Story time: The joys of Eidul Azha

Published June 8, 2024
Illustration by Aamnah Arshad
Illustration by Aamnah Arshad

Afew days before the last Eidul Azha, my father, uncle, cousins and I went to the cattle market to buy a cow for sacrifice. After spending a few hours there and inspecting many animals, we finally bought a cow and brought it home in a truck.

When we arrived home with the cow, not only my family members, but also many people from the neighbourhood came out to see it. The cow was big and somewhat dangerous, and it wouldn’t get down from the truck. When it finally did, it immediately ran away. We, along with many other people, ran after it and, with great difficulty, managed to catch it and bring it home.

Once we had secured the cow inside the house, we provided it with water and food. My cousins and I took care of the cow, protecting it from the sun by installing a temporary shade and playing with it in the afternoon. In the evening, we would take it out for a stroll. We stayed up all night playing games like Ludo and Carrom in our front yard so that we could keep an eye on the cow. We went to sleep after praying Fajr.

A day before Eid, we noticed that our cow was dirty, so we gave it a bath. We also bought garlands and special jewellery designed for cattle, such as anklets and a beautiful crown, which we tied on our cow’s forehead.

That day, Dad said we must book a butcher for the first day of Eid. So we went out and after much difficulty, found one and booked him immediately. That was our last night with the cow. We were all very sad because our beloved cow was going to be slaughtered. So, we took our cow for a final stroll. There were many other people out with their cows and goats, sharing the same emotions. When we returned, we fed it by our hands and let it rest. We were all crying and petting our cow, treasuring our final moments together.

The next morning, we went to offer the Eidul Azha prayer. On our return, the animals started being slaughtered in the special enclosure set up for this purpose in our street. Finally, when it was our cow’s turn, my eyes were wet because I had become attached to it. Similarly, my younger brother was crying a lot because he loved our cow even more than I did. After the meat was cut and divided into seven equal portions, we shared it with our relatives, neighbours and the needy.

Despite our sadness, we took comfort in knowing that our sacrifice would bring joy to others and fulfil a sacred tradition.

Published in Dawn, Young World, June 8th, 2024

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