Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Virtue of Animal Sacrifice

In Islamic School of thought animal sacrifice is a symbol of Ibrahim's sacrifice, and to show gratitude towards Allah, Muslims sacrifice an animal during Eid-al-Adha such as a sheep, goat, cow, or camel. This sacrifice is commonly referred to as Udhiya (in Arabic) or Qurbani (in Urdu and Persian).

Through Quran Recitation we find the virtue of sacrifice as;

“The flesh and blood [of your sacrificed animals] does not reach God; it is only your piety that reaches Him. Thus has He subjected them to your service so that you may give glory to God for guiding you. [This is the way of the righteous] and [O Prophet!] give glad tidings to these righteous.” (22:37)

Muslims sacrifice animals in the remembrance of Abraham's sacrifice. For this act of sacrifice Abraham has been cited in the Qur’an as an exemplary vanguard in submission to God alone.

The animal used for sacrifice must be free from any form of illness or disability, including blindness, limping, and malnourishment, and they must meet certain age requirements.

The meat from the animal’s slaughtering is often distributed equally to three groups: one part for the person performing the sacrifice, one part for friends and family, and one part for the poor. This symbolizes our willingness to part with things that are considered valuable to us, while also sharing with those around us and those that are in need.

While it is often suggested that each Muslim perform the slaughter with their own hands, this is not always possible in many Western countries due to many health and safety regulations. Therefore, it is permissible for a sacrifice to be performed by someone else on one's behalf and then having the meat distributed to the poor, as long as one covers the costs of the animal and distribution.

One of the key requirements of the slaughtering process is to pronounce Allah's name before taking the animal's life. By saying "Allah hu Akbar" in Arabic, which translates to "God is Great", we are reminded that life is sacred.

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