Sunday, August 31, 2014


Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah and lasts for four days. Eid al-Adha meaning "Festival of the sacrifice", also called the Feast of the Sacrifice, or Greater Eid, “Hari Raya Korban” is the second of two religious holidays celebrated by Muslims worldwide each year. This is a very sacred month in the Islamic calendar, marking the end of the year. It is also in this month in which the Dhu al-Hijjah takes place, which literally means "Possessor of the Pilgrimage."

The Hajj (as many would know is the fifth “Pillars of Islam”), a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime, when one is able and have fulfilled his obligations. The Hajj and Eid al-Adha is not related, it is two separate occasions. It is during this month that pilgrims from all around the world congregate at Mecca to visit the Kaaba. The Hajj is performed on the eighth, ninth and the tenth of this month. 

The Eid al-Adha on the other hand the "Festival of the Sacrifice", begins on the tenth day and ends on sunset of the twelfth. Eid al-Adha has no significant correlation with the Hajj. Eid al-Adha honors the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his young first-born son Ishmael (Ismail) as an act of submission to God's command, before God then intervened to provide Abraham with a lamb to sacrifice instead. In the lunar-based Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah and lasts for four days. In the international Gregorian calendar, the dates vary from year to year, drifting approximately 11 days earlier each year. The days of Eid have also been singled out in the Hadith as "days of remembrance". 

“Days of remembrance of what?” Well it all took place some four thousand years ago in Makkah where Prophet Abraham (pbuh) faith was tested. One of the main trials of Abraham's life was to face the command of God to sacrifice his dearest possession (his only son Ishmael).

Makkah, Circa 1990

Although Abraham was ready to sacrifice his dearest for God's sake, he could not just bring his son to the place of sacrifice without his consent. Ishmael had to be consulted as to whether he was willing to give up his life in fulfillment of God's command. This consultation would be a major test of Ishmael's maturity in faith; love and commitment for God; willingness to obey his father; and readiness to sacrifice his own life for the sake of God.

Abraham presented the matter to his son and asked for his opinion about the dreams of slaughtering him. Ishmael did not show any hesitation or reservation even for a moment. He said, "Father, do what you have been commanded. You will find me, Insha'Allah (God willing), to be very patient.

His mature response, his deep insight into the nature of his father’s dreams, his commitment to God, and ultimately his willingness to sacrifice his own life for the sake of God were all unprecedented.

When Abraham attempted to cut Ishmael's throat, he was astonished to see that Ishmael was unharmed and instead, he found a dead ram which was slaughtered. Abraham had passed the test by his willingness to carry out God's command.

This is mentioned in the Quran (QS 37: 100- 112[15] as follows:
  • "O my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)!"
  • So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear.
  • Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: "O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!" (The son) said: "O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills one practicing Patience and Constancy!"
  • So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),
  • We called out to him "O Abraham!
  • "Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!" – Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
  • For this was obviously a trial
  • And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice:
  •  And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times: "Peace and salutation to Abraham!"
  • Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
  • For he was one of our believing Servants.
  • And We gave him the good news of Isaac – a prophet – one of the Righteous.
The morale the story is that Muslims are to remember Prophet Abraham’s faith to God in sacrificing his dearest possession. The lessons to take home is not to sacrifice ones offerings but for the sake of God spare their wealth. 4000 years ago, having live stocks was measured as wealth and possessions. It translates today to sacrifice our wealth such as those collections of exotic cars, diamond rings, that 4th million dollar mansions etc. But live stocks for the poor will do if we do not have the latter. The fact that the festival of sacrifice takes place at the end of the Dhu al-Hijjah, Hajj of the “able and have fulfilled their obligation” has been the driving concept of sacrificing ones wealth.

Today the poor don’t need a Kilogram of mutton or beef. They need opportunity, education, security and medical aid. Unfortunately religious leaders employed by politicians cover up the true learning curves by participating in the traditional ways of donating and sacrificing live stocks such as Goats, Cows or Camels all over the country.

