WARNING: If you do not believe in Ijtihad, please do not read the following. If you are binary Muslim who sees everything in terms of Halaal/Haraam, the following notes are not for you.
Dr. Lalani thinks aloud, but makes a valid point about Sacrifice.
We should be open to his idea, and as Muslims we should debate it and see the merits and alternatives for the same. It does not mean giving up eating the meat, it simply means finding the alternatives for the present day massive animal slaughter on the day of Eid.
The idea of sacrifice he has explained - of giving up things that are dear to one is meaningful. I request the Muslims who are free to think to propose a full idea on how to handle the symbolic sacrifice Muslims make on the day of Eid-al-Adha.
Two articles below talk about the the 300,000 animals being sacrficed by Hindus in Nepal and on Thanksgiving Day, we probably would slaughter more than 20 Million turkeys, that is one turkey for every 15 Americans.
That is our food..... think from a survival point of view...
Look at this way, the wheat we grind to flour and eat kills the future of wheaties from that seed of wheat we kill. The veggies we eat have life that we shorten. If we do not kill the wheat, it keeps growing and reseeding....
Every veggie has life too. We are part of it and animals are part of it. If no one kills the animals and veggies, and no animal eats other animal... there will be a huge problem.
Religions were wise to go along with the system of nature... we are each others sustenance.
Sounds bad, but what are the choices? Why show prejudice towards Veggies and not towards animals? No matter what you eat, you are killing the continuance of the life of that item.
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I am a Muslim, and not just a MINO (Muslim in Name Only) and I admit I could do better in practice of my religion.
There is one Islamic ritual with which I have a great deal of trouble and that is Kurbani. I have never slaughtered an animal myself but I have seen a goat being dragged to the spot of sacrifice on Eid-alAdha and I have seen how desperately the goat struggles and resists. It is quite obvious that the animal knows what is in store for it (it is uncanny). And I have seen its throat being cut and its being exsanguinated and a painful death superveing slowly and inexorably.
I hold Prophets Ibrahim and Mohammad (praise be on them both) in highest reverence and I am not a vegetarian (although I wish I could have been). I also do not question God's commandment to Ibrahim to show his devotion to Allah by going through with the sacrifice of his only son at that time, (this must have been before the birth of Isaac, PBUH).
However, could it be that God's Commandment to sacrifice was for to him to give whatever it was that was most dear or his very valuable possession. In those days, livestock was a measure of wealth and meat was not pletiful so that protein deficiency must have been endemic, especially among the poor (the majority). Alll those facts pointed to a living animal as logical possesiion fit for sacrifice.
I performed Umra in December of 1993 and read an 'official' piece of Saudi government literature provided to the pilgrims (including Hajj). It clearly stated that money donation can emphatically substitute for animal sacrifice and that meat was allowed to Muslims but not mandated by our great faith.
I am a physician (now retired) and I have no doubt that dairy products (esp cheese) and eggs (unfertilized) can definitely furnish all the protein a human needs and in fact even those may not be indispensable (lentils and legumes have plenty of the so called first class proteins).
Jews used to practice Qurbani following the example of Abrham/Ibrahim (PBUH) until the destruction in 570 b.c. of the First Temple and - perhaps - until the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD but they seem to have completely given up the practice since the diaspora. And still, we include them - and Christians - among the believers. Europeans used to sacrifice animals to Jupiter and Apollo and Minerva etc. but quit that practice when Christianity replaced idol-worshipping, polytheistic Homeric religion ( 'Hellenism'). Could we at least heed the kernel of their argument against performing anuimal sacrifice without becoming vegetarians?
'World's biggest animal sacrifice' in Nepal
By Claire Cozens
KATHMANDU, Nepal—Thousands of Hindu devotees have flocked to a village in Nepal ahead of the planned sacrifice of more than 300,000 animals in a ceremony condemned by animal rights activists, including French actress Brigitte Bardot.
Priests are preparing for the slaughter of more than 15,000 buffaloes and 300,000 birds, goats, and sheep during the event, which starts Tuesday and is thought to be the biggest ritual sacrifice anywhere in the world.
Every five years, the village of Bariyapur, near Nepal's southern border with India, hosts this religious festival dedicated to Gadhimai, the Hindu goddess of power.
"Thousands of people from Nepal and India have already begun arriving and preparations for the festival are in full swing," Mangal Chaudhary Tharu, the main priest at the Gadhimai temple, told AFP.
He said visitor numbers were expected to be higher this year because it is the first such ceremony since the end of Nepal's conflict in 2006 and he vowed to go ahead with the sacrifice despite the protests.
Tharu, the fourth generation of his family to serve as a priest at the temple, said he expected more than a million people to attend, over half from India, where many states have banned animal slaughter for religious purposes.
