Though it is time to celebrate and have fun, Muslims around the world can learn a lesson on the Eid Al Adha — or the Festival of Sacrifice —
According to scholars and Imams, the faithful need to give and forgive, share and care, and mull over the story of sacrifice which dates back to the time of Prophet Ibrahim (Peace Be Upon Him).
Muslims commemorate this unique example of commitment and self-sacrifice to Allah, and learn about his victory over devil’s temptation not to slay his sole son Ishmael as ordered by God.
Conversely, he was all prepared to fulfill the command which later proved to be just a test.
At the end of the Hajj (annual pilgrimage to Makkah), Muslims throughout the world celebrate the holiday of Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice).
What Does Eid-el-Adha Commemorate??
During the Hajj, Muslims remember and commemorate the trials and triumphs of the
Prophet Abraham . The Qur’an describes Abraham as follows:
Surely Abraham was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He was grateful for Our bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path.
We gave him good in this world, and in the next, he will most surely be among the righteous.” (Qur’an 16:120-121)
One of Abraham’s main trials was to face the command of Allah to kill his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah’s will. When he was all prepared to do it, Allah revealed to him that his “sacrifice” had already been fulfilled. He had shown that his love for his Lord superseded all others, that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dear to him in order to submit to God.
Why Do Muslims Sacrifice an Animal on This Day???
During the celebration of Eid al-Adha, Muslims commemorate and remember Abraham’s trials, by themselves slaughtering an animal such as a sheep, camel, or goat. This action is very often misunderstood by those outside the faith.
Allah has given us power over animals and allowed us to eat meat , but only if we pronounce His name at the solemn act of taking life. Muslims slaughter animals in the same way throughout the year. By saying the name of Allah at the time of slaughter, we are reminded that life is sacred.
The meat from the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the poor. The act symbolizes our willingness to give up things that are of benefit to us or close to our hearts, in order to follow Allah’s commands. It also symbolizes our willingness to give up some of our own bounties, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need. We recognize that all blessings come from Allah, and we should open our hearts and share with others.
It is very important to understand that the sacrifice itself, as practiced by Muslims, has nothing to do with atoning for our sins or using the blood to wash ourselves from sin. This is a misunderstanding by those of previous generations: “It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him” (Qur’an 22:37).
The symbolism is in the attitude — a willingness to make sacrifices in our lives in order to stay on the Straight Path. Each of us makes small sacrifices, giving up things that are fun or important to us. A true Muslim, one who submits his or herself completely to the Lord, is willing to follow Allah’s commands completely and obediently. It is this strength of heart, purity in faith, and willing obedience that our Lord desires from us.
What Else Do Muslims Do to Celebrate the Holiday ???
On the first morning of Eid al-Adha, Muslims around the world attend morning prayers at their local mosques . Prayers are followed by visits with family and friends, and the exchange of greetings and gifts. At some point, members of the family will visit a local farm or otherwise will make arrangements for the slaughter of an animal. The meat is distributed during the days of the holiday or shortly thereafter
CONDITIONS FOR HALAL SLAUGHTER OF UDHIYAH
Islamic law requires that animals intended for human consumption be slain in a certain manner. The conditions for Halal slaughter can be summarized as follows:
1. The animal to be slaughtered must be from the category of baheematul an’aam as Allah says:
ﻭَﻟِﻜُﻞِّ ﺃُﻣَّﺔٍ ﺟَﻌَﻠْﻨَﺎ ﻣَﻨﺴَﻜًﺎ ﻟِّﻴَﺬْﻛُﺮُﻭﺍ ﺍﺳْﻢَ ﺍﻟﻠَّﻪِ ﻋَﻠَﻰٰ ﻣَﺎ ﺭَﺯَﻗَﻬُﻢ ﻣِّﻦ ﺑَﻬِﻴﻤَﺔِ ﺍﻟْﺄَﻧْﻌَﺎﻡِ ﻓَﺈِﻟَٰﻬُﻜُﻢْ ﺇِﻟَٰﻪٌ ﻭَﺍﺣِﺪٌ ﻓَﻠَﻪُ ﺃَﺳْﻠِﻤُﻮﺍ ﻭَﺑَﺸِّﺮِ ﺍﻟْﻤُﺨْﺒِﺘِﻴﻦَ
_“And for every nation We have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the Name of Allaah over the beast of cattle (baheematul an’aam) that He has given them for food. And your God is One God, so you must submit to Him Alone (in Islam)…”_ [al-Hajj} 22:34]
2. The animal must be alive at the time of slaughter.
3. No electric shock, bullet or any other means should be used before
slaughtering. Using any such method may lead to the death of the animal before it is cut. Islam prohibits Muslims from eating any meat coming from an animal that is dead before slaughter. Muslims are also advised to avoid eating anything doubtful.
4. The animal must be slaughtered with the use of a sharp knife.
5. The windpipe (throat), food-tract (oesophagus) and the two jugular veins must be cut.
6. The slaughtering must be done in one stroke without lifting the knife. The knife should not be placed and lifted when slaughtering the animal.
7. Slaughtering must be done by a sane adult Muslim. Animals slaughtered by a Non Muslim will not be Halal.
8. The name of Allah must be invoked (mentioned) at the time of slaughtering by saying: Bismillah Allahu Akbar. (In the Name of Allah; Allah is the Greatest.) If at the time of slaughtering the name of anyone else other than Allah is invoked (i.e. animal sacrificed for him/her), then the meat becomes Haram “unlawful.”
9. If a Muslim forgets to invoke the name of Allah at the time of slaughtering, the meat will remain Halal. However, if he intentionally does not invoke the name of Allah, the meat becomes Haram.
10. The head of the animal must not be cut off during slaughtering but later after the animal is completely dead, even the knife should not go deep into the spinal cord.
11. Skinning or cutting any part of the animal is not allowed before the animal is completely dead.
12. Slaughtering must be made in the neck from the front (chest) to the back.
13. The slaughtering must be done manually not by a machine, as one of the conditions is the intention, which is not found in a machine.
14. The slaughtering should not be done on a production line where pigs are slaughtered. Any instrument used for slaughtering pigs should not be used in the Halal slaughtering.