•All You Need To Know
There are 2 main festivals celebrated by the Muslim faithful across the world. They are Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul- Adha. Eid-ul-Fitr is done to mark the end of the compulsory fast in the month of Ramadan. On the other hand, Eid-ul-Adha popularly called Eid-ul-Kabir simply means “The Feast of Sacrifice”. It is the most celebrated Muslim festival which comes a day after Arafah, the climax of all Hajj rites in Makkah. Eid-ul-Adha gives reference to the experiences of the Prophet Abraham which the three monotheistic faiths (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism) believe that he was tested by God, who ordered him to sacrifice his son before replacing him with a ram at the last moment.
WHY MUSLIMS CELEBRATE EID-UL-ADHA
Being one of the most important festivals in Islam, Eid-al-Adha takes place after the end of Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Since the time of Prophet Mohammad, Muslims have sacrificed animals (Qurbaani) on this day to honour Ibrahim’s spirit of sacrifice. Eid-ul-Adha is not about shedding blood to please God. It’s about giving up something you hold dear in devotion to God. The festival has a clear message of piety, charity as well as equality. The Quran states: “Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you.” (22:37).
THOSE REQUIRED TO SLAUGHTER ANIMALS FOR SALAH
For the greater good of those less fortunate, sacrificing on Eid-al-Adha is mandatory in Islam only for those who can afford it and has reached the age of puberty.
ANIMALS THAT MUSLIMS CAN SLAUGHTER FOR SALAH
There are six animals allowed for sacrifice in Islam. Each of these animals attracts varying rewards when used as Eid ul Adha sacrifice. They are:
(1) Ram – Sacrifice with Ram attract the highest reward. It is recommended that one should use Ram for the sacrifice provided he can afford it.
(2) Sheep – If you cannot afford the ram, Sheep is next to Ram in reward. (3) He-Goat – The He-Goat is next in the hierarchy of rewards. It attracts reward a little lower than the Sheep.
(4) She-Goat – If you cannot afford the He-Goat, the She-Goat is next.
(5) Cow – the Cow is next in the hierarchy of reward after She-Goat even though it is bigger and more expensive than the Ram, Sheep and Goats. It is lawful for seven people to join funds to acquire one Cow for sacrifice. They will be rewarded as well.
(6) Camel – If you are in Hajj, the sacrifice with Camel attracts more reward followed by the Cow then the Ram. For those not performing Hajj, a Camel sacrifice receives the lowest of reward. Mind you, the Camel is the most expensive of all the animals allowed for sacrifice.
Islam recommends all the animals above for sacrifice. Anyone you are able to buy and slaughter for sacrifice, you will be adequately rewarded.
THE RIGHT WAY TO SLAUGHTER THE ANIMALS
To fulfill the rules of the festival, slaughterers and slaughter-houses should abide by the following regulations:
(1) The animal should be slaughtered with a sharp knife to avoid causing undue suffering
(2) The knife should not be sharpened in front of the animal
(3) No animal should be slaughtered in the presence of another
(4) It is best to slaughter the animal yourself, but if you do not know how, you should remain present whilst someone else sacrifices the creature.
(5) It is necessary to say “Bismillahi Allahu Akbar” when slaughtering the animal.
(6) Slaughtered animals are not to be skinned until completely cold.
THOSE THAT ARE ENTITLED TO THE SALAH MEAT
Meat from the slaughtered animals should be distributed equally in three parts. It should be given to the family, friends and the poor (both Muslim and non-Muslim alike). If you slaughter your animal with partner/partners, the meat should be shared by weight, not by approximation. You cannot pay the butcher with the meat, fat and by-products of the slaughtered animal. The skin can be kept for personal use, but if it is sold, the amount must be given to the poor.
RULES GUIDING THE DISTRIBUTION OF SALAH MEAT
Distributing Salah meat is an obligation that the Muslim faithful are commanded to perform by Allah (SWT). It is important that they follow the meat distribution rules and regulations which are mentioned below:
(1) The slaughtering must be given on 10th, 11th and 12th days of Dhul-Hijjah
(2) Sacrifices can only be made after the Eid prayer (sacrifices made before do not count as serving its purpose)
(3) Any able Muslim should give slaughter an animal providing he/she has reached the age of puberty and hold wealth above the threshold of 52.5 tolas of Silver.
(4) Animals for sacrifice must meet minimum age and health requirements.
(5) Qurbani sacrifices must be given in three shares – one for you, one for family or friends and one for an impoverished family
In Mecca, the meat of the animals slaughtered by the Haajis is distributed to third-world countries.
HOW BEST TO CELEBRATE EID-UL-ADHA
The yearly celebration of Eid-ul-Adha always comes with moments to cherish in the community for both Muslims and non-Muslims. It is required for Muslims to take the full-body ritual bath before setting out for Eid. They need to be at their best appearance and behaviour. Since this Eid is considered the holier and bigger of the two celebrations in Islam, then Muslims are expected to wear their best clothes, preferably new ones when they go out to the Eid prayer. They are also required to praise Allah throughout the day and pay visits to friends, families, neighbours.