Books and Documents

Islamic Society (14 Aug 2017 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Religious Falsehood of Animal Slaughter and an Inconvenient Truth about Climate Change

By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam

14 August 2017

Muslims all over the world spend billions of dollars to purchase cattle, goats and sheep, imported mainly from the Western countries to slaughter during the annual Hajj/pilgrimage festival. This is in addition to the large number of camels from Arab countries that get killed there.

In Chapter 37 al Saffat of Quran; God, in order to test, commanded Messenger Ibrahim/Abraham in a vision or dream to slaughter (Azbahu) his son, which he in consultation with his Son proceeded to obey ‘God’s Will’.  God in His mercy accepted the Messenger’s practical demonstration and ordered Ibrahim not to kill his son, instead asked for a ram to be sacrificed (also ref. Genesis). An event, the Muslims passionately commemorate annually during the Hajj; though slaughtering millions of animals of all kinds to show their ‘love of God’.

It seems that sacrificial offerings of flesh and blood, whether child’s, virgin’s, youths’ and or animal’s and even edibles, to appease a Deity or to achieve certain imperatives, has been part of mankind’s ingrained ethos.

But, two thousand years ago God too is said, had offered His only Son Jesus to be sacrificed on the Cross at the hands of men, all for His imperative: ‘His love of mankind’; to atone for mankind’s sins.

Suffice it to say that mankind has taken upon itself to perpetuate this primitive tradition for ‘Higher imperatives’. The gravity of it; for example, the imperative to subjugate nation(s) determines the extent and limits to be applied in the process. Annihilation of whole nation(s) is the upper limit!

The Muslim tradition however has no basis in their Faith system derived from the source Book the Quran, which they claim to be their guiding Book to submit to the ‘Will of God’. Because in there, the Creator of the Universe declares that:

22-37: Neither their flesh, nor their blood reaches God but to Him is acceptable only the observance of the duty on your part. Thus has He made them (animals) subservience to you that you may glorify God for guiding you to the right path. And give good news to those who do good to others.

Qurban or Qurbani –Root q r b/nearness - the word commonly used for Sacrifice is not used in the Book. Any form of “gift” taken or sent to the place of the pilgrimage to support and nourish the travel weary pilgrims is considered sacrifice and is acceptable to the Creator as a good deed to achieve nearness to Him. The gift could be an animal too. The gifts involve an effort and expenditure of money that is, digging in ones pocket to do ‘good to others’, is sacrifice:

2-196: And accomplish the pilgrimage and the visit in the service of God. But if you are prevented, send whatever offering is easy to obtain… …

Domestic animals are a resource in many other ways such as food source. Larger animals as beast of burden, particularly in the olden days, a great gift for distant travellers:

16-7 And they carry your heavy loads to the lands that you could not otherwise reach except with souls distressed…

However, all life form is sacred, even the birds form a community of the living and must NOT be killed wantonly- 6-38 and 17-33. Conservation of wild life too is ordained there in, 5-96.

The tradition of animal sacrifice that is touted as obligatory in the name of the religion they call Islam is a concocted ritual of slaughter, waste and particularly being external to the place of Pilgrimage. It is nothing but a Church/Clergy instituted con-job and business enterprise (2-79), committed on the gullible, mostly the poor Believers.  

It seems that there is a “disconnect” in the translations and understanding the spirit of the ordinances of the Book!

A huge pastoral industry exists in the name of this ritual, devised for cattle breeders and for hide and skin trade. Most of the meat involved in the ritual slaughter is wasted. Only a little of valuable animal-meat as sustenance reaches the poor. The Book denounces all forms of wastage and states that “God does not love extravagance” that is, exceeding the limits of usefulness and decency. Since prodigality in not loved by the Almighty: 6-142, 7-31. It stands to reason therefore that He must surely hate it!

Importantly, other issues arise and must be considered in light of present day awareness and knowledge of global climate change implications. A few of these are briefly stated:

·        Poverty/Sustenance

It is said that half the world population, mainly from third world countries is poor and starving of basic nutrition such as food and clean water. More so; because of the instability of world politics that has resulted in destruction of agriculture land and its infrastructure; and lack of equitable distribution of food resources of the world.

