Friday, January 30, 2004

Eid Al Adha And The Savage Muslims!

Well, isn’t this what most of non-Muslims say every time Eid Al Adha approaches? Yes, a lot of them think that this Eid is so cruel to sheep and is so uncivilized. But did they ever think of the reasons for this Eid? Did they ever think of the way that relieves animals most when being prepared for eating? Or do they just judge from the outside?
This is not a post to defend Muslims, nor is it one to offend non-Muslims. It’s just an an invitation to take a deeper look on the process.
In fact I am one of the people who eat meat occasionally, I’m not that fond of it. I don’t hate it but I eat only the amounts I need to provide myself with the essentials my body needs and which cannot be replaced by vegetables or fruits (no matter how hard scientists try to prove the opposite). Hey dear vegetarians don’t hate me, I respect you, I just don’t believe joining you is the right thing to do.
Anyway let me get back to Eid Al Adha, which means the “Fest of Sacrifice”. Muslims celebrate it in remembrance of the story of prophet Ibrahim. As you know God tests us all the time. And God wanted Ibrahim to prove his strong belief in him by checking if he’d do anything for the love of God. So God asked him to kill his own son, which is something impossible normally, and which was so harsh on Ibrahim, but still he chose to fulfill God’s will and sacrifice his son. But the minute he was about to kill his son, God replaced the boy with a sheep to be killed instead of the boy as a reward for his strong belief, proving once again that God tests our faith but is never willing to hurt us.
A lot might laugh at this story, but it’s serious, actually a lot of normal people test others’ loyalty towards them in different ways. Men test women’s love, women test men’s loyalty, kids test their family's appreciation, friends test each other’s trust… etc. Some ways could be reasonable like for example a father asking his son to stop smoking to show his love for his dad, or a mother asking her little girl to eat all her dish to prove her love for her mom. And some are silly, like a woman asking her husband to sell the dearest thing he has just to prove his love for her. Or a guy asking a girl to forget about the whole world and run away with him to a new place where he has no life and no future at all, just to prove her love for him... But the difference between God’s testing and people’s testing is that God just tests and isn’t waiting for things to actually happen, and God rewards without you even doing the thing. God wants nothing in return. But people, we ask, we want things to be done our way, and then we’re just “pleased”. No rewards but a “thank you” that might not even come from the bottom of the heart.
Now back to Eid Al Adha.
I don’t know why a lot of people believe they’re animal friends and call for the rights of animals and all, when they actually aren’t any different from those who eat animal meat.
We all eat, some eat everything, some eat only vegetables, or fruits or serials. The thing is when you eat vegetables you are eating living creatures as well. And if something doesn’t have eyes nor legs, or if it doesn’t have a mouth, that doesn’t mean it’s dead! Plants are alive, they have souls, they have families, a grand tree, a baby plant … they’re just like all other living creatures.
And God has created us all to live together and improve. Animals eat plants and other animals and sometimes humans. And Humans eat plants and animals (and sometimes humans, lol, just kidding) and some plants eat other plants and insects and live on the rest of dead bodies. We’re all created as a natural circle.
Yet the difference between what God asked us to do and what people are actually doing is what destroyed the balance of nature. God asked us to be good to other creatures, care for them and when we need them, we should do our best not to hurt them.
You shouldn’t cut off the leaves of a plant for fun, you shouldn’t burn it and you should use it in a gentle way. Just like animals, you shouldn’t torture them and you shouldn’t use them in a bad way. So no negative use, but you can still use them.
“I wont eat meat. I don’t wanna have Mad Cow Disease”, anyone who says this has the right to be scared, but the problem wont be solved that way. We wouldn’t have got Mad Cow Disease nor Birds’ flue or any other animal disease if we took the right precautions before eating their meat.
Which brings us to the issue of slaughter. When you find the word “Halal” written on the animal meat, it means it was slaughtered following Islam’s instructions, which are: taking a healthy animal (sheep,cow, chicken..), then saying: “In the name of God the Merciful” to it (yes you should talk to it to calm it down and show respect to its soul as well as mercy for its body) and then quickly cut a certain vein in a certain point in the neck. And if you make a quick research you’ll find out that it’s the best way for both the animal and the human, why? For the animal because it’s so quick, and hits the point where pain is felt the least, so it doesn’t hurt the animal at all, opposite to using electric shocks and stuff which leaves the animal suffering before it’s dead. And good for the humans because this cut vein releases excess old blood (following scientific pressure rules) leaving the body with only pure fresh blood that was newly generated and that will be easily took out of the body while cooking. Oh, and last but not least, the released blood should be CLEANED away.
So meat isn’t the cause of the diseases we hear of, no, it’s us who caused those diseases because we can’t just stop messing with nature. And instead of asking your kids and beloved ones to stop eating meat, show them the right way to take care of animals, feed them right, preserve the balance of nature and know how to use the environment in the best way ever.

A reminder to all Muslims of the world
Eid Al Adha is an occasion to remember God’s mercy and the devotion and faith of the believers. It’s an occasion to share the poor and give them a chance to eat meat that they can’t afford. If you can afford buying a sheep, then never forget to donate as much as you can for the poor, this is the spirit of Eid Al Adha, it’s not about showing off nor stuffing yourself with different meat dishes. And make sure you use appropriate places for the purpose of slaughtering, and streets aren’t the place for sure.

Eid Al Adha In Jordan:
A thing I really admired in Jordan during Eid Al Adha was the presence of charity associations that gather your donations of meat, money or whatever you wanna donate. You fill a form to decide where your donations should go. The choices vary from sending to local families in need, or local associations that help the poor, or you can send to countries suffering from hunger, or going through war and so on.
I find this so ideal. I really like it.
Well and another thing I really miss about Jordan is the home-made chocolates mom used to make us in shapes of sheep :) She’d prepare them around 3 days before Eid, so you can imagine how YUMMY the house smelled. She used to make them with raisins, or almonds or hazel nut, or simply milk chocolate. They were out of this world and tasted the best. I used to steal the biggest sheep (which was made to decorate) and eat it alone :P
Not to forget the ma’moul once again. God I miss all that.

The Eid is in a couple of days. Happy Eid Al Adha to all of you out there and may God bless you all.