With a day to go for Eid-ul-Azha, the goat bazaar at Jama Masjid in old Delhi is doing brisk business. But the star of the show is a goat - with a price tag of a whopping Rs.4.5 lakh.
"The goat's back has a natural pattern which reads like 'Allah' and '786'," its owner Danish Abbas Qureshi told IANS Tuesday. He expects a price of at least Rs.4.5 lakh.
Anything less than that?
"I have another goat with 'Mohammad' etched on its back. This one costs Rs.2.5 lakh," he said.
Muslims across the globe celebrate Eid-ul-Azha in honour of Prophet Abrahim, who was even willing to sacrifice his son Ismail to please Allah. According to Muslim belief, Allah replaced Ismail with a sheep just as Abrahim was about to slit the throat of his son. Hence the tradition of sacrificing an animal.
'Divine' goats like these are not unusual, however. Last year, a similar goat was sold for Rs.3 lakh, shopkeepers in the goat bazaar said.
Of course, bulk of the purchases are of modest amounts.
"Goats from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, belonging to breeds like Mewati, Barbari, Desi and Totapuri are available in the market. The prices start from Rs.5,000. But most healthy goats sell for Rs.10,000," said Kaleem Ali, a shopkeeper.
According to tradition, a sacrificial goat has to be selected carefully. It should be healthy, with a strong physique, and should not have any deformities.
"The goats with two teeth are young and those with four are middle aged. These are ideal for slaughtering as they are healthy. Goats with six teeth are old and should be avoided," a buyer, Suhaib Meraj, said.
"I purchased three goats last week for Bakr Eid. We have been feeding them lots of vegetables, jowar, and chana. So, now they are very healthy which is good, because when we cook their meat tomorrow, I am sure it will be juicy and delicious," he said.