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Spare the cattle

Published Nov 05, 2011 04:10pm


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I remember my parents bringing home two goats yearly. I became so fond of them, relishing the moments when we took our evening tea in the garden and the goats would roam free and graze.

On the morning of Eid-ul-Azha we said our final goodbyes to the unsuspecting animals, all fattened up and healthy. I shed buckets of tears with sad thoughts about the two precious pets I had lost. Believe it or not, Eid-ul-Azha has a very traumatic and psychologically disturbing affect on the children who are exposed to the sacrificial animals. I hated the holiday as a child, wishing I had never seen the goats. Dinner consisted of all kinds of curries, swimming around sacrificed meat and I could not force a morsel down my throat. No amount of spice could eliminate the images of the poor animals being led to their deaths.

One unfortunate day, I was curious to see the process. My eyes followed the goats as the men of the family and the butcher carefully guided them away into a clearing outside our residence. As I looked around, several other families were doing the same. The goats were forced onto their sides and killed. Slaughtered. Sacrificed. After some time they were dragged onto the porch of my house and cut up into pieces while my family governed packaging and distribution. Our streets would be red for three days, blood splatters and fur advertisements all over the walls.

The story goes something like this. Abraham, somewhere in 2000 B.C. if I’m not mistaken, was asked to sacrifice his own son in the name of God. As he was getting ready to end the life of his child, his sacrifice was replaced by a ram/goat/cow/sheep. There are several variations on this story in many religions, but you get the gist of it. Centuries later, we are carrying out the same customs in Pakistan, except some affluent families have turned it into an ostentatious display of their wealth, slaughtering the best fed, biggest and most beautiful animals, bringing them down from their natural glory to absolute nothingness.

There are enough flood victims in Pakistan, for example, who still need help and instead of going to the cattle market to pay the highest price for the best looking animal, we could pool in our mental and financial resources to help the displaced and the poor in other ways. I know many of you are going to write to me about the benefits of sacrificial holidays such as the fact that Islam tells it’s followers to only keep one third of the meat and give the rest of it away to those in need hence humbling Muslims, but at the same time, why must these poor animals take the brunt of an incident that took place centuries ago?

As it is, we destroy their lives daily by consuming enormous amounts of meat with utter gluttony. Do we have to commit mass slaughters over a three-day religious period as well? There are several Pakistani families in North America who honour Eid-ul-Azha by donating money, clothing and other forms of charity to the needy because I’m sure there would be major problems if they began sacrificing goats outside their condominiums and suburban homes. Tahira, a 36 year old Pakistani, living in Toronto says “I was never for this concept when I lived in Pakistan, but you know how much pressure society puts on families to conduct religious obligations, so we had to do it.  I am glad I no longer have to conform to these ideas here and can practice my religion in tolerant and progressive ways.”

Focusing on other forms of sacrifice such as volunteering your time in an orphanage or educating the poor can be equally humbling. We haven’t been very kind to our Earth and we need to slow down the mercilessness with which we mistreat other species around us. Moreover, you would be saving future generations of innocent Muslim kids from the trauma of loving a pet and eventually being forced to eat it.

Mariam Magsi is a visual artist, curator and writer working in Toronto, Canada. She blogs at and her professional work can be viewed here.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (172) Closed

ALi Salman Nov 05, 2011 11:48am
I agree....
Ajay Nov 05, 2011 11:50am
Hats said this.
sweet dee Nov 05, 2011 11:54am
Animal sacrifice is only required upon the pilgrims during Hajj or if someone made an intention to do hajj but could not do it for any reasons, according to the Quran. There is NO REQUIREMENT on those not doing Hajj to sacrifice any animal, as is traditionally done.
putar Nov 05, 2011 11:55am
I appreciate your views. We have to change ourselves with time.
Dr. Waheed Nov 05, 2011 12:00pm
Stupid article! Dont we eat meat every day? On eid many people get to eat meat which they otherwise havent eaten in ages. Just becausr slaughtering on this day is attached to religion, your non productive useless ideas make u a writer. Shame on wannabes with Muslim sounding names.
Pankaj Nov 05, 2011 12:00pm
Just because humans are highly illiterate to understand the feelings of other citizens of the earth, they are considered species with no feelings. I hate the act of killing animals on the name of God, actually to please their tongues.
