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Son Attached to Sheep and Becomes Desperate after Slaughtering

Questioner

A

Reply Date

Aug 12, 2019

Question

As-salamu Alaikum, three years ago, we had a sheep for Uduheya and my young son used to play with it and considered it as his own pet, in `Eid ul Adha we slaughtered this sheep and since then my son became very sad and always accuses us of killing his own pet. What should I do to deal with this problem?

Counselor

Answer


Son Attached to Sheep and Becomes Desperate after Slaughtering - About Islam

In this counseling answer:

•You may want to explain how Eid-al-Adha is a day of remembrance that commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s (PBUH) willingness to obey Allah and that many Muslims sacrifice their best animal to eat on this day, thus making his sheep special.

•Assure your child that the sheep was slaughtered in the most humane way as is prescribed for Muslims.

•At the same time, teach him that it is normal to feel sad, angry and even depressed over a loss. While he blames you for the sacrifice, again refer to being obedient to Allah SWT, and how it is a blessing to be able to make a sacrifice.


As-salamu alaykum,

It is quite natural for children, even adults to get attached to animals that are raised by the family. As your son developed a liking for the sheep, he is now grieving the loss of what he considered his pet.

It is surmised insha’Allah that you and your family treat your animals very well alhamdulillah and your kindness and good care towards your animals have taught your son the proper way to treat animals as Allah commanded us, with loving-kindness. However, we are often not prepared to deal with the feelings and emotions that follow when a cherished animal passes away or is offered in sacrifice.

Son Attached to Sheep and Becomes Desperate after Slaughtering - About Islam

I am not sure how old your son is, or if he is able to grasp the concept of sacrifices for the sake of Allah SWT, or even death, but I would begin by explaining to him the history and significance of Eid al-Adha, and how the sheep that he loved is special because it was chosen to be slaughtered.

You may want to explain how Eid-al-Adha is a day of remembrance that commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s (PBUH) willingness to obey Allah and that many Muslims sacrifice their best animal to eat on this day, thus making his sheep special. Assure your child that the sheep was slaughtered in the most humane way as is prescribed for Muslims.


Check out this counseling video


At the same time, teach him that it is normal to feel sad, angry and even depressed over a loss. While he blames you for the sacrifice, again refer to being obedient to Allah SWT, and how it is a blessing to be able to make a sacrifice.

There are many books on this very subject that you can purchase and read to your child concerning Eid Al-Adha to help him understand as well as develop coping skills concerning his loss. A few good children’s book on this subject are “Little Batul’s Eid Celebration: The Most Pleasant Festival of Sacrifice” by Munise Ulker and “10 Different ways to Teach Children about Eid Al-Adha” by the Muslimah Mommy.

Engage your child in activities with other children surrounding Eid Al-Adha and the preparation, sacrifice and festivities. In this way your child may be able to relate to other children who also experienced feelings of loss over a “favorite pet” and thus learn the correct perspective from his peers and in turn develop coping skills should he become attached to another animal that may be sacrificed.

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About Aisha Mohammad

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.

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