Asalaamualaykum and Eid Mubarak to all our readers. We hope that Eid
ul Adha has been a blessed and merciful occasion for you. As we still wait to hear of news from our loved ones abroad, we make dua to the Almighty that they are returned to us safely and that their condition with Allah is safe. That they may be returned with renewed and strengthened Iman and blessings from The Merciful Lord.

The Eid of Adha celebration, the Eid of Qurbani, sets a prophetic scene for us all. Reconnecting us with the ancient tradition of sacrifice. Standing before our Lord in hopes that He will accept our offering of gratitude. Having been assured of His mercy, we take that which He has provided us with and give it away in charity whilst holding a portion of the blessing for ourselves. Reflecting on my very first time sacrificing a sheep, anticipating the immensity of the act, I realised then that in order to reconcile myself with slaughtering it, I had to first bond with it.

I picked out a sheep from the pen, neither too big nor too small, that seemed to have in it a sense of sweetness and composure. In all honesty, that was the only sheep in the pen I looked at. I started to recite some Dhikr for it, petting it to make sure that it was calm as it begun to realise that it was being taken away. In an aspect, I needed it to feel loved as a representation of the love that bound me to Allah. This was not some cheap butchery but an honourable thing I was about to do, as my father explained earlier to me. Once the animal was sufficiently calm, we laid it upon its side, where I was given the opportunity to feed it some water. Around me, men started to recite Dhikr, I knelt behind the animal covering its eyes as I was given the knife. After my intention, I recited “Bismillah, Allahu Akbar” and proceeded with 3 strikes to the slaughter.

All the while, the animal was still except for a slight tremble. In what seemed a minute of long quiet, I saw how just a moment ago, this animal was alive, and I had reached out and bonded with it. I had just begun to appreciate the value of its life, when the knife was placed in my hand and proceeded to kill it. Allahu Akbar. After that minute of stillness its body began to kick hard and shuffle, almost lifting the body completely off the ground. I am told that the reason for this is that the Animal is running to the Jannah. I look forward to meeting it there when the time comes insha’allah. What was also happening was, the brain was still sending messages through the spine to the rest of the organs in the body to work fast and thereby pushing all the blood out of body. Making it halaal.

The rewards and blessings for sacrificing an animal on the day of Eid are too great and numerous to mention in so short a piece. For me to a degree at that point, it was to be given the blessing of being able to sacrifice. Of being connected to the act and being present in it. You cannot imagine mindless-ness of thinking that ‘mutton’ comes from the supermarket readily cut and wrapped in plastic. Detached, unaware that in reality, something must die in order for another to live. What matters is the contract we have with Allah. Glory be to The Most High. What matters is how you appreciate the value of life. Being Muslim, is a way of looking at life, a way of living life. The blood of your fellow Muslim is more holy to you then the Holy Kabaah. May Allah increase both you and us in knowledge. Amin

Nabeel Abdalhaqq