Nepal's government has refused to put a stop to what it says is a centuries-old religious tradition, and has pledged 4.5 million rupees (60,000 dollars) in funding.
"People have deep faith in the goddess and they believe that sacrificing animals will bring them good luck and prosperity for their families," said Tharu.
"I don't think the mood will be spoiled by the animal rights campaigners. They have the right to raise their concerns and we have the right to continue with our age-old tradition."
Armed police have been deployed to keep the peace and authorities have banned alcohol during the festival, which begins with the ritual sacrifice of two wild rats, a rooster, a pig, a goat, and a lamb.
The meat is distributed to the devotees and to local people, while contractors bid for the animal hides—making the slaughter a lucrative venture for the local community.
But the ceremony has been strongly opposed by animal rights campaigners, who are demanding an end to what they say is senseless cruelty.
The cause is supported by the well-known Indian animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi and by Bardot, a veteran campaigner who this month wrote to Nepal's president urging him to put a stop to the festival.
"Thousands of terrified buffaloes will have their heads cut off by drunken devotees," she wrote.
"Honorable president, I have dedicated my life to protect animals and the best gift I could receive for this lifelong struggle would be the announcement of the stopping of ritual sacrifice."
Pramada Shah, director of pressure group Animal Nepal, says the campaign has won strong support both in Nepal and abroad, although she accepts it faces an uphill struggle in this deeply conservative, majority-Hindu nation.
"In a country like Nepal it is very difficult to raise these issues," she told AFP.
"The idea of animal rights is very new here and people are so used to sacrifices, even well-educated people are resistant to change. There is a lot of work to be done here, but slowly, progress is being made."
She says attitudes toward ritual slaughter are beginning to change in Nepal, a view shared by cultural expert Chunda Bajracharya.
"Belief in these ancient rituals is deep rooted in our society," said Bajracharya, professor of cultural studies at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan University.
"But there is evidence that animal sacrifices are becoming less popular, especially in urban areas, where people are instead choosing to 'sacrifice' eggs or coconuts.
"Mindsets are gradually changing."
Shared by Hasni Essa
Animal, Vegetable, Miserable
Times Topics: VeganismLATELY more people have begun to express an interest in where the meat they eat comes from and how it was raised. Were the animals humanely treated? Did they have a good quality of life before the death that turned them into someone’s dinner?
Some of these questions, which reach a fever pitch in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, pertain to the ways in which animals are treated. (Did your turkey get to live outdoors?) Others focus on the question of how eating the animals in question will affect the consumer’s health and well-being. (Was it given hormones and antibiotics?)
None of these questions, however, make any consideration of whether it is wrong to kill animals for human consumption. And even when people ask this question, they almost always find a variety of resourceful answers that purport to justify the killing and consumption of animals in the name of human welfare. Strict ethical vegans, of which I am one, are customarily excoriated for equating our society’s treatment of animals with mass murder. Can anyone seriously consider animal suffering even remotely comparable to human suffering? Those who answer with a resounding no typically argue in one of two ways.
Some suggest that human beings but not animals are made in God’s image and hence stand in much closer proximity to the divine than any non-human animal; according to this line of thought, animals were made expressly for the sake of humans and may be used without scruple to satisfy their needs and desires. There is ample support in the Bible and in the writings of Christian thinkers like Augustine and Thomas Aquinas for this pointedly anthropocentric way of devaluing animals.
Others argue that the human capacity for abstract thought makes us capable of suffering that both qualitatively and quantitatively exceeds the suffering of any non-human animal. Philosophers like Jeremy Bentham, who is famous for having based moral status not on linguistic or rational capacities but rather on the capacity to suffer, argue that because animals are incapable of abstract thought, they are imprisoned in an eternal present, have no sense of the extended future and hence cannot be said to have an interest in continued existence.
The most penetrating and iconoclastic response to this sort of reasoning came from the writer Isaac Bashevis Singer in his story “The Letter Writer,” in which he called the slaughter of animals the “eternal Treblinka.”
The story depicts an encounter between a man and a mouse. The man, Herman Gombiner, contemplates his place in the cosmic scheme of things and concludes that there is an essential connection between his own existence as “a child of God” and the “holy creature” scuffling about on the floor in front of him.
Surely, he reflects, the mouse has some capacity for thought; Gombiner even thinks that the mouse has the capacity to share love and gratitude with him. Not merely a means for the satisfaction of human desires, nor a mere nuisance to be exterminated, this tiny creature possesses the same dignity that any conscious being possesses. In the face of that inherent dignity, Gombiner concludes, the human practice of delivering animals to the table in the form of food is abhorrent and inexcusable.
