Every community observes some
festivals. On such occasions, people, according to their
circumstances, put on good clothes, eat nice dishes and express
their joy in various other ways. The festivals fulfil a
fundamental human need, and, hencefew days are set aside for
rejoicing and entertainment in every nation and country.
In Islam, two such days have been
fixed, those of EidulFitrand EidulAdha. These, two are the most
popular religious and communal festivals of Muslims celebrated
across the globe. EidulFitr is celebrated on the 1st of Shawwal,
after the month of Ramadan and EidulAdha on the 10th of ZulHijjah.
The annual congregation of the Hajj
of the whole of the Muslim World with its rituals like the
sacrifice of animals in the barren land (Wadi-i-GairZiZaraa)
commemorates Prophet Ibrahim's supreme sacrifice in the way of his
In this festival, a Muslim who is
capable presents the sacrifice of animal for Allah’s pleasure.
Though the meat of the slaughtered animal is the feast from Allah,
He observes the intention and sincerity of man. As Allah says in
Holy Quran, “It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches
Allah, but it is piety from you that reaches Him. (Chapter: 22,
The main purpose behind sacrifice is
to obtain His closeness and pleasure. As it is related by
SayyidahAyshah (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: "On
the 10th of ZulHijjah, i.e., the day of EidulAdha, no act of son
of Aadam is more pleasing to Allah than qurbani. On the Day of'
Judgement, the animal of qurabani, will come with its horns and
hooves. And before the blood of qurbani touches the ground it
gains the propitiation and good pleasure of Allah. So, Obondsmen
of God! Perform qurbani with full willingness of the heart." (Tirmizi
This sacrifice consists of
sincerity, honesty and piety. Sacrifice is not only to slaughter
an animal but it is emotions of piety and its goal is to seek
Beside these wisdoms that are real
and forever, mentioned by Allah and His Messenger, many others are
explained by scholars. One other hand, some objections are also
raised on these Sacrifices. Among those, the most common objection
is that it is the sign of violence, and it is the waste of money
On the matter of violence a lot has
been written and hence no attempt is made here to explain it any
further. However, the second objection is i.ewastage of money and
capital is analysed in the below paragraphs.
Let’s first try to understand the
meaning of wastage of money and capital. Wastage of money means to
keep it in a way that no one can benefit from it. For example,
there is milliner who keeps all his wealth in his custody. Neither
he invests nor does he use it in any business. Apparently it is
saving but if you analyse deeply you will notice that it is
decreasing by each passing day. First he is guilty of diverting
scarce capital to hoarding which benefits none and secondly the
inflation is reducing the value of his wealth. In contrast the
Sacrifice (Adahi), is spending of wealth.It improves the
circulation of wealth in the economy.Specially those who are rich
spend money on purchasing animal and its fodders from those who
are relatively much poor.Hence it leads to circulation of wealth
from rich to poor. Let’s analyse it in little more detail to see
if it is really wastage of wealth?
Sacrificedanimal impacts the economy
through its meat, skin and other parts.
Animal is an important part of an
economy. As Promar, an independent research company which provides
in-depth analysis about how much revenue results from animal
agriculture and statistics available on
http://www.animalag.org/Benefits.aspx).It says: “The impact of
animal agriculture production on local, state and national
economies can be measured in terms of output, earnings, employment
and taxes received by the state. And also it said “Animal
agriculture is worth real dollars on both a state and national
level, and to your local community.” This statement clearly makes
out the importance of animal production for the economy.
Naturally, Islam attaches importance
to animal production not only for its economic values but also for
its social importance. In Islam, All the permissible (halal)
domesticated or reared quadrupeds can be offered for sacrifice (Qurbani).
Generally, goats, sheep, rams, cows, and camels are offered in
Its economic significance can be
gauged from the writing of Dr.AbdurRahman At-Tareeriwhowrote,
“Sudan would export to the Saudi Kingdom, and during only one week
350 thousand heads of sheep, as I read that the Kingdom had
consumed seven million sacrifices last year, If we estimated the
average sacrifice by 800 Riyals, it will exceed sales of five
billion Riyals.” ((availablehttp://www.aleqt.com
published on 9 December 2008; Arabic source).
Second aspect of sacrifice is meat
mostly gifted to others. Islamic guidelines require that one-third
is eaten by immediate family; one third to be given as gifts to
friends and relatives; and remaining one third is donated to the
poor. Recipient includes non-Muslims as well. In the light of this
guidance it is ensured that benefits of sacrifice reaches a large
segment of our society irrespective of their faith, colour or
creed. In some countries such as Saudi Arabia special efforts are
made to ensure that the meat available after the sacrifice is sent
to poor countries of Africa and elsewhere.
Third important product of sacrifice
is “hides” of animal. It caters the need of leather of the
country. Moreover, from the skins, a lot of things are made which
we use in our day-to-day life. How this skin influences the
market, we ponder upon this report that was prepared by Hussein
Shobokshi, and published on
www.al-arabia.net on 9 January 2007. It begins “DilHiddah (the
last month of Islamic Calendar) is the month of Sacrifice, in
which millions of animal slaughtered for the sake of Allah’s
pleasures. 2 millionin Hajj season, (2007) and in whole year eight
million animals are slaughtered. AbdurRazzaq said that skins of
millions animals and their intestines are dried up and then
exported to other countries where they are used in making winter
clothes and shoes. More important is that, the intestines exported
to other countries are imported back in the shape of threads ,
which are used for surgical works.’
In the light of the above arguments
and evidences provided in support of it is clear beyond doubts
that sacrifice greatly helps the economy and the poor. In fact
there is hardly any other religious festival that equals the
positive contribution as the festival of Eid al Adha.
In short, Sacrifice is worship
conducted on Allah’s command and which must be carried without
seeking any reason. But at the same time it has great positive
impacts on the economy and society. We should make efforts to make
better use of this great Islamic festival.
The author works with
Shariah Financial Analyst with Pragmatic Wealth Management (PWM)
Pvt. Ltd. (Islami Tijara) Mumbai.
Currently, he is doing
research on Islamic Economy.