Why Do Muslims Sacrifice Livestock on Eid?
Eid al-Adha is a major celebration for Muslims that commences after the holy pilgrimage of Hajj on the tenth-thirteenth day of Thul-Hijjah (The month in the Muslim calender when Hajj occurs). On Eid, Muslims sacrifice livestock in the name of Allah, God. This is quite relevant as I myself sacrificed a goat on Saturday for Eid. The animals which are permitted to be sacrificed are cows, goats, camels, and sheep. When people think of the word sacrifice, they don’t know the real meaning of it, they might start thinking of satanic rituals which is wrong. After a Muslim sacrifices an animal, he will then give 1/3 of the meat to the poor, 1/3 to friends, and 1/3 to family. People may think this tradition is wrong, but it is actually much better for the animal to die by the knife of a Muslim on Eid rather than in a factory for McDonald’s. When Muslims sacrifice the animal, it is done in a way that the animal feels no pain and dies instantly. The animal is cut through the neck just below the head which allows the blood to flow out and the animal won’t suffer. The knife must be sharp so it goes through quickly and cleanly and the animal mustn’t know what is going to happen, so it can’t see the knife and the herd can’t watch the sacrifice. If any of these do happen, then the sacrifice may not be accepted.
The reason behind all the sacrificing is because thousands of years ago, there lived a prophet of Allah, a prophet for Islam, Prophet Ibrahim, or Abraham. He had a son who was also a prophet named Ismaaeel, or Ishmael, and prophet Ibrahim was ordered by Allah to sacrifice his son. This was really a test from Allah to see if the prophet’s love was more for God or his son and material wealth. Allah really didn’t want him to sacrifice his son, He wanted to test him in his faith. Prophet Ibrahim told his son of his commandment, and his son agreed and so the two went to a stone to perform the sacrifice, and all along the route, they were approached by Shaytan (Satan), who tried to turn them against Allah (God), but they held fast by stoning the devil away. Once they reached the place, the Prophet Ibrahim laid down his son and closed his eyes, the prophet shut his own eyes and held the knife to prophet Ismaaeel’s neck. Right when Prophet Ibrahim started to drive the knife down, Allah the Most Merciful exchanged prophet Ismaaeel for a ram or sheep. Prophet Ibrahim instead of sacrificing his son, sacrificed a sheep by Allah’s will, and he was blessed to have his son and pleasing Allah by him staying true to his mission even though it was his own son. To this day Muslims celebrate this tradition by sacrificing a sheep or another permitted animal and dividing its meat equally. Now hopefully people have learned from this blog what Eid ul-Adha truly is, a celebration of tradition and sharing.