·        Agricultural Land Degradation and Forest Destruction

Huge cattle raising industries have taken over fertile agricultural land and large tracks of forests are being cleared on daily basis by foreign and multinationals companies to create grazing for cattle, mainly in poor regions such as South American and South East Asian countries, where tropical rain forests abound.

·        Climate Change

The above activities for wealth generation at the expense of Muslims and the poor in the world, is not only affecting the economies of poor countries but also adding to global climate change by creating dust bowls, water shortage and resultant temperature rise.

·        Atmospheric Pollution

It is said that substantial proportion of methane gas pollution in atmosphere is contributed by livestock, mainly through their belching. That, when combined with the use of fossil fuel in the modern machinery and mechanization of the industry, the contribution of CO2 adds up to be a substantial proportion of atmospheric pollution!

Muslims are perhaps unwittingly responsible for contributing substantially to the global pollution by their false religious practice of slaughtering animals and so giving added incentives to the graziers to supply the required demand. There is a huge loss of foreign exchange to the poor countries in this.

Mankind is made responsible to manage and control God’s gifts of creation for the benefit of all humanity:

31- 20: See you not that God has made subservient to you whatever is in the heavens and the earth and granted you His favours seen and unseen?

Not to mince the words therefore, it must be said that Muslims contradict and deny (commit Kufr) in practice the very Book of codes that they swear upon to declare their faith in it and to show their ‘Love of God’. It is a false declaration as evident by their religious practice that is also harmful to the world environment.

God does NOT deny mankind the judicious use of His gifts, but wants it to enjoy, and says:

7-31: Oh mankind attend to your permitted likes of the world, eat and drink and be not prodigal/wasteful/extravagant, for surely HE does not love Musrifeen… those who commit Israaf.

Muslims are an integral part of the human community, it is ‘an inconvenient truth’ that they must share and bear the burden of responsibility put on them to be the custodians and protectors of the planet Earth, for all life on it. In their ignorance they have passed on this natural responsibility to others. This speck of variegated ‘blue marble’ in the sky is the only planet mankind has to live on for now:

17-15: No bearer of burden can bear the burden of another.

Thus they have to be knowledgably responsible for all their actions for the good of humanity including that of saving the environment to acquire nearness to God.

Related Article:

Don’t Let Baqr Eid Qurbani Descend Into Blood Orgy


A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.) Engineer

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-society/rashid-samnakay,-new-age-islam/religious-falsehood-of-animal-slaughter-and-an-inconvenient-truth-about-climate-change/d/112202

New Age IslamIslam OnlineIslamic WebsiteAfrican Muslim NewsArab World NewsSouth Asia NewsIndian Muslim NewsWorld Muslim NewsWomen in IslamIslamic FeminismArab WomenWomen In ArabIslamophobia in AmericaMuslim Women in WestIslam Women and Feminism


  • “Rashid Sb should tell us what he did…”

    I sent funds to a poor country—three decades ago.

    By Rashid Samnakay - 8/17/2017 11:06:53 PM

  • (22:126) And remember Abraham said: "My Lord, make this a City of Peace, and feed its people with fruits,-such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day."

    The purpose of sacrifice was also to provide food to the poor people of Mecca which is not a fertile place for them to grow their own food.

     (2:196) And complete the Hajj and the  ´umra in the service of Allah. But if ye are prevented (From completing it), send an offering for sacrifice, such as ye may find, and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches the place of sacrifice. …..if any one wishes to continue the ´umra on to the hajj, He must make an offering, such as he can afford, but if he cannot afford it, He should fast three days during the hajj and seven days on his return, Making ten days in all. And fear Allah, and know that Allah Is strict in punishment.

    Sacrificing personally is not required. Sending an offering for sacrifice is enough. I guess, the offering for sacrifice can be sent anywhere in the world where the requirement is. Is there any reason why the sacrifice should only be in Mecca? There is an option for those who cannot afford a sacrifice which is to fast. Those who can afford can also fast and send the offering of money to the needy instead of sending an offering for sacrifice.

