By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam
16 September 2016
It could be argued quite correctly that the
above title has left out the word ‘Animal’ in it. But that is deliberate.
Mankind has been offering sacrifices ever
since it formed a social community in the jungle and came under the spell of
the Shaman who instilled fear of the spirits, deities and demons which demanded
sacrifices from mankind in order to avert the naturally occurring catastrophe
or for blessings of natural gifts. The more severe and intense these phenomena
the more precious objects were required to be sacrificed; such as food, fruit,
meat, blood and even human life.
It may be safe to say that no religion
since has escaped this left-over and flow-on effect. Cruel sacrifices are still
offered overtly or covertly where such belief systems persist.
The largest religious and legally
sanctioned ritual of sacrifice of animals in the world is that enacted during the
Muslim festival of Eidu-Adha, as an integral part of religious duty to appease
the fearsome God, who once perhaps to test His Apostle Abraham/Ibrahim,
demanded from him the sacrifice of his son; and then accepted instead the
sacrifice of a lamb, which scrumptiously appeared at the site of the drama,
thus sparing the life of the innocent child.
The rivers literally run red in the Muslim world to this day with
millions of animals’ blood, to commemorate the drama. As happened in Dhaka
(Refer also. “Salinity and arsenic affect
60% of underground supply across vast Indo-Gangetic Basin, according to
research published in Nature Geo-science”!)
The holy stage and the participants in the
drama are a bone of contention among the two major religions claiming to be the
source of the script. The Jews claim the site to be at the rock under The Dome
in Jerusalem and the victim as Isaak. The Muslims on the other hand, with
reference to Quran accept Ismail and the place Mina near Makka.
This being the case, it is necessary to
examine the script with reference to Quran, in the statements related to the
commandments associated with the legend of sacrifice of the animals to appease
the very God, the Creator of the Universe who they claim still demands such
sacrifices of flesh and blood. Thus spawning a very lucrative and huge cattle
industry all over the world including the non-Muslim countries; to meet the
demand of animals for slaughter. It is a Big worldwide business based on false
2-79: Then woe to those who write the
Book with their own hands and claim “this is from God” to trade in to make a
miserable gain… The only problem is that the gain
is not all that miserable. It runs in billions of dollars of business a year.
And that is the Religious justification for the trade.
So what does the Quran, the Good Book say
referring to what is now the largest industry in the name of Islam?
To begin with, can the question be asked if
God has really demanded this blood and flesh and wasteful ritual of resource He
has bestowed on mankind, to appease Him during the Hajj- the pilgrimage?
To start with the word Qurban/Qurbani
is not a Quranic term. The word is الہدْیُ which is misrepresented as
‘sacrifice’, that first appears in 2-196:
2-196: …send a gift – Hadiya such as you
may afford… to the place of hajj in case you are prevented from attending
there yourself. Also to feed the needy and hungry. It appears variously in chapters
5, 22, etc.
Pagan practice of sacrifice as an offering
to appease the Creator is not a virtuous act that pleases Him. He in other
22-37: Not their flesh nor their blood
reaches God but to Him what is acceptable is observance of duty on your part…
From the above it is established that it
calls for a paradigm shift in the meaning of “worship”. The emphases have now
shifted from the fearful “worship mode” of spirits, demons and deities, to
practical “service code” for God’s creation.
By digging deep into ones pockets and
parting with ones cherished possessions; such as domestic animals as they were
the mobile wealth in olden days, to help others and feed them when they attend
the pilgrimage at distant places, arriving there as lean and hungry travelers.
This noble act of service requires the sacrifice of donating ones valuables
such as money, time, wealth and possession in the service of others to please
the Creator. Not necessarily an animal life as is the case with paganism. جان جاے
بکرے کی ثواب ملے کسی اور کو!
How best to express this than the
inscription that is there on the archway of a monastery that reads: “In the
service of others Oh Lord we worship Thee”!
How to reconcile the notion that comes from
the Good Book that the Lord God the Creator of the heaven and earth and all
that is in between, should ask for things that He himself has created, but
now to be returned to Him by His creation the mankind, in order to appease Him-
the angry fearful deity?
God’ is the essential teaching of the Muslim theology. This is in spite of the
fact that in the Quran, no less than one hundred and fourteen times the
statement ‘in the name of God the most merciful and most kind’ appears.
In addition there are numerous other places where these particular attributes
of His are mentioned. What God is He that must be feared and appeased with the
offerings of animal, flesh, blood and gore?!
In this day and age of concern for the
increasing human population and sustainability of and conservation of planet
earth’s resources, it is astonishing to notice the wastefulness of sacrifice.
Waste of meat that takes place in this concocted religious business, selfishly
promoted by the cattle industry. This is in despite the numerous statements in
the Good Book decrying wastefulness:
7-31 … surely He loves not the wasteful.
7-81: …Nay you are the people exceeding
Only in poor countries the ‘sacrificial
meat’ is consumed by the needy and poor people! In the wealthy countries it
mostly goes to waste. Animals are a gift of God. Mankind uses them as beast of
burden, for nutrition and means of transport and even as show pieces of wealth,
There are other issues associated with this
business of sacrifice, which have been dealt with at other places and addressed
by many other people on New Age Islam.
Suffice it to say that Quran calls for
conservation of animal life and therefore has nominated a long period in which
hunting is prohibited so as to give animals time to recover from the depletion of
its population at the hands of mankind. Therefore, animals being also a
community of creation, it is to be cherished and husbanded sustainably.
The example above of the pollution of the
rivers in Dhaka caused by torrential rain during the ritual of “sacrifice”
demonstrates the wider implications such as health of the city dwellers. This
is not an isolated and Bangladeshi problem only but the whole Muslim world is
beset with the stink of rotting offal and congealed blood in the streets at
this time of festival, in spite of the fact that the requirement of animal
slaughter is only at the place of pilgrimage-Hajj; and that too to feed
the people attending there: an offering to pilgrims and NOT to the deity who
does not even live in His windowless dark cubicle, cared for by the Custodians
and collecting rent in His name.
This Pollution is no less than a problem
like other industrial pollution in the world of callus commercialism as shown
in the link bellow. It is an occurrence on daily basis that mankind needs to
address, if it wants to live on a healthy planet earth and leave it so for its
future generation to enjoy.
Russia's Norilsk Nickel Admits 'Red
A regular contributor to New Age Islam,
Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.) Engineer
Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic
Muslim News, Arab
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My Dear Brother Mubashir,
“Rashid Bhai, You may want to change "Rivers
Run Red" to "Streets Run Red" [as reported in Bangladesh due to
rain on Eid Day]. The river pic is from a polluted Russian river.”
I photo shopped the first one from the above link. The last
picture in the article is of the river in Russia!
With reference to your last paragraph, I too wonder:-
How it is that an Apostle/Rasool
– singled out for their wisdom – would go through the process of slaughtering
an innocent child on the basis of a mere “dream”, a nightmare?
How can a Father –
with a blunt knife – go through the process of slaughtering his Son?
What sort of al rahman
and al raheem God is he who would “test” a human creation of His
with such inhuman proposition?
Has God got a sense of warped
Did hz. Ibrahim pay the
Shepard whose goat he slaughtered that was grazing nearby? Etc.
مست رکھو ذکر و فکرِ صبحگاہی میں اسے--- پختہ تر
کر دو مزاجِ خانقاہی میں اسے