Allah has sent a ram as a sacrifice to ransom for Prophet Ibrahim’s son Ismail (PBUH). We sacrifice qurban in the name of Allah and distribute their meat among families, friends and poor.
Several Muslim communities perform the `Eid Al-Adha sacrifice at homes or outdoor just outside homes. But increasingly, qurban takes place in abattoirs, out of sight of the general public. Or as is the prevailing custom among the Muslim living in the West; we send money for sacrifice to home countries or donate to charities who perform this righteous deed on our behalf.
Islam asks us to perform a well-mannered and well-organized sacrifice, but not just a ritual slaughter of empty traditions.
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Unfortunately, some Muslims don’t stick to the deep holistic approach of the Islamic Shari’ah concerning sacrifice. Sometimes the animals aren’t sacrificed in the correct manner or even aren’t suitable for sacrifice in the first place.
In some countries, the `Eid sacrifice has become a form of mass public slaughter. They made it more akin to the cruel Spanish Corrida than to the peaceful Islamic act of submission to Allah.
Moreover, people often transport animals in appalling conditions. They completely disregard the animal welfare which is one of the prerequisites of zabihah being halal.
Amina Abaza from the Egyptian Society for the Protection of Animal Rights said:“Some people treat the animals terribly and attempt to slaughter them by themselves, although they can’t, thinking that they are implementing the shari’ah while what they are doing is Islamically forbidden.”
In Egypt, Abaza launched a Facebook campaign ‘Be kind this Eid’. It aims to educate about animal welfare in Islam and the necessity of being kind to slaughtered animals.
The common belief is that uttering: Bismillah Allahu Akbar during slaughtering is enough to make it halal. But is it so?
Not Only Bismillah
To perform sacrifice like Sunnah, the animal must be healthy, born without major defects, possessing most of its teeth and strong enough to walk to the place of slaughter.
A goat should be no less than 1 year old; a sheep no less than 6 months on condition that it is fat; a cow no less than 2 years; and a camel 5 years.
Shari’ah recommends that any Muslim performs sacrifice by himself if he is able to slaughter properly, otherwise he may pay for someone else to do it for him, but his presence at the zabihah is desirable, but not obligatory.
In Islam, an inexperienced person can’t slaughter the udhiyah since this might torture the animal and cause both physiological and psychological suffering for it.
Shaykh Zakariyya ibn Yusuf explained that “The Islamic slaughter requires that the throat, the external jugular veins and the wind-pipe of the animal is swiftly and clearly severed with a sharp tool, together with invoking the name of Allah Most High. If only two of the passages and veins are cut, the slaughter will be deemed incorrect. If any three of the four are severed, the slaughter will be valid.”
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