Raza Nov 05, 2011 12:06pm
well if you consider slaughterig of animal such inhumane then i have right to suppose that you never ate any meat ?? go to slaughter house anywhere in the world they equally have more or less the same procedure, this is a food chain in a gross sense, i have since my childhood pity on zebras and deers and buffaloes being hunt and eaten up by lions, it is impossible to stop the humans but you can stop the lions, why not u step up and lead the campaign ?? as far as slaughtering the biggeest and best just to display your wealth and power and diverting huge amount of money which could have been spend on a thousand more imprtant things like you mentioned you have my vote on it, Qurbani is for poor, let us sacrifice whhat our pocket allows and distribute that finest meat to those who can never afford..
T Man Nov 05, 2011 12:08pm
Good, brave and an insightful article. I'm all for keeping traditions alive but not at the cost of a living beings life. Its not a sacrifice its a culling en masse of an animal for a family feast. If everyone could pay in for the same amount for a goat towards flood victims rehab n releif it would be a bigger sacrifice or rather the only sacrifice if i may say.
Desi Nov 05, 2011 12:12pm
Completely agree. Thank you for writing this piece. I wish others felt the same way. It's disturbing as a young adult. Children must be terrified, killing a living creature for religion...
khurram Nov 05, 2011 12:15pm
Your thoughts are good. But there is still confusion about major concern in it among following bullets. 1. Mass Sacrifice 2. Exposure of Sacrifice to Kids 3. Sympathy for Sacrificial Animals 4. Finding Alternate/Appropriate ways of commemorating a religious event
Umar Khan Nov 05, 2011 12:29pm
What a useless and ignorant article written somewhere in the western isolation, without knowing the ground real facts behind this ritual. I feel it a waste of time even, to educate such a ultra liberal western growned author who probably never even had a chance to read Quran to understand it says to Muslims. My sincere advice is that the author should get herself educated first about the real facts of any particular matter be it religious or social and then try to impress the readers !
Ms Saroj Nov 05, 2011 12:30pm
Mariam, Thanks, you just answered all my questions on this issue. I always thought, that it is difficult to forget such trauma. I may not get over merciless killing of animals we love or don't love. I only eat vegetables.
roqayya Nov 05, 2011 12:41pm
It is not a psychological trauma in fact, it is the practice of giving your most precious, most loveable thing in the way of God. Morever, Allah doesn't need the meat that we sacrifice, but He wants purity of our thoughts and intentions. Keeping an animal for several days in our homes, we gradually start loving them and at the time of sacrifice, the judgement of our feelings is made. Can we sacrifice anything to whom we love too much in the way of Allah? Later your point is solid though, we should also help flood victims instead of sacrificing a highly priced animal just for pretentious display.
Muhammad Ali Sajjad Nov 05, 2011 12:43pm
Hard to describe , funny or silly, thank fully there arent many like you. Next time you will write "why waste money and time on marriages? and then face the trauma of married life? why not just pair togather and leave each other when the couple feels they can just leave each other , this would save money on marriage and divorce". Anyway you are entitled to your opinion, i wonder how did dawn group publish this article.
Um-e-Zayan Nov 05, 2011 12:43pm
Hello Mariam! This modernism is taking us no where. These are just reasons to get away from 'deen'. Today you came up with emotional distress related to slaughtering, later someone like you will come up with health concerns related to fasting. These are all pathetic reasons. As children we have enjoyed both pre eid fun as well as eid day fun. I wonder if you are a vegetarian because if you're not then this piece is completely an oxymoron! I live in Chicago and I am not confused and have no complex issues to hide my 'fundamentals'.. Infact my husband and I look forward to take my son to Pakistan to show him the importance of Eid that we have enjoyed in our childhood and what we miss here. The next time you wear a coat, handbag or shoes think a thousand times of the animals being killed for an accessory. For deen it is trauma, for other things it is ok?
Sohaib Nov 05, 2011 12:46pm
This isn't Eid ul Azha. This is the ultimate showdown of wealth and mercilessness towards the animals. I find it disturbing not only for the children but even a grown up like me resists to see the utter humiliation the "qasai" does to the animals after the sacrifice. Pakistan has more serious issues to solve. Even the liver and the intestine part which is thrown randomly across the streets throughout the country for months until some other entity picks or cleans it up. What a disgrace!
