Saturday, September 23, 2017

Why muslim sacrifice on Eid ul Adha : Questions of Non-Muslims

1. When Prophet Ibraheem sacrificed his son for the pleasure of Allah, why do Muslims make animal sacrifices on Eid-al-Adha?

This is indeed true that Prophet Ibraheem (pbuh) in his full senses went out to sacrifice his son as this was what he was seeing in the dreams. However, though he did put the knife to his son's throat, in reality the sacrifice that got done was of an animal. God was testing Prophet Ibraheem that whether he would sacrifice his most precious attachment i.e. his only son for the pleasure of Allah. Prophet Ibraheem's intention to sacrfice his son did not waiver and he acted accordingly till the very last and so it was accepted by God and his son was replaced by an animal by God's command. To mark this event, God has commanded all believers to make animal sacrifices on that day and share the meat with family, friends; relatives and the poor.

2. Why do Muslims make animal sacrifices when the holy Quran itself says that neither their meat nor their blood reaches God? Why do not Muslims give away the money used in making sacrifices as charity to the poor?

لَن يَنَالَ اللَّهَ لُحُومُهَا وَلاَ دِمَآؤُهَا وَلَـكِن يَنَالُهُ التَّقْوَى مِنكُمْ

It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is Taqwa from you that reaches Him. (22:37)

The aayah clearly says that though the meat or blood do not reach God, He has still commanded to do the sacrifice as it helps develop 'Taqwa' or God consciousness in the believers. 'Taqwa' is a multi-faceted attribute and cannot be developed by making charity alone. 'Roza' and 'Salah' also help develop 'Taqwa'. Different types of trainings are required to develop a complte well rounded personality of a believer who has God consciousness or 'Taqwa' in his heart. Each mode of worship, be it 'Roza', 'Salah', 'Zakaat' or 'Qurbani' help inculcate different factes of 'Taqwa' like how to have control over material desires of food, drink, comfort or how to value time and follow a disciplined life, or how to leave the attachment to money and give to others. In the case of 'Qurbani', believers are asked to ponder on the great sacrifice that Prophet Ibraheem got ready to make for the pleasure of God and which so pleased God that He commanded to sacrifice an animal instead of sons for all the times to come. However, this great sacrifice that Prophet Ibraheem was about to make and his spirit of selfless love and devotion towards God needs to be cultivated within the hearts of every true believer. The sacrifice of an animal that has been commanded by God as commemoration of that event goes to strengthen the spirit of sacrifice of beloved worldly things in the way of God. Also, it serves as a reminder of God's infinte mercy on His slaves that He only asks to sacrifice an animal and teaches us to share our blessings with others especially the needy.

As regards to charity, Islam is the only religion that commands its followers to make a compulsory charity of minimum 2.5% on their wealth. Besides, one is exhorted to make voluntary charity or come to aid in whatever way it is possible to assist the needy. However, charity helps develop a selfless nature in human beings with regards to other human beings. While the sacrifice done as commemoration of Prophet Ibraheem's spirit of sacrifice helps develop devotion and selflessness towards God, our creator. Therefore, one form of worship cannot be replaced by another form of worship as they each help in developing different facets of 'Taqwa' or God consciousness

Note: Whether a human being is permitted to eat meat or not is beyond the scope of this article. Kindly refer to below video for understanding on that topic.

Please watch this video for details on : Is Non Veg food permitted for mankind?

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