Sunday, 25 September 2011

The Tradition of Sacrifice from the Prophets

The Tradition of Sacrifice
From Prophets Abraham and Syedina Muhammed S.A.W.S.

Since time immemorial, people everywhere have been sacrificing their prized animals as a token of devotion to God.  This has acted to retain the balance in Nature.

Population explosion has been avoided among the livestock.  Otherwise large and uncontrollable hordes of animals would have been roaming the world. With voracious appetites, they would have devoured all that was green and edible anywhere.

Human beings would have suffered acute shortages in food and living space.  In a scenario of such disaster, the threat of extinction would have been facing them and not the animals.

The grand design has been that the animals that are halal, have been created to be our food.  We draw from them essential proteins in the form of their nourishing meat to keep our bodies in perfect shape.

They are also the source of milk and milk products as also the vital amino acids, liver extracts and other dietary supplements. It is only from these that the vegetarians among us derive protection from malnutrition and disease!

Sacrifice is to the animals a fulfillment of the divine purpose behind their creation. It cannot by any means be considered unnatural or a cruel act of man.

In the chapter on Eid-al-Adh'haa, we traced the origin of the sacrifice we commemorate on that day. 

The rite can also be performed in the following two days, the 11th and 12th of Zul Haj.  

Sacrifice during night hours will not be proper.

The Halal animals (Only these livestock can be sacrificed):

Goats, one year or older.
Sheep, one year or more in age, unless its growth has been fast and it looks grown up.
Cattle, both male and female: of age two or more.
Camels of age five and more.

The first two classes of sacrificial animals count as one, that is, each of them can be sacrificed on behalf of just one individual.

The last two classes represent seven shares.  Seven individuals can sacrifice one animal from these groups and share the meat and other items. The shares must be equal and if there is even a slight disproportion, the sacrifice is disallowed.

If the qurbani is accepted by Allah, each individual gets the full sawaab he/she would have been granted, if the qur’bani had been performed individually.

The animals have to be carefully selected and found worthy of the honor of sacrifice.
They should not be blind or one eyed.
They should not have lost two-thirds of eyeSight even in one eye.
If the tail or even one ear is found cut off by more than a third, that animal is not suitable.
An animal with one leg missing or incapacitated is not to be sacrificed.  But if it walks and rests on all four feet and yet limps somewhat, it can be considered.