How Sincere is Your Animal Sacrifice On Eid Ul Azha? 

As a people, we often overlook the true spirit of Islamic rituals and often tend to lose ourselves in the process. Eid Ul Azha exemplifies the epitome of perfect sacrifice. How successful are we in seeking inspiration from the example of the purest of sacrifices for the sake of Allah swt? Our contributors weigh in: 

1. Sacrifice is Trust in Allah 

By Mushtaq Hurra

HAD paternal affection restricted the hands of prophet Ibraheem (as), the world would have been deprived of the grand festivity of Eid Ul Azha. Though we rejoice, relish and celebrate a lot on the auspicious day, it is something beyond enthusiasm and ostentatious. I mean, the philosophy behind the noble ritual is deep and beyond blood and meat. Allah SWT has categorically made it clear in the holy Quran. “It is neither your flesh nor blood that pleases Allah. It is your piety that pleases Allah SWT. ” (Surah Hajj)

Syedna Ibraheem (as) and his son Syedna Isma-eel (as ) set an immortal and glaring example of sacrifice which has no parallels in the entire human history. The extraordinarily rare gesture of extensive loyalty and devotion is a beacon of light for humanity in general and muslims in particular, till the day of resurrection. The act pleased Allah to the extent that He bestowed divine elevation and proximity to the father-son duo of Ibraheem and Isma-eel (as), and made it mandatory and obligatory for muslims to memorialise the exemplary audacity and courage displayed by them. The day is marked as Eid Ul Azha in the Islamic world.

Distribution of mutton and beef steaks on Eid Ul Azha acquaints us with the glorious tradition of apportionment, oblation,absolute submission to the will of God, obedience,the value of uterine relationships, rights of paupers, destitute and the poor. Young boys carrying these meat pieces in beautifully designed hampers, visiting neighbours and relatives, fills the environs with the aroma of brotherhood, mutual love, sincerity, selflessness and Tawhid ( Oneness of Allah ) – Allahu-Akbar. The annual commemoration of the noble sunnati Ibraheem (as)  is one of the revered and prominent festivals of the muslim world.

Though Eid Ul Azha teaches us a number of lessons, morals and ethics but the crux of it is “Tawakull Alallah” (Trust in Allah). It strengthens and reinforces our faith and refreshes our bond with Allah SWT. As we have solemnly vowed to affirm our faith in the doctrine of predestination —all good and bad comes from Allah SWT. Syedna Ibraheem (as) and his son Syedna Isma-eel (as) practicalised this belief. They put their souls in their palms, and proffered before their Lord.

Our pyres will turn into beds of roses, if we have that iron willed determination and absolute trust in Allah like Ibraheem (as). Tawakull Alallah is the potion for our rusty hearts. It is the remedy for our troubles and it is the antidote for our bitten souls.

Contemporary muslims are caught up in chaos, confusion, stress, anxiety and lust for material pursuits. Unlike their ancestors, present-day muslims believe in sources, not in the Creator.

On the other end, the example of Syedna Ibraheem (as) exemplifies absolute trust in Allah SWT. His feet didn’t wobble, his hands didn’t tremble and his faith didn’t shake because his trust/Tawakull in Allah SWT was solid and sheer. It was his trust and reliance on Allah SWT which ran his knife on the throat of Isma-eel (as) and Allah SWT didn’t breach his trust rather rewarded him with infinite bounties, blessings, favours and prizes.

Tawakull Alallah is the secret of a happy life. Those who trust in Allah SWT for every good and bad don’t blame themselves or others for any misfortune or misadventure rather they attribute it to their destinies and fates. This maxim helps to reduce grief, sorrow and pains. In nutshell, faith works wonders. Even most of the psychiatrists of the world advise their patients to stick to their religious preachings and teachings in order to get rid of stress and strain. This is the only way to attain salvation here and hereafter.

