Another Eidul Azha was celebrated with religious zeal across the globe. Like every year, millions and billions of rupees were spent by people on buying sacrificial animals for this religious ritual. However, what bothers me is whether we are doing sacrifice the correct way? Are all Muslims living up to the actual spirit of Eidul Azha?
Everyone is aware of the fact that when you slaughter an animal in the name of sacrifice, neither the blood of the animal nor the meat reaches God. The idea behind Eidul Azha is to honour Hazrat Ibrahim’s (AS) willingness to sacrifice his most prized possession (his son) to God. However, there is more to qurbani Eid than just sacrificing an animal. We are fulfilling a part of our duty by sacrificing an animal by what about the rest? Qurbani Eid is about feeding and helping the poor. It is certainly not about how much money one has spent on purchasing a sacrificial animal. Unfortunately, I believe that Eidul Azha has now only become a source for people to flaunt their wealth and have dinner parties.
We live in a country where people barely have access to basic necessities of life, such as health and education. Why can’t people, who can afford spending bundles of rupees on buying animals to sacrifice, also donate some money to charity or non-governmental organisations, so that it can be used in establishing schools and hospitals for the underprivileged? Why don’t we start practicing the actually kind of qurbani that God wants his people to do. Would God be happy if you stuff you refrigerators with meat to have barbeque parties all year long or will he instead be happy if you donate it to feed the less fortunate people or spend money in educating a poor man’s child? If we cannot practice this, then the least we can do is to learn the true meaning of Eidul Azha from the residents of Hunza who equally distribute the meat among every household in every neighbourhood, without any discrimination. The concept of qurbani is to sacrifice the thing that you love the most. So instead of only slaughtering animals, why not we actually do what we are supposed to. If you think of it, in this time and age what are the things that are most precious to us? The answer is money and our time. Earning and saving money has become the ultimate goal of almost every person, which has led us to the point that we barely have time to spend with our loved ones. If you donate money or take up the responsibility of an underprivileged person’s education or even spend your time volunteering in charitable organisations, I can assure you that this is a way bigger sacrifice than slaughtering an animal.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2016.
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