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Sacrifice and its impact on economy

Tuesday November 01, 2011 10:18:55 PM, Mufti Mohd. Yahya Qasmi,

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 Lord.


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, verse: 37)


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 and IbnMajah)


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 Allah’s closeness.


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 and capital.


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 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 sacrifices.


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.” ((available  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 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.





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