Slaughtering Method (Islamic SOP) by Al-Sunnah.Org

Animal cruelty is against Islamic teachings and prescriptions. Islam prescribed a slaughtering method that allows for the least agony to animals. This method is by cutting the air pipe and food and water canal (esophagus) with three quick stroke with a sharp blade, with the condition that the person slaughtering is a Muslim, Christian or Jew. This method eliminates the suffering of the animal contrary to the movements of its limbs as a result of the draining of blood from its brain functions.

The animal must be laid down, kept calm and give it some water while reciting “Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim” (In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate) and a permission (from God and the creation) the purpose of the slaughter. Upon satisfying these conditions on an edible animal which was steadily alive, consumption of the slaughtered animal becomes permissible upon the person who is confident that these integrals were satisfied. Thus the slaughtered animal is “Halal”.

It is not to be mistaken like the ancient Roman prophets would disembowel animals in order to read the future from their entrails or any other ritual killings or like in China where they beat the dogs to death claiming the meat would be tender and taste better.

We often see livestock that are not slaughtered properly and run loose. The animal should be treated to its full recovery before another attempt (or killed) as it is no longer halal. These shoddy procedures are carried out by untrained people with incorrect knife or blades. 

Allah has willed the right of goodness upon most things. So, let the one who is slaughtering sharpen his blade and relieve his slaughter by killing it quickly.” 

This saying was related by Imam Muslim from the route of Shaddad the son of Aws.

Islam also prescribes best practice of slaughtering edible animals in what is listed below as ethical and preferred deeds, outlining to what extent Islam shows concern towards easing the animal’s pain and suffering. It is desirable:

  1. To sharpen the blade away from the sight of the animal to be slaughtered, to slash the throat (wind, food and water pipes) in one fast back and forth motion applying pressure to instantly kill and relieve the slaughter.
  2. To request of comfortable place on which to slaughter the animal, because it alleviated unnecessary stress to the animal while being slaughtered.
  3. To face the slaughter’s neck towards the direction of the Kiblah (i.e. direction of prayer-Kaaba in Makkah) and for the slaughterer to also face his body in the direction of the Kiblah when slaughtering. This practice is in the tradition of Prophet Muhammad as relayed by the two renowned scholars of Islam Al-Bukhariy and Muslim and because the Kiblah is the most honorable direction to face.
  4. To mention only the name of Allah whilst cutting the throat, as if to say: “Bismillah” or “In the name of Allah”. This is also in adherence to the tradition of Prophet Muhammad as mentioned by Imams Al-Bukhariy and Muslim.
  5. The best practice mentioned in Islam is to cut the jugular veins and carotid arteries on both sides of the neck with the air pipe and esophagus, because it is less distressing to the animal.
  6. After cutting through the jugular veins and carotid artery, the preferred conduct is to cease cutting right through, leaving the spinal cord intact and not separating the head completely, because such is an undesirable slaughtering practice.
  7. To avoid doing the following things after slaughtering the animal until the soul completely exits the body: to avoid cutting through excessively, commencing skinning the animal, breaking the spinal cord, breaking any body parts, setting alight the slaughtered animal and to not move it from its spot. Also holding down the animal in order to suppress its jerking motion in the process of its death, until the animal comes to a complete stillness.
  8. To transport the animal to its slaughter house in a kind manner that avoids distressing and harming the animal. To offer it a sip of water and lay it down kindly before slaughtering it. Also to not slaughter one animal in view of another.

Source: Al-Sunnah.Org

NOTE: Having explained about the animal slaughtering, I’m pretty sure some EB’s would have this burning question about human beheading. Well it’s a whole different subject so please click here.

For EB’s whom are not satisfied, whom seek further clarification on the 72 Virgins, “Allah’u Ahkbar” or Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) marriage to a 9 year old Aisha, please click here.

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1 comment:

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