' today (Saturday).
It is believed that Prophet Ibrahim was tested by Allah to prove his faith in him and as an act of obedience he was willing to sacrifice his 13-year-old son Ismail. But, before Ibrahim could sacrifice his son, God intervened by sending his angel Jibreel (Gabriel), who then replaced his son with a lamb. Since then, as a tribute, Muslim families across the globe sacrifice a livestock animal, on Eid al-Adha to celebrate the divine intervention.
On the occasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ramnath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu greeted the people and asked them to be content with modest celebrations at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Eid Mubarak! Greetings on Eid al-Adha. May this day inspire us to create a just, harmonious and inclusive society. May the spirit of brotherhood and compassion be furthered," PM Modi tweeted.
President Ramnath Kovind said that the festival symbolises the spirit of sacrifice and amity and inspires us to work for the well-being of one and all. "On this occasion, let us share our happiness with the needy and follow social distancing norms and guidelines to contain COVID-19 spread," he added.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said Eid al-Adha is a celebration of unswerving devotion to god and the boundless compassion and love the almighty has for his creation.
"The festival inspires us to inculcate empathy, practice sacrifice and promote peace and universal brotherhood," he said.
As India and the world continue to fight a relentless battle against the spread of COVID-19, we have been forced to celebrate almost all of our traditional festivals at home in a more subdued manner, Naidu observed.
"Under these circumstances, we have to be content with a modest celebration and strictly adhere to the safety protocols of wearing masks, maintaining physical distancing and personal hygiene during all our celebrations," he said.
Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi offered prayers at his residence. "Keeping in view social distancing due to Corona pandemic, today I offered Namaz at my residence on the occasion of Eid-al-Adha and prayed for prosperity, harmony, unity, safety and well-being of the country. #EidAlAdha," Naqvi said.