Celebrate the Spirit of Sacrifice. Spare the Animals.

Posted on November 26, 2009
Filed Under >temporal, Economy & Development, Religion, Society
Total Views: 158370


spare the poor goat or lamb or cows life. The purpose of sacrifice is to understand the spirit of parting with what you hold dear (your wealth), it is not some muqabla against four-legged animals.

Please pause and think … That, after all, is what religion should make us do rather than blindly following ritual.

According to the many organizations that will perform the sacrifice for you if you live abroad, the cost of one goat/sheep is US$ 160 in the US (that is more than one month’s salary for a college educated Pakistani professional). The price in Pakistan is cheaper, but not by much. Only the well wheeled can afford it. The Poor cannot even budget for a kilo of meat a month.

Is there a better way to ‘sacrifice’ the 150-200 dollars or the Rs. 10,000 or more in the name of Allah that is useful to His bandas? A way that captures the spirit of sacrifice that qurbani entails and helps us meet our religious obligation as well as the social welfare and redistribution that is its deeper purpose?

The Qur’an reminds us that Allah looks at intent not the blood. Maybe we too should pay heed to the intent of qurbani? For those who want to sacrifice this writer instead, please read Chapter 22, Verse 37 from the Holy Qur’an (I have looked at translations by Marmaduke, Yusufali, Asad and Usmani) and they all talk about your own devotion, piety, God-consciousness and taqwa that reaches Him.

The meat from the sacrificial animal is intended to be divided into three parts: 1/3rd each for your self, family and friends, and for the needy and the poor. I would suggest we fore go our share, and give the whole amount to the poor including poor relations. Charity and alms should be given throughout the year, and many people do. But with this added emphasis around Eid ul Adha I would suggest we consider giving more to the poor including poor relations.

Allah looks at intent not the blood. What better way to celebrate this Eid?

On my last visit I saw a lot of people drive up to a certain “hotel” (Pinglish for restaurant) and pay the owner X rupees to feed X number of hungry folks lined up outside. That is a noble idea. But would it not be better better to teach them to fish?

A manual sewing machine for a widow or unemployed poor woman? Tuition Fees or books for a poor student? Some money to ease the days for the unemployed people? A small monthly stipend to the poor that may bring a ray of hope in their lives and may perhaps deter them from abandoning their children to the fogs of terrorist factories?

We can think of many ways to make Him happy and spare the lamb. May Allah bless you and your family.

Note: This is based on an earlier post published on temporal’s blog Baithak.

310 responses to “Celebrate the Spirit of Sacrifice. Spare the Animals.”

  1. animal over says:

    ‘Kill & spread the meat’ OR ‘Save & share the Joy’.
    Unfortunately, the muslims have chosen the former.

  2. saif says:

    You have a point animal lover. When everything already belongs to Allah, the Creator, extolling and glorifying eid day animal killings as “sacrifice” or calling it “killing for Allah” is not right.

  3. animal lover says:

    Sacrifice means offer something from your own possession. Animals are not born off a human embryo. These are entirely different species. They do not belong to muslims. They only belong to their Creator, Allah. Are you trying to “fool” the God by offering Him something that is already His. Allah does not need anything from man. In a way you are cheating Allah by glorifying this act of deception, by calling it a religious obligation. When Allah the Almighty, is already the absolute owner of everything, how can muslims claim that they are “offering” something to Allah ! SLAUGHTER IS A MERE KILLING FOR HEAPS OF MEAT TO FILL YOUR FRIDGES, NOT A SACRIFICE!!

  4. animal lover says:

    Welcome back!

    In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, billions of helpless animals await (in)humanely act, which would be everything but without “mercy”.
    Countdown for Annual “bravery” day 2011 has begun… tied, bonded, forced, helpless animals would be subject to unparalleled islamic bravery…
    Friends, are your fridges ready for loads of meat which you’d have to eat for days… uhh, as “bye-product” for the “sacrifice” to Allah, the Most Kind…. Afterall, isn’t that “the spirit of sacrifice”, for many of us here…!!!

  5. Saadia Ali says:

    The spirit behind eid ul adha relates to the importance we give to the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah,which the Prophet has described as the most blessed days of the year. In the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah, the companions of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) would fast, perform extra dhikr and nafl prayers, do extra reading of the Qur’an, be overly generous in giving charity, repent for their sins, show gratefulness to Allah (subhanahu wata’ala) and finally perform udhiya (i.e. sacrifice an animal for the sake of Allah). In other words, they would live by the statement of Allah where He (subhanahu wata’ala) says, “Say: ‘Verily, my salaat, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are all for Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alameen’” (6:162). Thus, we too need to increase in our ibaadah in the first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah just as we do in the month of Ramadan. Then, and only then, will we be able to achieve the purpose and spirit of ‘Eid-ul-Adha and truly give this blessed day the right and respect that it deserves. Its the ritual minus spirit mentality which leads to the problems mentioned in the article and the comments so lets not shy away from putting meat on the table of those who get it only once a year but do it so to get Allah’s “QURB” closeness.

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