Many of the people who denounce the ways in which we treat animals in the course of raising them for human consumption never stop to think about this profound contradiction. Instead, they make impassioned calls for more “humanely” raised meat. Many people soothe their consciences by purchasing only free-range fowl and eggs, blissfully ignorant that “free range” has very little if any practical significance. Chickens may be labeled free-range even if they’ve never been outside or seen a speck of daylight in their entire lives. And that Thanksgiving turkey? Even if it is raised “free range,” it still lives a life of pain and confinement that ends with the butcher’s knife.
How can intelligent people who purport to be deeply concerned with animal welfare and respectful of life turn a blind eye to such practices? And how can people continue to eat meat when they become aware that nearly 53 billion land animals are slaughtered every year for human consumption? The simple answer is that most people just don’t care about the lives or fortunes of animals. If they did care, they would learn as much as possible about the ways in which our society systematically abuses animals, and they would make what is at once a very simple and a very difficult choice: to forswear the consumption of animal products of all kinds.
The easy part of this consists in seeing clearly what ethics requires and then just plain doing it. The difficult part: You just haven’t lived until you’ve tried to function as a strict vegan in a meat-crazed society.
What were once the most straightforward activities become a constant ordeal. You might think that it’s as simple as just removing meat, eggs and dairy products from your diet, but it goes a lot deeper than that.
To be a really strict vegan is to strive to avoid all animal products, and this includes materials like leather, silk and wool, as well as a panoply of cosmetics and medications. The more you dig, the more you learn about products you would never stop to think might contain or involve animal products in their production — like wine and beer (isinglass, a kind of gelatin derived from fish bladders, is often used to “fine,” or purify, these beverages), refined sugar (bone char is sometimes used to bleach it) or Band-Aids (animal products in the adhesive). Just last week I was told that those little comfort strips on most razor blades contain animal fat.
To go down this road is to stare headlong into an abyss that, to paraphrase Nietzsche, will ultimately stare back at you.
The challenges faced by a vegan don’t end with the nuts and bolts of material existence. You face quite a few social difficulties as well, perhaps the chief one being how one should feel about spending time with people who are not vegans.
Is it O.K. to eat dinner with people who are eating meat? What do you say when a dining companion says, “I’m really a vegetarian — I don’t eat red meat at home.” (I’ve heard it lots of times, always without any prompting from me.) What do you do when someone starts to grill you (so to speak) about your vegan ethics during dinner? (Wise vegans always defer until food isn’t around.) Or when someone starts to lodge accusations to the effect that you consider yourself morally superior to others, or that it is ridiculous to worry so much about animals when there is so much human suffering in the world? (Smile politely and ask them to pass the seitan.)
Let me be candid: By and large, meat-eaters are a self-righteous bunch. The number of vegans I know personally is ... five. And I have been a vegan for almost 15 years, having been a vegetarian for almost 15 before that.
Five. I have lost more friends than this over arguments about animal ethics. One lapidary conclusion to be drawn here is that people take deadly seriously the prerogative to use animals as sources of satisfaction. Not only for food, but as beasts of burden, as raw materials and as sources of captive entertainment — which is the way animals are used in zoos, circuses and the like.
These uses of animals are so institutionalized, so normalized, in our society that it is difficult to find the critical distance needed to see them as the horrors that they are: so many forms of subjection, servitude and — in the case of killing animals for human consumption and other purposes — outright murder.
People who are ethical vegans believe that differences in intelligence between human and non-human animals have no moral significance whatsoever. The fact that my cat can’t appreciate Schubert’s late symphonies and can’t perform syllogistic logic does not mean that I am entitled to use him as an organic toy, as if I were somehow not only morally superior to him but virtually entitled to treat him as a commodity with minuscule market value.
We have been trained by a history of thinking of which we are scarcely aware to view non-human animals as resources we are entitled to employ in whatever ways we see fit in order to satisfy our needs and desires. Yes, there are animal welfare laws. But these laws have been formulated by, and are enforced by, people who proceed from the proposition that animals are fundamentally inferior to human beings. At best, these laws make living conditions for animals marginally better than they would be otherwise — right up to the point when we send them to the slaughterhouse.
Think about that when you’re picking out your free-range turkey, which has absolutely nothing to be thankful for on Thanksgiving. All it ever had was a short and miserable life, thanks to us intelligent, compassionate humans.
Gary Steiner, a professor of philosophy at Bucknell University, is the author of “Animals and the Moral Community: Mental Life, Moral Status and Kinship.”
Click and comment: http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2009/11/eid-al-adha-what-is-sacrifice.html#comments
SUCCESSFUL NAATIA MUSHAERA ON 2.21.14
45 PICTURES AT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/sets/72157641382648224/
August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916
Mirza A Beg
PLANNED MUSLIMS RESPONSE TO QUR'AN BURNING BY PASTOR JONES ON 9/11/13 IN MULBERRY, FLORIDA
We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.
Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”
God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.
We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration (www.UnitydayUSA.com) held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.
Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.
As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.
We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.
We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.
We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.
Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.
Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.
We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.
The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.