Faith/ Imaan is the preliminary prerequisite to enter the enclave of Islam. Charity, worship/ibaadah and virtuousness is subject to our faith in Allah SWT. Hypocrites/Munafiqeen stand parallel to believers/moomineen in their queues but their faith is not uncontrived. Scores of non-muslims carry out prodigious and substantial philanthropic and charitable deeds but their motive behind all this is not as meaningful. Strong faith consolidates one’s trust in Allah and absolute trust in Allah is the key to win His pleasures and privileges. Steadfastness and perseverance are the pillars of faith and your true faith in one Allah liberates you from the yokes of slavery of numerous idols. Wealth, money, big houses, acquisition of land and property have become our virtual Gods whom we worship day in and day out.

Ho Agar Aaj Bhee Ibraheem Ka Eemaan Paida, Aag Karsakti Hai Andaazi Gulistaan Paida

If the unwavering faith of Ibraheem is born again, conflagration is sure to produce blooms 

2. Insincere and Incomplete Sacrifices 

By Dr. Ashaq Hussain

It’s Eid. Take a look around you and explore the happenings and life around. Animal Fairs will be seen everywhere with great hustle bustle and decorations at various places.

Mostpeople who come to buy cattle examine the animal in the same way as the butchers do. The flesh found in the animal is calculated, although Almighty has already made it clear that neither blood nor flesh reaches Him. He decides whether to accept or reject the sacrifice only on the basis of sincerity and devotion of the sacrificer.

The appetite for food is so high that it is planned in advance which dishes to prepare. A lot of money is spent on buying other items for them. The prices and demand of refrigerators and freezers are also high during these days. There are indications of how concerned people are about storing and preserving the meat and how much they care for it, even though the sacrificial meat is commanded to be distributed.

I feel like Eid-ul-Adha is a festival of eating meat instead of sacrificing it. It is as if on the occasion of sacrifice, the intention is not to sacrifice in the presence of Allah, but to take advantage of this opportunity to show-off one’s name, fame and wealth. Expensive cattle are bought for sacrifice in order to prove the superiority of wealth over the people.

Remember, when the intention itself is not pure, the sacrifice will have the same fate as the sacrifice of Qabeel which was inconsequential.

The sacrificial meat has been made halal for the Muslim Ummah, everyone can eat it. Distributing the sacrificial meat is recommended. It is to be divided into three parts, one for oneself, one part for others and one part for relatives. It is permissible for a person to distribute all the meat and if the family of the sacrificer is large it can all be kept to oneself. However, people have now started hoarding sacrificial meat for the entire year in deep refrigerators.Still others who do distribute meat, often keep the fleshy parts to themselves and distribute the bony parts to others, This defeats the entire purpose of sacrifice.

Sacrificers should keep in mind that Allah Almighty does not need meat or blood. At the time of sacrifice, neither the blood of the sacrifice nor the flesh of the sacrifice reaches Allah. What Allah wants is the sincerity of the sacrificer. The perfection of goodness can be reached only by sacrificing one’s dearest possessions as Abraham did. If we celebrate Eid-ul-Adha as a Sunnah of Abraham, then it should be remembered that this Sunnah will be performed only if we give a valuable part of our wealth in the way of God. The sacrificial meat should be evenly distributed.

Additionally, Islam is the religion of nature and never gives any command that affects the beauty of it. Islam requires purity and cleanliness.Sacrifice does not mean bringing cattle and scattering their waste all over the neighborhood.

Sacrifice has been considered a source of nearness to God since time immemorial. This passion of offering the best part of one’s wealth to Allah in order to attain nearness to Allah is not limited to the day of Eid-ul-Adha but it is a lesson that we should follow every day. Eid-ul-Adha is inviting us to sell our lives and our wealth to Allah, in exchange for Paradise and to live our lives according to His commands. So, on this occasion of Eid-Ul-Adha, sacrifice your stubbornness, ego, jealousy, hatred, and mistrust. If we learn this lesson, we are successful, otherwise, merely cutting the throats of animals will not bring us closer to God and our sacrifice will be rejected like the sacrifice of Qabeel.

  • Dr. Ashaq Hussain is Associate Professor at Govt. Degree College Chatroo and can be reached at [email protected]

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