By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam
14 August 2017
Muslims all over the world spend billions of dollars to purchase cattle, goats and sheep, imported mainly from the Western countries to slaughter during the annual Hajj/pilgrimage festival. This is in addition to the large number of camels from Arab countries that get killed there.
In Chapter 37 al Saffat of Quran; God, in order to test, commanded Messenger Ibrahim/Abraham in a vision or dream to slaughter (Azbahu) his son, which he in consultation with his Son proceeded to obey ‘God’s Will’. God in His mercy accepted the Messenger’s practical demonstration and ordered Ibrahim not to kill his son, instead asked for a ram to be sacrificed (also ref. Genesis). An event, the Muslims passionately commemorate annually during the Hajj; though slaughtering millions of animals of all kinds to show their ‘love of God’.
It seems that sacrificial offerings of flesh and blood, whether child’s, virgin’s, youths’ and or animal’s and even edibles, to appease a Deity or to achieve certain imperatives, has been part of mankind’s ingrained ethos.
But, two thousand years ago God too is said, had offered His only Son Jesus to be sacrificed on the Cross at the hands of men, all for His imperative: ‘His love of mankind’; to atone for mankind’s sins.
Suffice it to say that mankind has taken upon itself to perpetuate this primitive tradition for ‘Higher imperatives’. The gravity of it; for example, the imperative to subjugate nation(s) determines the extent and limits to be applied in the process. Annihilation of whole nation(s) is the upper limit!
The Muslim tradition however has no basis in their Faith system derived from the source Book the Quran, which they claim to be their guiding Book to submit to the ‘Will of God’. Because in there, the Creator of the Universe declares that:
22-37: Neither their flesh, nor their blood reaches God but to Him is acceptable only the observance of the duty on your part. Thus has He made them (animals) subservience to you that you may glorify God for guiding you to the right path. And give good news to those who do good to others.
Qurban or Qurbani –Root q r b/nearness - the word commonly used for Sacrifice is not used in the Book. Any form of “gift” taken or sent to the place of the pilgrimage to support and nourish the travel weary pilgrims is considered sacrifice and is acceptable to the Creator as a good deed to achieve nearness to Him. The gift could be an animal too. The gifts involve an effort and expenditure of money that is, digging in ones pocket to do ‘good to others’, is sacrifice:
2-196: And accomplish the pilgrimage and the visit in the service of God. But if you are prevented, send whatever offering is easy to obtain… …
Domestic animals are a resource in many other ways such as food source. Larger animals as beast of burden, particularly in the olden days, a great gift for distant travellers:
16-7 And they carry your heavy loads to the lands that you could not otherwise reach except with souls distressed…
However, all life form is sacred, even the birds form a community of the living and must NOT be killed wantonly- 6-38 and 17-33. Conservation of wild life too is ordained there in, 5-96.
The tradition of animal sacrifice that is touted as obligatory in the name of the religion they call Islam is a concocted ritual of slaughter, waste and particularly being external to the place of Pilgrimage. It is nothing but a Church/Clergy instituted con-job and business enterprise (2-79), committed on the gullible, mostly the poor Believers.
It seems that there is a “disconnect” in the translations and understanding the spirit of the ordinances of the Book!
A huge pastoral industry exists in the name of this ritual, devised for cattle breeders and for hide and skin trade. Most of the meat involved in the ritual slaughter is wasted. Only a little of valuable animal-meat as sustenance reaches the poor. The Book denounces all forms of wastage and states that “God does not love extravagance” that is, exceeding the limits of usefulness and decency. Since prodigality in not loved by the Almighty: 6-142, 7-31. It stands to reason therefore that He must surely hate it!
Importantly, other issues arise and must be considered in light of present day awareness and knowledge of global climate change implications. A few of these are briefly stated:
It is said that half the world population, mainly from third world countries is poor and starving of basic nutrition such as food and clean water. More so; because of the instability of world politics that has resulted in destruction of agriculture land and its infrastructure; and lack of equitable distribution of food resources of the world.
· Agricultural Land Degradation and Forest Destruction
Huge cattle raising industries have taken over fertile agricultural land and large tracks of forests are being cleared on daily basis by foreign and multinationals companies to create grazing for cattle, mainly in poor regions such as South American and South East Asian countries, where tropical rain forests abound.
· Climate Change
The above activities for wealth generation at the expense of Muslims and the poor in the world, is not only affecting the economies of poor countries but also adding to global climate change by creating dust bowls, water shortage and resultant temperature rise.
· Atmospheric Pollution
It is said that substantial proportion of methane gas pollution in atmosphere is contributed by livestock, mainly through their belching. That, when combined with the use of fossil fuel in the modern machinery and mechanization of the industry, the contribution of CO2 adds up to be a substantial proportion of atmospheric pollution!
Muslims are perhaps unwittingly responsible for contributing substantially to the global pollution by their false religious practice of slaughtering animals and so giving added incentives to the graziers to supply the required demand. There is a huge loss of foreign exchange to the poor countries in this.
Mankind is made responsible to manage and control God’s gifts of creation for the benefit of all humanity:
31- 20: See you not that God has made subservient to you whatever is in the heavens and the earth and granted you His favours seen and unseen?
Not to mince the words therefore, it must be said that Muslims contradict and deny (commit Kufr) in practice the very Book of codes that they swear upon to declare their faith in it and to show their ‘Love of God’. It is a false declaration as evident by their religious practice that is also harmful to the world environment.
God does NOT deny mankind the judicious use of His gifts, but wants it to enjoy, and says:
7-31: Oh mankind attend to your permitted likes of the world, eat and drink and be not prodigal/wasteful/extravagant, for surely HE does not love Musrifeen… those who commit Israaf.
Muslims are an integral part of the human community, it is ‘an inconvenient truth’ that they must share and bear the burden of responsibility put on them to be the custodians and protectors of the planet Earth, for all life on it. In their ignorance they have passed on this natural responsibility to others. This speck of variegated ‘blue marble’ in the sky is the only planet mankind has to live on for now:
17-15: No bearer of burden can bear the burden of another.
Thus they have to be knowledgably responsible for all their actions for the good of humanity including that of saving the environment to acquire nearness to God.
A regular contributor to New Age Islam, Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.) Engineer
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