Dr. Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi
Ever since Eidul-Fitr, messages such as “Muslims in this Eidul-Adha instead of spending money on Animal Sacrifice, should give cash to the poor and needy people who have been severely affected by the Corona pandemic” have started floating on social web sites. Such statements are against the teachings of Qur’an and Hadith and are normally made by those so called intellectuals who always prefer their worldly interest over religion. Sacrifice is an Islamic tradition. We, Muslims, offer it in remembrance of Prophet Ibrahim and Prophet Ismail (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon them). We have been commanded by Allah and His final Messenger Muhammad (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) to offer Sacrifice during the Edul Adha days. In this article, I am illustrating few significant points to the readers.
- As of now, no international institute or government authority has announced to ban Sacrifice, nor is the corona virus remotely related to the Animal Sacrifice. Moreover, despite the spread of corona around the world, all other works are being performed with precautions. Millions of animals are being slaughtered every day in slaughterhouses. Even the meat market in Wuhan, China (where the corona epidemic originated) is exporting meats in plenty to the world. If all these are happening uninterruptedly, why can’t the Islamic motto (Sacrifice) be performed? On the contrary, I would suggest that if any government talks about banning Sacrifices, we should oppose it unanimously presenting the best example of our unity and consensus so that the Sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) can be kept alive forever. If a person, despite all his efforts and concerns, is not able to perform Sacrifice or get it performed at any other place for three days, then he can pay money equivalent to the price of a Sacrifice to the poor after passing of the days of Sacrifice.
- Allah Almighty has commanded in the Holy Qur’an to offer Sacrifices. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) never missed Sacrifice in his life, even though he went through the financially tough situations. In one Hadith he told that those who do not offer Sacrifices despite their ability to do so, they should not come near the Eid Gaah. This kind of warning is made only when a person shows negligence towards an obligatory (Wajib) act. Therefore, if there is more than one person capable of offering Sacrifice in a household, then every capable person has to offer Sacrifice.
- The Glorious Qur’an and Hadith both emphasize that in the days of Sacrifice, Muslims should take part in Sacrificial Deed enthusiastically. The jurists and scholars of all schools of thought have agreed that Sacrifice is an Islamic motto. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) said “No good deed in the days of Sacrifice is more beloved and desirable in the sight of Allah Almighty than shedding blood of Animal Sacrifice”. The Prophet (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) himself used to offer Sacrifice after performing the Eidul Adha prayers. The Animal Sacrifice has been mentioned in every well-known book of Hadith. Although the Prophet (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) led tough life in terms of worldly wealth. He never ate a full meal both times in one day. He also tied two stones on his stomach due to severe hunger. Despite all of these, he used to offer sacrifices not only on his own behalf but also on behalf of his family and the whole Muslim Ummah. He never possessed such an amount of wealth that could make Zakat obligatory upon him in his entire life. Yet he used to offer Sacrifice every year. He offered hundred Sacrifices of camels on the occasion of his farewell Hajj. These all highlight the significance of Sacrifice in Islam.
- Getting closer to Allah through Animal Sacrifice is not only Islamic custom. Other world religions also encourage animal slaughtering. We can find Sacrifice and its virtues in teachings of other prophets as well. The story of Prophet Ibrahim (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) is known to all. The Sacrifice brings a person closer to Allah. If it is so, then how can it be right to encourage others not to offer Sacrifice in this Eidul Adha?
- During the time of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) the economic conditions of his Companions were not generally good. Also, the Companions had to spend a good portion of their wealth in Jihad. In spite of this, the Prophet (Peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) used to encourage his Companions to take part whole heartedly in the Sacrifice.
No doubt, Islam urges to help poor. It will not be an exaggeration if I say that Islam is the only religion which cares the most for orphans, widows, needy and poor. That is why we must take lead in helping poor. Islam commands rich people to pay zakat of their wealth. Every Muslim should help poor as per their capacity. It is necessary to follow Islamic rules instead of following one’s own desires. Of course, poor should be helped, but it is not logical to neglect an obligatory Sacrifice and distribute its among the poor. It is against the spirit of the Qur’an and Hadith. Distributing Sacrificial meat among poor or feeding them cooked meats are also forms of help and support. If a person performs his obligatory Sacrifice and does not spend money on Nafli Sacrifice, rather he gives its cost to poor and needy people, it will be permissible. But totally giving up an obligatory act is not allowed at all.