Palula Community Welfare Organization

Religious Rituals

There are two days out of 365 days of the year, which are celebrated with religious zeal and excitement. The first is the day of Eid-ul-Fitar and the second is the Eid-ul-Azha. Both of these religious holidays are discussed in the following paragraphs;

1. Eid-ul-Fitar (lhooki axtar)

It is the holiday celebrated by all the Muslims through out the world at the end of the fasting month. It is called as, “lhooki axtar” in the local language, which means the small Eid. This is held after the proper announcement by a committee called as, “The Ruyati Hilal committee” consisting of a number of religious scholars appointed by the government. This committee is established in the last week of the fasting month and they are assigned the task of witnessing the moon. They are also equiped with the latest available equipments to see the new moon, which is usually invisible. In case of their success or failure the announcement is made both on radio and television and the Eid day is celebrated accordingly.

When the announcement for the commencement of the Eid is made, the people express their excitements through firing with guns in the air. This trend was more deeply rooted in the village of koodghaa but it has now been considerably reduced and less interest in this regards, is being taken place by the people. The preparations of celebrating the Eid day however is started a couple of days before but with the annoncement these gets the final shape and every thing is being arranged with immediate effect. On this day, all of the individuals of a family get up early in the morning, takes bath, put on new clothes, offer their prayers and then takes the break fast and then move towards other relatives to offer them the greetings (umubarki) of the Eid day. The adult male then goes to the village mosque to offer the Eid prayer, while the boys goes to the bazaar and some of the youth arrange trips to other areas like; Chitral, Nager and Drosh etc.

Another distinctive characteristic of this day is this that the people give money to the poor, which is called, “sarsaaya”. This event is obligatory to all those who can afford to give it to others. According to this religious value, each head of the household is responsible to count his family members and then multiply it with the amount announced by the religious scholars to be delivered for per head. The per head amount depends upon the price of (2.5kg) of wheat grain in the bazaar. This amount is then distributed among the poor most preferably the close relatives and the neighbours.

2. Eid-ul-Azha or Eid –ul-Qurban

This is also celebrated once in a year. It is called as the’ “geeDi axtar” which literally means the big Eid. It is held after about 70 days of the Eid-ul-Fitar while witnessing the moon of the new month. It is celebrated in the memorandum of Hazrat Ibrahim, who sacrificed his son Hazrat Ismail to fulfil the will of God and to meet his commandments. Almighty Allah wanted to examine and test his beloved prophet and therefore asked him to slaughter his son for the will of God. Hazrat Ibrahim, while obeying the commandment of almighty Allah laid down his son and started to slaughter him while having his eyes closed. In the mean time, almighty Allah sent a sheep from the heaven and when Hazrat Ibrahim was done with his job of slaughtering, he opened his eyes and saw a slaughtered sheep and his son as safe and sound. He then thanked almighty Allah for making him succeeded in his examination and in this way almighty Allah accepted the sacrifices made by the father and son. Later on, the Muslims through out the word started to follow this tract and commandment of Allah and it will remain continue till the dooms day.

This Eid is celebrated in the same way as the Eid-ul-Fitar with full religious zeal except the slaughtering and sacrificing of the animals (qubaani). When the people return from the village mosque after having offered the Eid prayer, they start to slaughter the animals in the name of God. The meat obtained in this way is divided into three parts and the third part is then distributed among the poor while the remaining two parts are used by the house hold members. It is a religious obligation, especially to those who can afford to sacrifice the animals for the sake of God. The slaughtering of the animals is done individually or collectively. In an individual slaughter, a person can slaughter a sheep or a goat, according to his capability. On the other hand, in collective type of slaughtering, a group of persons is made consisting of about 5 or 7 or 9 individuals. They collectively buy an animal, usually a cow or a bull and slaughter it. The meat is distributed equally among the members.