Jason Nov 05, 2011 12:47pm
Wonderful article and a real eye opener at that. Meat is a necessary diet for humans but in no way, religious or otherwise, should our kids be exposed to the process until they are mature enough to be a witness to this gruesome process. Well said, Mariam!
ashutosh Nov 05, 2011 12:49pm
100% agreed.I am an effeminate coward because I don't slaughter and consume meat.I say this to satisfy the meat eaters.
malik Nov 05, 2011 12:51pm
I feel sympathy for the animals and have hardly every sacrificed myself.
AH Mughal Nov 05, 2011 01:01pm
It is indeed a psychological trauma because loosing loved ones is never a matter of joy. We don't have controlled studies in our country on the impact such sacrifices make on the psyche of children. I am sure if any such study is conducted, results will be stark for all of us.
Nayab Nov 05, 2011 01:02pm
Cattle in the lime light. yay. The situation of our people at the moment is worse than the cattle.
F.K Nov 05, 2011 01:03pm
This country gives people the religious right to do what you are against, you can hold your own opinion on this but what you cannot or should not do is call it wrong because it is not. Although it is correct that this is not a farz on everyone but if someone wants to do it nothing wrong with it.
A Muslim Nov 05, 2011 01:05pm
That's NOT How a Muslim should think at all. First of ALL All those who so call themselves vegetarian, don't you eat plants? Don't you accept the fact that plants are living things too? Many of you also eat meat and here on this forum, you just questions Muslim's way of life? Doesn't all ppl in your religion eat meat? Don't confuse us the way you are confused about your religion. And to the writers and promoters, if you call yourself a Muslim, please read Quran first before try to substitute one sunnah of The Prophet Ibraheem with other.
hamza anwar Nov 05, 2011 01:07pm
well said Raza
Umar Nov 05, 2011 01:07pm
Well, this is exactly the sort of article you'd expect when a "visual artist, curator and writer working in Toronto, Canada" writes and article on a religious topic in Pakistan. Imagine the furore you'd create if a religious scholar was to write an article on photography and art.
Umar Nov 05, 2011 01:08pm
And what makes you so sure about that. Isn't that just your opinion?
Um-e-Zayan Nov 05, 2011 01:09pm
Hello Mariam, This is an abysmally immature piece of writing. This modernism is taking us no where. These are just reasons to flee away from the "deen". Today you come up with emotional trauma related to slaughtering in eid-ul-adha, in future someone like you would bring health related issue to Fasting in Ramadan..These are simply pathetic reasons. Get some life!! As children we have have enjoyed both pre-eid fun as well as eid day fun!! Infact we have learned to let go and sacrifice the loved ones for the sake of Allah..Alhumdulilah we never faced trauma..may be your trauma is due to something else..don't blame on it! You seriously are kidding when you say kids can be traumatized to eat their pets...I wonder if you are a vegetarian because if you are not then this is an absolute oxymoron article. My family lives in Chicago and Alhumdulillah we are not confused or have any complex issues to deal with our fundamentals.. We miss the festivities of Eid-ul-adha and my husband and I plan to take our kid to slaughter house in Chicago or to Pakistan to show him that spirit. Next time you wear any coat, a handbag or shoes think million times that how many animals would have been "killed" to make that accessory..For deen is it is trauma and for other things it is ok???? Wake up madam! get off these double standards... join PETA ..a free advice ..consider it your eidi!!!
Aqsa Nov 05, 2011 01:09pm
I agree with you, there is no need of arguing on this matter. we celebrate Eid-ul-Azha to freshen the spirit of sacrificing for other people.
AH Mughal Nov 05, 2011 01:13pm
Agreed! Traditions change with time. Something that was relevant 1400 years ago might not remain so in 21st century. We have our mind, we think and we have the ability to judge whats best for us. If we were to follow everything as it is, then lets stop blogging and live the way our ancestors used to live.
Pervaze Nov 05, 2011 01:15pm
Do doctors save lives or are gleeful bystanders and applauders of mass murder? I smoke and eat meat, both bad habits and will never encourage a day when all come out gleefully and start puffing packs of cigarettes to celebrate some bygone event.
Pervaze Nov 05, 2011 01:20pm
My Shia friend from Iran now a Canadian citizen always cut a Goat Shaped Cake with Strawberry filling inside to Celebrate Bakra Eid. I though this was a great blend of religion and modernity. any takers for common sense here !!!
claude Nov 05, 2011 01:23pm
Eating meet and killing are usually two different issues in the mind of a child or even an adult. Issue is the associated violence with the killing. If it comes without the animal suffering, then it maybe acceptable.