    People should follow whatever option that appeals to them and set an example for others to follow. Rashid Sb should tell us what he did when he performed his hajj or what he intends to do when he performs it.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/17/2017 10:45:16 PM

  • Dear Mubashir,

    Your question is answered as below in my last comment on this thread: “Today, the pilgrim does not personally slaughter the cattle, nor does he eat its meat or share it with the poor (22:36). Besides, God’s bounty has multiplied exponentially and a cattle head is hardly a cherished asset as in the earlier times. It is therefore worth pondering whether mere slaughtering of cattle by arranging through a bank or agent, and then a state sponsored processing and distribution of the meat to poor nations really meets the letter or the spirit of the Qur’an - or there could be better ways to helping the world’s needy, such as through the generation of an International Hajj Relief Fund. God knows best!”
    By muhammd yunus - 8/17/2017 10:41:50 PM

  • جانورں کی قربانی . ثُمَّ مَحِلُّهَا إِلَى الْبَيْتِ الْعَتِيقِ ﴿22/33﴾ اور پھر ان کو بیت العتیق کے پاس ذبح کرو- حج کا مقصد ۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ جَعَلَ اللَّـهُ الْكَعْبَةَ الْبَيْتَ الْحَرَ‌امَ قِيَامًا لِّلنَّاسِ ---- ﴿5/97﴾ کعبہ کوہم نے واجب الحترام بنایا ہے تاکہ انسانیت کا قیام ہو ( انسانیت اپنے پیروں پر کھڑی ہو جائے ) جب یہاں لوگ جمع ہوں تو کھانے پینے کے انتظام کے متعلق بتایا کہ جتنے دن یہاں قیام ہو کھانے پینے کا انتظام خود کرنا پڑے گا ۔ کیوں کہ مکہ کے اک غیر زرعی شہر ہے سو یہاں آنے والوں سے کہا گیا کہ کہ اپنے خورد و نوش کا انتظام خود کریں ۔ رب نے فرمایا کہ جن جانوروں پر تم جاتے ہو ،یا مال برداری کا کام کرتے ہوں انہیں وہاں ذبح کرو ، خود بھی کھاؤ اور محتاجوں اور ضرورت مندوں کو بھی کھلاؤ ۔۔۔۔۔۔ آیات ملاحظہ ہوں ۔ وَأَذِّنْ فِي النَّاسِ بِالْحَجِّ يَأْتُوكَ رِ‌جَالًا وَعَلَىٰ كُلِّ ضَامِرٍ‌ يَأْتِينَ مِنْ كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ ﴿22/27﴾ اور لوگوں میں حج کا اعلان کردو، لوگ تمھارے پاس چلے آئیں گے پیدل بھی اور دبلی اونٹنیوں پر بھی ، لِيَشْهَدُوا مَنَافِعَ لَهُمْ وَيَذْكُرُ‌وا اسْمَ اللَّـهِ فِي أَيَّامٍ مَعْلُومَاتٍ عَلَىٰ مَا رَ‌زَقَهُمْ مِنْ بَهِيمَةِ الْأَنْعَامِ فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا وَأَطْعِمُوا الْبَائِسَ الْفَقِيرَ‌ ﴿22/28﴾ تاکہ لوگ اپنے فائدے کے لئے ان ایام مقررہ میں آ موجود ہوں ۔ان چوپایوں کو ذبح کرتے وقت اللہ کا نام لیں ۔ جو اللہ نے عطا کئے ہیں ان جانوروں میں سے خود بھی کھاؤ اور محتاجوں کو بھی کھلاؤ ۔لَكُمْ فِيهَا مَنَافِعُ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى ثُمَّ مَحِلُّهَا إِلَى الْبَيْتِ الْعَتِيقِ ﴿22/33﴾ ان جانوروں میں تمھارے لئے اک مدت تک فائدہ ہے ، ان کی حلال کرنے کی جگہ ۔۔۔۔ إِلَى الْبَيْتِ الْعَتِيقِ( خانہ کعبہ قریب ) ہے ، خود بھی کھاؤ اور محتاجوں کو بھی کھلاؤ قربانی حقیقت ۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ قربانی واجب نہیں ۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ یہ تسلیم کہ ذبیحہ رسمی وجود رکھتا ہے تا ہم واجب نہیں ،امت کے قد آورصحابہ سے لے کربڑے بڑے امام وقت تک اس کو صرف ایک پسندیدہ رسم ہی گردانتے ہیں۔ فرقہ اھل حدیث کے ایک بہت بڑے امام ، امام بن حزم ، کی تحقیق کے مطابق صحابہ کرام قربانی کو ایک رسم سمجھتے تھے بلکہ استطاعت کے باوجود قربانی نہیں کرتے تھے ۔ علامہ ابن حزم لکھتے ہیں کہ قربانی کی وجوب کسی صحابی سے ثابت نہیں ،اور صحیح بات یہی ہے کہ قربانی واجب نہیں حضرت ابو بکر صدیق رضی اللّه عنہ نے بھی صاحب اسطاعت ہوتے قربانی نہیں کی.اور بعد میں بھی کسی صحابی یا اہل بیت سے روایت نہیں حضرت سعید بن المسیب اور الشعبی سے راویت ہے کہ قربانی کے بجائے اُن کے نزدیک تین درہم خیرات کر دینا اس سے زیادہ پسندیدہ فعل ہے ۔ المحلی الابن حزم جلد ۷
    By Mubashir - 8/17/2017 7:43:53 PM

