In continuation to ‘The Malaysian Enlightened Beings: Duty bound!?’, I would like to share my thoughts on the duties of a Muslim during Aidul-Adha.
But first and foremost, I extend my appreciation to our Prime Minister in taking time to visit our fellow Buddhist at Mahinvara temple, in conjunction with the Wesak Day on the 28th May 2010. I honestly hope we keep the momentum in racial tolerance and harmony, not just for the sake to procure peace and prosperity in anticipation of public response when the subsidy retraction is announced.
In Islam, there are two great festivals, ‘Idul-Fitr’ (Aidil Fitri) as we all know it, falls on the first day of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic year, and 'Idul-Adha’ (Aidil Adha), which falls on the tenth day of Thul-Hijjah and coincides with the Yauman-Nahr, "Day of the Sacrifices" in the Hajj Pilgrimage as we have seen.
The Aidil Adha (the "Feast of Sacrifice") is the second great festival of Islam. It is also known as Baqri-Eid (the "Cow Festival") because it’s most important feature is the sacrifice of an animal (cow, goat, sheep, or other appropriate beast) in commemoration of the ram sacrificed by Abraham in place of his son. In Muhammad's time a camel was usually the animal sacrificed. The command to perform sacrifices is given in Surah 22.36 and although no specific day is fixed in the Qur'an the sacrificing of animals was already practiced on the last day of the pilgrimage by the pre-Islamic Arabs and the institution was duly retained. A special prayer, similar to the Eid-ul-Fitr prayer, is also offered on this day before the animals are sacrificed.
Narrated Al-Bara: I heard the Prophet delivering a Khutba saying, "The first thing to be done on this day (the first day of 'Id-ul-Adha) is to pray; and after returning from the prayer we slaughter our sacrifices (in the name of Allah), and whoever does so, he acted according to our Sunna (traditions) " (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 2, p. 37).
Every Muslim home is obliged to offer a sacrifice on this day. The meat may be eaten by the family but a distribution of a generous share to the poor should also be made. It is however a festival as food is to be eaten on this day with a cheerful heart in remembrance of God's bounty and provision for mankind.
Today, after 1430 years of the pre-Islamic Arabs, the meat (a luxury) no longer shares the same appreciation. Nutritionists, Doctors, Scientist, Biologists and even the Enlightened Beings are telling us to cut down on red meat. Can I say “haram!” to all these people? Instead they asked to increase vegetable and fruits and where possible be a vegetarian.
On the flip side in Malaysia, a kilo of meat or the lack of it is not what cause unhappiness, lack of gratitude, depression, hunger, anger, frustration, famine and/or suffering etc. Here the latter are caused by the lack of jobs, poor health – unaffordable medical aid, physical disability, roof over the head, education opportunity, water, electricity, etc.
If so, what is the point in celebrating Aidil Adha (i.e.: thanks giving) by sacrificing cows, sheep’s and even imported Camels and distribute a kilo of meat (once a year) to the poor?
It looks more of a feasts, and compliance that I have followed the Sunnah. Yet today it only displays the stupidity, ignorance, arrogance, greed of the so called Enlightened Beings and the wealthy – for thinking that their wealth will be blessed by doing those sacrifices in serving God’s bounty and provision for mankind. They may as well ‘shove-it-up’ and stop making a fool of us. I mean what else can we the younger generations make of the concept - “God's bounty and provision for mankind”?
If I’m making baseless assumptions or uneducated guess then I must apologize. Because would it not be that Malaysia being an exemplary Muslim nation thus far, with more religious experts than any other Muslim country, added with their vast experience in NEP policy in place the last 52 years, should be an example country of ‘0’ poverty?