Shermeen M. Zubair Nov 05, 2011 01:25pm
nav Nov 05, 2011 01:26pm
Maybe we all need to ponder this a bit more. Isn't there a verse in the Holy Quran that says that the meat does not reach God what what does reach Him is one's "Taqwa"? What does this Taqwa consist in, and how is it linked to the sacrifice? That's what we need to think about. As for kids getting traumatized, well yes of course. They should not be allowed to watch the sacrifice.
Shermeen M. Zubair Nov 05, 2011 01:26pm
Exactly! Nothing sounds brutal when it comes to our matter of interests...
Mr Slaughter Nov 05, 2011 01:29pm
Lovely piece. Fully agree. Makes a lot of sense in this day & age. We are not arab nomads. For commercial or ritual sacrifice, stunning is now easily possible with use of electricity or Carbon Dioxide gas. One should not eat the meat of a food animal killed cruelly.
Adil Shafi Afzal Nov 05, 2011 01:40pm
I hope you protest and ask for an immediate closure of all the slaughter houses all over the world and demand for an immediate conversion to consuming plants (are they non-living??) and their derived products. P.S. I'm being sarcastic and my canines agree with me!
Ariba Rashid Nov 05, 2011 01:58pm
Assalam o alaikum everyone, I am in a shock after reading this article, I scrolled twice to confirm the name of the writer and felt sorry that its written by a muslim. When you say that children go through a trauma at this time so I would like to say that thats the reason why its known as sacrifice, its simply not sacrificing your money but sacrificing something special for your Almighty. As a child even I used to be very sad but its for the love of your Lord and its a MUST for everyone who has the prescribed status as per Islam. When you say that these poor animals lose their innocent lives just because of this, what about the designer leather bags and shoes that we all carry and feel proud of, what about the steaks that you enjoy. When all these are made halaal for us then theres no point of questioning it. This is the so called enlightened moderation that is making us go nowhere. People, who are following the right path are termed as conservatives, this is a very sorry state for a muslim ummah. Just to make it clear for all of you liberals out there who must be thinking that I must be a complete purdah (veil) observing lady who stays home or at max visits a maddersah, no! Unfortunately I am not one of those blessed ones who are making their akhirah peaceful. I am a working woman who works in an audit firm but yes Alhamdullilah, educated enough to understand the truth and judge what is wrong and what is not. I can only pray for all of us that may Almighty guide us all to follow the right path only. Wassalam
hello Nov 05, 2011 02:00pm
dark side of enlightened class.... I believe Ms. author is not writing on visual arts
roqayya Nov 05, 2011 02:04pm
@ umar yes that's my opinion, @ AH Mughal..... so we should stop sacrificing animals as some kids get negative impact of this?
Sayyed Mehdi Nov 05, 2011 02:09pm
That was a horribly naive analysis, Um-e-Zayan. These are not "excuses" to get away from deen. These are fundamental human emotions. Nobody likes brutal voilence to animals. And celebrating such voilence is a little disturbing.
Azam Nov 05, 2011 02:15pm
Thanks for sharing your point of view. I agree with you about the ostentatious display of wealth, which has not only crept into our sacred rituals but also infiltrated almost all aspects of our culture and lifestyle. Everything from weddings and charity fundraisers to how we eat, dress, get from point a to point b and educate our children. I also agree about over-consumption of meat and disregard for the planet in general. Regarding your main point about emotional trauma for young children, I appreciate that this may have been true for you personally and is no doubt true for many children today. I wonder if the sacrifice ritual itself is to blame in these cases, or how one's family or neighbors conduct it. I am also skeptical about the general applicability of Eid-sacrifice-induced emotional trauma across Pakistani society. I suspect that it is more true of urban upper class children than rural and lower class ones. Also, for many urban upper class children this is an important opportunity to come into contact with farm animals. If there are children whose memories of Eid make them cringe, there are also those who remember the entire experience fondly or found it to be a valuable learning experience. To conclude, I strongly agree that as a society we need to treat animals better and clean up after ourselves. This is true whether one looks at it from a sharia perspective or from the point of view of commonly propagated secular values.
bilal khan Nov 05, 2011 02:49pm
hear hear.
Igloo Nov 05, 2011 02:51pm
You make some good points and I definitely think parents should think about keeping their children out of the way - especially when these children have made friends with the animals. It seems to be a matter of opinion - is it right or wrong. It seems that millions of people vote regularly with their knives. Maybe it is genuinely wrong to do this in Canada. In Pakistan it is good.
ramesh Nov 05, 2011 02:54pm
You had been so sensitive in this article. So nice of you!