  • Question: During Hajj, does some one keep a count of how many animals have been slaughtered and is the meat shared with the people? If not, are they not wasting meat and livestock?
    By Mubashir - 8/17/2017 7:42:36 PM

  • गाय, बकरे, भेड़, उँट, को जन्नत पोहचाने के लीये सूक्रीया.

    बाकी रही, ईनसानो की चालू कर दो, बजाय काफ़िर, हीन्दू के ध्धीमी केहके मारने की बजाय, बली जादा अच्छी रहे गी.

    By Aayina - 8/16/2017 2:01:35 AM

  • Salam. Any subject like animal sacrifice can be open to discussion. However, when someone writes: "It is nothing but a Church/Clergy instituted con-job."

    These practices are not things that began only recently. There is the Prophetic Sunnah. Is the author including the Prophet in this accusation of "con-job" too?

    The Qur'anic expression (had'y) is not merely offering or gift, it includes sacrificial animal too. The reason we can't take our own liberty, as the author did, is because what is the right meaning is also corroborated by the Prophetic practice. 

    By Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq - 8/16/2017 1:16:15 AM

  • Animal slaughter is a historical custom aimed at pleasing a deity/ God or a  heightened gesture of hospitality in entertaining a guest over meal. Since there was no commercial trading of meat, the affluent slaughtered cattle-heads to obtain meet for food and at all festival occasions for feasting. As far as any religious significance is concerned, it only lies in sharing the meet with the poor. But today when the poor can get meat from any butcher's shop, mass scale slaughter with all its logistical and financial implications in a crisis ridden civilizational backdrop may hardly the best way to please God.

     The theme is discussed in my jt. executive work that makes the following recommendation:

     “Today, the pilgrim does not personally slaughter the cattle, nor does he eat its meat or share it with the poor (22:36). Besides, God’s bounty has multiplied exponentially and a cattle head is hardly a cherished asset as in the earlier times. It is therefore worth pondering whether mere slaughtering of cattle by arranging through a bank or agent, and then a state sponsored processing and distribution of the meat to poor nations really meets the letter or the spirit of the Qur’an - or there could be better ways to helping the world’s needy, such as through the generation of an International Hajj Relief Fund. God knows best!”

    By muhammd yunus - 8/14/2017 9:01:03 PM

  • Welfare of mankind and protection of our home planet would and should figure prominently in any intelligent Muslim agenda. That would require the discontinuation of many traditional, popular and ulema-blessed practices.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/14/2017 1:13:31 PM

Compose Your Comments here:
Email (Not to be published)
Fill the text
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the articles and comments are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect that of NewAgeIslam.com.