Oct 4, 2014

Sheepstakingly: How not to be an animal in Eid

Disclaimer: This post is to shed some light on the way animals are offered, slaughtered during Eid for Muslims and in many occasions for other religions and sects too. This is by far not concerned in discussing anything related to the righteousness, the history, the source or the validity of the mentioned ritual.

Photo posted originally by Khaled Merheb

I had always been traumatized by the way muslims slaughter poor animals on holy occasions, like Eid Al Adha for instance, under the sole excuse that it’s an Islamic ritual, a praised act by which god would accept your good deeds and wipe away your notorious ones. The simple fact that the tiny goat or that weakly sheep is held down really hard by two, sometimes up to four, strong men mainly holding it by the horn, raising their Allahu Akbar’s and slitting its throat, was just another painful, disgusting, mini-horror movie, every single time. Children’s screams and other people’s loathing makes it all come to sense: something seriously wrong was going on.

As a kid growing up in a majorly Islamic community, I was exposed to a lot of the muslim rituals, their habits, the kind of habits very few know the reason why they were practiced, and ever fewer, lest rarely found, those who actually practice them right. I remember running around town looking for butcher shops, where sheep would be gathered in right-now-made barns, sidewalks and pavements would turn into real-life slaughterhouses with strikingly red blood finding its way to the nearest drain hole. I always felt there was something wrong, I had the feeling this is not what was meant by the act of oblation, sacrificing a soul for the one, the supreme authority, the divine entity, for his characters quite contradict what’s being done her, being the merciful and all.

It was all until yesterday, the evening of Eid Al Adha, with which Muslims end their famous Hajj ritual, and for those who aren’t doing Hajj, they would simply offer their sacrifice whether with sheep, chicken, cows, whatever is within budget. In fact, Muslims, neighbors friends and relatives, tend to compete in who can pay the most money on their sacrificial animal(s): the more money, the merrier of course, and for surely the more divine forgiveness. Yesterday was the night I stumbled on a post on my Facebook timeline by a friend of mine, simply throwing out a 15-min video explicitly showing what was called "the proper halal way” for slaughtering an animal for its meat. I have to admit something here, and with full disregard to what I personally think of killing an animal for its meat or even for the divine benefits of it, I wished this guy was the butcher to provide me with my meat ever since I came to this world. The least to say about that guy is he was merciful. Yes, mercy, the most important thing most Muslims nowadays have come to forget.

The guy spoke of white-heartedness, and if I ever were to eat meat slaughtered by somebody, it has to be at least this guy over here.

Now that you’ve read and seen what it means to properly kill an animal, I want you to watch the following:

Again, this post is merely to compare both ways, nothing more, nothing less. If it were to me, however, I would start by slaughtering my ego, by sacrificing my earthly desires, by slitting the throat of what hatred my heart still holds. Eid Mubarak Everybody.

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