Bernard Nov 05, 2011 02:55pm
I am from Greece. Catholic background. I am in Pakistan for last two years. I observing the same celebration from last two years. I have seen children enjoying alot while roaming around with their goats, even ladies watching the sacrificial animal with enormous joy. My Muslim maid told me how they enjoy this celebration. I thought it over and thought about the size of event and its impact on the economy. How rich people spend their money. Money tranfers to poor cattle farmers and meat to the needy. I think in Mariam's case there was nobody around her to tell good factors also. In developed countries like US and others there is no single festival which is celebrated for the poor, to take care of their very need need like food. Writer should evaluate all the aspects of the subject otherwise S/he looks prejuidice.
Maria Zia Nov 05, 2011 03:02pm
Diary of a so-called 'educated' modernist with a psychologically traumatized childhood. Sad. The fact that we get a 'naiki' on each hair of the animal sacrificed for the sake of The Creator of ALL on Eid-ul Azha should be reason enough to do as is ordered. That's what being Muslim is all about. We do it because The Creator says so. The fact that all of us here are QUESTIONING the orders of Allah makes us what? So grow up people and get your roots straight and strengthened.
Tayyab Nov 05, 2011 03:02pm
What rubbish. Just coz u dont agree or like something, you belittling other peoples beliefs.
Maria Zia Nov 05, 2011 03:06pm
Cruelly? Haha. Dude. Electric shock death is what's cruel. Our type of slaughtering gives instant death. The blood supply to the brain is instantly cut loose by the method prescribed by our religion. Better learn a few facts before coming to a conclusion.
Muhammad Ali Sajjad Nov 05, 2011 03:10pm
How about writing to stop the slaughter of turkeys on thanks giving every year ? It is just a tradition not even a religious thing. How is slaughtering of turkeys in the tradition is better that slaughtering cattle in the name of religion ? Think of all those poor turkeys.....raise voice for the turkeys in canada then proceed back home to save the cattle. Best regards
sohaib salman Nov 05, 2011 03:12pm
What does helping out in the orphanage have to do with performing religious obligations? This is without a doubt the most ridiculous article I have read in my entire life. Sacrifice on Eid is an Islamic obligation on every Muslim just the same way as Namaz, Zakat, Fasting etc. It is not optional but REQUIRED. It is the most ignorant thing to say what was required 1400 years ago is no longer necessary. Saying these words amounts to disbelief because the Quran and Sunnah is a way of life for every Muslim till the end of time. Ms Magsi seriously needs to go back and study what Islam is all about before writing any such articles in future. May Allah guide you to the right path (Ameen).
AM Nov 05, 2011 03:18pm
Enjoying the gory sight and exposing children to blood and gore is not deen. Displaying wealth in the form of animals is not deen. Giving common streets and neighborhoods a bloodbath in the name of Eid is not deen. Sacrifice (if one believes in it) can be done without making it a disgusting sight and experience for others, and the "deeni" people can also think about making it more clean, private and hygeinic.
Strong Nov 05, 2011 03:21pm
This article shows nothing but the standards and quality of our print media, can the respected lady tells us how many times she has eaten the chicken , is that not cruel. why any thing attetched to religion is disturbing to her.
AD Nov 05, 2011 03:25pm
I agree with one part... the writer was truly traumatized in her childhood and the affects are showing....
Ammar Nov 05, 2011 03:47pm
I think by writing this wish-wash article, you just want to please the community you are living in... All I can Say is "May Allah Give you Hidayah"
Rehma Nov 05, 2011 04:03pm
Strongly disagree!!
Expat (usa) Nov 05, 2011 04:10pm
Let a sacrificial lamb carry the burden of my sins !!
lambda Nov 05, 2011 04:15pm
Animal slaughter occurs all the time: I think what you wanted to suggest was that instead of every person doing it in front of their house, they should pay proper slaughterhouses to do it and then get the meat from there. I know the Edhi centre provides such service in Pakistan, and my family gives them the money for animals. Most of the meat goes to feed people living in orphanages/old people's homes etc. Secondly, as a child, I always knew the reason why the goats/cows were bought before eid as did my friends, so it was never a 'trauma'.... what was and is really traumatic is the child beggars on the streets, the dirty, overcrowded public hospitals, the poverty, the lawlessness...
