Eid Al-Adha: Why do Muslims sacrifice an animal?

COURTESY/ Burak Özdemir @cznburak

Eid is a very sacred and special holiday for Muslims all over the world, and every culture has a different way of celebrating the special holiday. One thing that all countries have in common specifically on Eid Al-Adha or Bakra Eid is sacrificing an animal like a goat, cow, or lamb in devotion to God and religion.

Eid-al-Adha is not about the shedding of an animal, but it is the sacrifice that you must make for something that you hold so important to you. The meat from the animals is also meant to be shared amongst family, and the less fortunate.

Eid-al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice is celebrated during the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar – yes Muslims have their own calendar system. This is known as Dhul Hijjah – which translates as ‘Lord of the Pilgrimage’. It is during this month that pilgrims travel to Mecca in order to visit the Kaaba. Hajj is performed on the eighth, ninth and ten days of the lunar month. 

During recent times the sacrificing of an animal on Eid-al-Adha has raised a lot of questioning eyebrows with people saying that the festival reminds them that we have to kill animals for food. However, many people say yes Muslims have to kill animals for food, but that is only to fulfill the most basic of human needs, and it is never an act of violence.

Many people that are less fortunate wait all year for Eid al-Adha to be able to eat meat because they fact that can’t afford to eat meat all year round. Also, sacrificing an animal is only permissible to those that are in a good standing position and it becomes their duty to give meat to those that are less fortunate.

The way Muslims slaughter their meat which is known as the Halal way is actually quite ethical if you look at it. Eating meat, in general, is no way only exclusive to Muslims and is prevalent across the world. I mean if you look around, so many people from different cultures and religions eat meat. In many countries, the soil and climate are made in a way that people need to eat meat to survive and do not have the luxury of other alternatives. 

The story of the sacrifice which is in the Muslims holy book known as the Quran is also in the Book of Genesis for Christians with some interesting variations.

On the flip side, Eid-al-Adha is not only just religious sacrifices, but there is also so much more to it, like the food, and the various desserts people make. Every culture has a different way of celebrating this fun holiday. The main thing everyone does is dress up in top-notch outfits, eat lots of food, and spend time with their loved ones. 

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