BY OYEWUNMI KAFAYAT OLASEYI
Muslims all throughout the world celebrate Eid-ul-Adha each year to remember how Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was prepared to sacrifice his son to obey God’s instruction in his dream. Millions of Muslims conduct the Hajj during one of Islam’s two annual holidays, and those who can afford to do so kill animals on the Hajj festival in memory of Prophet Ibrahim’s spirit of sacrifice. The goal of animal sacrifice is to show devotion to Allah, not to kill animals. (Qur’an 22:37). “Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you.”
The last prophet of Allah, Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), carried on Prophet Ibrahim’s (A.S) lineage by encouraging his followers to consider the message it conveys: one of piety, charity, and equality.
Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) committed the most auspicious deed in the history of Islam on a special day, which Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) picked for animal sacrifice. That is, the Lord told him to sacrifice his own son when he was old and the father of a young child and the son gladly complied. But thanks to a specific command from Allah, the son was saved, and a sacrifice was made just in time. It served as a reminder of that significant historical moment in Islam as well as a means of devotion or expression of gratitude to Allah.
The physical representation of the requirement that everyone is prepared to accept Allah’s orders is the sacrifice of an animal. It serves as a metaphor for submission to Allah. Many communities believe that one’s sins are absolved by the blood of another, but sacrifice in Islam is not at all an act of repentance.
As Eid-ul-Adha draws near, more and more people begin to oppose animal sacrifice and advise abstaining from all meat consumption since they believe it to be cruel and against animal rights.
Understanding the Islamic worldview and what Islam says about the place of man in this world is necessary to comprehend the Islamic viewpoint on animal sacrifice.
Humans are blessed by Allah with a variety of advantages, including dominion over the land, sea, and other creatures. They are free to make use of these blessings within set parameters. “And He created the cattle for you as a source of warmth, food, and many other benefits” (Quran 16:5).
Man must acknowledge Allah’s supremacy and his sovereignty to exercise the power and control God has granted him over Allah’s other creations. It appears that if animals are ever sacrificed, it will only be in the name of Allah.
Jabir ibn Abdullah reported: I was present with the Prophet (ﷺ) on ‘Eid-ul-Adha at the place of prayer. When the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) finished his sermon, he came down from his pulpit and a ram was brought to him. The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) slaughtered it with his hand, saying, “In the name of Allah and Allah is the greatest. This is from me and those of my nation who cannot offer a sacrifice.”
The Hadith reveals Islam’s position on Qurban (sacrificing an animal) on Eid-ul-Adha.
Hadith discusses the law contained in the Hadith that states that Qurban lies between Sunnatul-Mu’aqadah (Emphatic Sunnah) and Wajib (Compulsory). Malik, Shafi’i, and Hambali believed it to be emphatic Sunnah, whereas Imam Hanafi regarded it is Wajib. Even though Allah will reward it greatly. On the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah, it was ordered for Muslims who were rational, mature, and in good financial standing to sacrifice some specified animals to Allah.
It further states that there are four types of sacrificed animals (Qurban), including Camels, Cows, Sheep (Ram and Ewe), and Goats. Shari’ah also specifies the following ages for Qurban:
Goats must be sacrificed by a person at the age of one year, cows must be sacrificed by two people at the age of two, camels must be sacrificed by seven people at the age of five, and sheep must be sacrificed by a person at the age of between six and twelve months.
Additionally, it specifies the kinds of animals (Qurban) that are prohibited from sacrifice. As follows: Animals that are blind (one-eyed or have lost a third (or more) of their sight, ears, or tails, either through loss or since birth, or that are blind but only have one eye
The meat gained from the sacrifice is divided into three portions rather than being used just for one’s own home or being thrown out in the open. The first portion should be given to family, close friends, and neighbors. The second portion should be given to the poor and those in need. The final portion might be used for one’s household.
The Muslims who can afford it offer the Hajj, a sacred journey to Mecca that includes animal sacrifices as part of the ritual. All people now participate in global prayers and animal sacrifice. Millions of Muslims from all over the world stand with the few lakh pilgrims completing the Hajj in Mecca, making prayers and sacrifices in their different locations.
Man must be grateful for all of Allah’s benefits, and this gratitude must be demonstrated through sacrifice. Allah has given humans the right to govern animals so they might exploit them for a variety of purposes. A guy offering one of these animals as a sacrifice is also a way to express appreciation to Allah. “We have subjected them (animals) to you in this way so that you may be thankful” (Qur’an 22:36).
In Islam, all these acts of worship, including sacrifice, almsgiving, and prostration, are made mandatory for people solely for Allah’s sake, to let people fully surrender to their creator and find the straight path. “Say, My prayers and sacrifice, my life and death, are all for God, Lord of all the Worlds.” (Quran 6:162)
O, Allah! Preserve us to witness ‘Eid-ul-Adha, protect our pilgrims to and from Makkah, and accept their Hajj