M iqbal Khan Nov 05, 2011 04:19pm
Dont we eat meat every day? On eid many people get to eat meat which they otherwise havent eaten in ages. Just becausr slaughtering on this day is attached to religion, your non productive useless ideas make u a writer.
HC Nov 05, 2011 04:33pm
Dear oh Dear, plz do a little research before putting comments, no offence, salughter is upon those who can afford, if you go for Hajj, then ofcourse you can afford so you do it there, but from none Hajji's, you have to offer the animal if you can afford it. but that doesnt mean the way its done in Pakistan now a days, by a way of showing your wealth.
HC Nov 05, 2011 04:39pm
If we go by your rules, then there is no need to offer daily prayers, no need to recite Quran, coz eveything could be replaced by other deeds here and there, may Allah guide you to the right path.
R.A. Sharma Nov 05, 2011 04:58pm
Congratulations for such wonderful article.
pasha Nov 05, 2011 05:28pm
Since when following religion makes you sick or giving you truma. If your elders failed to explain you the difference the zibah vs. Killing animals don't try to cover your own short fall. Eid ul azha is privilege, if you can afford do according to your wealth. If you practicing Muslim read first before writing about someting. Trust me I am not scholar or fanatics and just a muslim.
malik Nov 05, 2011 05:40pm
I completey disagree with your article. It seems like someone wrote this article who knows how to write english but is completely illeterate about history and islamic values. First of all, the sacrifice of animals should be done from the bottom of your hearts to please Allah as Prophet Ibrahim did and then prophet Mohammad (PBUH) did by practicing the same ritual. It should not be a display of your wealth or power. By the same standards someone can say why go to hajj; it is waste of time and money. They can also say why fast in ramadan; it is not good for health to stay hungary for that long of a time and other things like it. As far as the trauma of children is concerned, there is a message of sacrifice in the name of Allah and by definition sacrifice means to give something that you like the most. Children get attached to animals as we did when we were young, but it is parents responsibility to explain why we practice the ritual of Ibrahim who almost sacrificed his son in the name of Allah. I thing they will understand it as my 5 years old daughter understands it. I also want to draw your attention to North America as I live in North America. We have lines of people standing to get their turns to sacrifice animals as there are lot of people in North America who want to continue this practice as for those who can not for some reason they give money and some one else does it on their behalf. Also when you give examples of north america you have to remember that this is the biggest meat eaters country. We have so many slaughter houses in this country and they work in shifts to fulfill the meat demand of people in America. No doubt that you can also help out by doing lot of other charitable things/good acts but dont forget to follow the practice of Prophet Ibrahim and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) if you can afford it.
Syed Mubeen Bokhari Nov 05, 2011 05:41pm
Fully agree.I think we have failed to understand the true significance of ,sacrifice, and just blindly follow the old practice of killing the poor animals.For example,people need clothing ,shelter and education more than meat of the animals.Their protein needs can be met by a variety of other cheap non meat foods.However only if mullahs could understand this.
Muhammad Farhan Nov 05, 2011 05:48pm
it feels really disappointing to read this article and also so many people agreeing with it. i dont know if all of you have really been taught Islam well or not But Allah has given orders to do so and that should be it I am not justifying the sacrifice because for me what Allah has said is enough without any justifications but for all of u just read the following benifits: Thousands of poor people breed these animals whole year and at the end of each year sell them to make money for another whole year people who sacrifice, dont eat the meat alone they share with poor people who dont eat meat the whole year The skin of animals make our leather industry one of the largest in the world Think about the exports and also the workers in the industry getting benifit welfare trusts get free skin from people and sell them to benifit poor patients and poor people The butchers get work and get more money then they can earn the whole year Think about the suzuki drivers and the labour who get work I mean there are so many other benifits that we even dont think and realize I request u ppl to please dont spread negative thoughts about our religion and its practices
Farhan Khan Nov 05, 2011 06:04pm
Clearly Ms Magsi missed the train and is not at all aware of the reasons why Allah has made this act of sacrifice obligatory for people who have the means and resources. Enough said about the writer. Dawn is supposed to be the leading english daily in pakistan and publishing/having such articles/blogs with no context and meaningless content serves no good to dawn and many readers.
Anwar Ahmad Nov 05, 2011 06:08pm
Exactly that was the spirit behind sacrifice. In today's time we have no value for animals. Animal sacrifice has become a showpiece, a status symbol; goats and cows being sold for lacs then paraded in street just to display our wealth. Its not sacrifice. Ask someone if he/she would like too have a goat or IPhone. You'll know what is most precious and loveable.
