Eid al-Adha, also known as the ‘festival of sacrifice’, is one of the most important Islamic holidays. It marks the obedience of Ibrahim (Abraham) towards god as he willingly agreed to sacrifice his son. But, according to tradition, Allah, impressed by his devotion sent his angels and asked him to sacrifice an animal instead of his son and it set the precedent of animal sacrifice on this day.
Only recently The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had decided to start an online process for a limited period between August 21 and September 4 to make the procedure of individuals getting an animal to sacrifice easier. However, according to a report in The Free Press Journal, this has raised the ire of the Bombay High Court. On Sunday (August 19) it told the court that it would be more careful and stringent while granting permissions.
Every year, as Muslims all across the globe unite to celebrate Eid al-Adha, sacrificing a sheep or goat remains an integral part of it. The animal is generally bought by them days before the occasion, and is treated as a pet and even well-fed before sacrificing it. Later, the meat of the animal is divided among the family, relatives and friends, and the poor in equal parts.
According to Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, an Islamic spiritual scholar and founder of Centre for Peace and Spirituality International, the sacrifice is symbolic that reminds us of the real sacrifice required throughout life. “This sacrifice is of our negative emotions such as malice, hatred, negativity and pride. Sacrifice of the animal does not remain confined to physically sacrificing an animal, rather it should produce deep spiritual feelings in a person. He must think that he too has to sacrifice his negative attitude and other wrong habits for the sake of God”.
A report in Carbonated TV quotes the corresponding extract from Quran. “Then when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: “Oh my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!” (The son) said: “Oh my father! Do As thou art commanded: Thou wilt 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, “Oh 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”) (Surat As-Safat 37: 102-107).”