Hasan Nov 05, 2011 06:13pm
Please keep your western ideals to yourself, we dont need stunning, qurbani is in Islam and is perfectly humane, believe it or not, the animals themselves are lucky and will be rewarded by Allah insh.
vinny Nov 05, 2011 06:42pm
I am relieved enormously and gladdest, i was raised a vegetarian from birth :D First it was for religious purposes. Now i appreciate it more for health reasons.
Hamzah Nov 05, 2011 06:44pm
Another article mocking the religion of Islam. People in Pakistan think the more they ignore the principles of Islam, the more forward thinking and educated they are. Need I remind the writer that sacrifice is an obligatory act for all those who can afford it!!!
Wasim Ahmed Nov 05, 2011 08:33pm
Eid al adha is not just a tradition, we do it because prophet Mohammed asked us to do it. One can check through authentic hadith. It is called Belief
Iqbal Nov 05, 2011 08:35pm
the writer has put so many different issues in one article that a meaningful discussion is out-of-question...
Mohamed Nov 05, 2011 09:05pm
Progressive thinking indeed. Need similar tolerant thoughts in other current issues.
MPARACHA Nov 05, 2011 09:40pm
World Population is 7 billion now, can they just survive on vegetables, NO, they have to eat animals. I do agree that Eid Sacrifice should not be a show off and children should not be allowed to see the sacrifice. The maximum life of goat, sheep or cow is about 5 years, an adult goat is about 14 months, there age is designed for human consumption. The Islamic concept is that these animals are created by God for human consumption and weather you beleive it or not you still have to eat it. Out of 7 billion at least 6 billion survive by eating animals including seafood.
Quraish Pur Nov 05, 2011 09:45pm
Finally someone speaks up. Thanks for a great article. All those talking about eating meat in general and wearing leather apparel really didnt get this article. The trauma children experience every year because of our emotional negligence is unacceptable but in a brutalised society this seems like a minor problem in the eyes of the hardened. Once again great job!
Palwasha Nov 05, 2011 10:00pm
So you're saying we should all be vegetarians? I mean, don't we sacrifice these animals everyday?
Abbas Nov 05, 2011 10:01pm
So are you Vegetarian...?!!!
shasan Nov 05, 2011 10:56pm
When I was 8, my younger siblings and I staged a walkout from our house because our parents refused to relent and sacrificed our beloved bakra anyway. We stayed at a neighbor's house till refusing to go back to such cruel people. This rebellion lasted till the evening when finally our grandfather came to fetch us. Nobody ever dared say no to him. However, the protest was not in vain. From the next year onward, there were no qurbanis at our house. The money that would have gone towards purchasing an animal was donated to an orphanage every year.
Jamal Najmi Nov 06, 2011 12:10am
Man has always killed animals for meat. I think way animals are sacrificed in most Muslim majority countries with no regulations during Eid is what makes this practice also traumatic. There should be designated closed areas or slaughter houses for sacrificing animals and other regulations should be put in place for safeguarding well being of the society.
sameer Nov 06, 2011 02:40am
Everyone does not display their wealth on this blessed occassion of Eid-ul-Azha. When I was the kid, I always enjoy this occassion. I never suffered trauma even though we used to sacrificed goat every Eid. Probably it is only very small minority who suffered trauma. I think people who are inclined to vegetarianism (i do not know if this is right word) will not relish this occassion
Madan Mehta Nov 06, 2011 07:29am
I read Dawn virtually everyday, because it represents good journalism and excellent reporting, but the inclusion of this piece by Mariam Magsi in a newspaper published in a highly conservative Muslim country, makes Dawn a great newspaper in my mind.
Muhammad Sajid Nov 06, 2011 08:36am
Watch a movie forks over knife. No matter where you are, meat is not good for health anyway. Heart attack and stroke are the leading cause of death and it caused mainly by eating meat..
Nazar Nov 06, 2011 09:10am
Although it seems illogical to kill a pet animal in the name of God. This is also illogical to think that God need goats and cows to test human love. But after all we are all very very weak to understand the wisdom of God! we start becoming atheist when a child dies out of pain!What wisdom gods have is hard to fathom. Finally i think it is more metaphysical issue which is the base of every religion.Such issues cant be comprehended nor can be denied, because then you ve to choose the other way of human love towards god.
AJS Nov 06, 2011 09:14am
Earth is a closed system in the sense that living things live on other living things until we die and become food for other things. The cycle of life. All lvijgn things - animal, vegetable of human - have feelings and suffer when violence is inflicted on them. So vegetarians as much as no-vegetarians cannot feel superior. Having said that, humans are closer genetically to animals that are sacrificed so the violence meted out to them in some pre-modern ritualistic way seems much more extreme than if we were to sacrifice vegetables. The sheer avarice and the enormity and waste that ritualistic slaughter of goats, cattle, and poultry represents hardly "holy" or "spiritual" or any of those other feelings we associate with the Spirit and the Transcendent. The sheer everyday gluttony for meat of all kind - land and sea-based - has deleterious effects on the ecosystems and health of this Planet, our only home. we should live as if we are part of the fabric of this Planet and not as masters of other living things. And that way of life would truly honor a Supreme Creator everyday and not just "special" occasions!!!!
Salar Mainwand Nov 06, 2011 09:18am
celebrate your eid the way you want. I have no problem with it. but why are you ridiculing my way of doing religious ritual. whether religion is true or false is not the point. it is real and is intertwined with my life and my worldview. if it is for animal rights, then why don't you start it in Canada? stop hunting animals and other animal killings for fun. though i have no problem with animal right activists.
Tariq Nov 06, 2011 09:28am
Eid ul Azha is an Islamic event where Muslims sacrifice animals to follow the sunnah. Its a Wajab for every Muslim for earns and liable to pay zakat. If any muslim who don't perform this sunnah after having the ability to do so is being restricted by Holy Prophet (PBUH) not to come for Prayers at Eid day. There are many means in Islam for helping our brothers and sisters like zakat, Sadqa, Kairaat, donations, loans etc. I wonder why people only find helping people by negating the sunnah. Please carefully understand the Islam completely.
Raja Nov 06, 2011 09:45am
It is very important to understand that the sacrifice itself, as practiced by Muslims, has nothing to do with atoning for our sins or using the blood to wash ourselves from sin. This is a misunderstanding by those of previous generations: "It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him." (Qur'an 22:37)
RASD Nov 06, 2011 09:46am
Although I agree it is a very sad experience having to sacrifice the animal after having it be "part of the household" it is a religious duty for those who can afford it. Allah (swt) put animals on the earth for various reasons, and HE has made it halal for us to slaughter them for food ONLY. Not for sport, pleasure, etc. No one slaughters the goats/cows/sheep etc. for the fun of it on Eid-Ul-Adha but they do it as a religious duty to their God, and the pain it causes us to have something dear to us that is sacrificed is the entire purpose of the ceremony. Although you are allowed to keep 1/3 of the animal for yourself, you are also allowed to donate your portion to the poor making it a total of 2/3 for the poor to receive. You are right to mention that we need to help our fellow brothers and sisters that were affected by the floods, and donating meat (which is a luxury for the poor) is a great way to do. Of course there are other ways, but for those that can't afford to volunteer their time, can donate food, clothing, etc.
Mpdx Nov 06, 2011 09:46am
Only if we could get this sentiment towards the human sacrifice, intellectual slaying, and against discrimination in Pakistan. Everyone say baa baa
Affan Nov 06, 2011 09:53am
I find myself in complete agreement with your comment.
Anon Nov 06, 2011 10:02am
Religious obligations must be fulfilled no questions asked, else next one would question the logic of circumbulating around the kaaba 7 times, why pray 5 times when you can do 6, or 4 times.
Mr Khalid Pathan Nov 06, 2011 10:33am
Psychological trauma is definitely there and the way muslims are killing other muslims on minor differences must be looked into the light of this display of sacrifice, especially the way camels are killed "Nahar." By the way the sacrifice is to celebrate the religious zeal of Abraham. However, the Christians or Jews do not follow this Abrahamic ritual. Moreover I am not sure that Abraham took his son for sacrifice while on some kind of religious pilgrimage. For a moment if we consider it essential part of Haj, then how come millions of animals are killed by those who are not performing the Haj.
haseeb Nov 06, 2011 10:45am
Yeah, it is sad and disturbing; that's the point. The sacrifice is about the impermanence of life, and reminding us how fragile it is. The mass slaughter does not go to waste- it is distributed to the poor, who might only eat meat once a year. Don't be so selfish.
CHEEMA Nov 06, 2011 11:05am
Does it make animals happy if we kill them in slaughter house and eat 365 days a year. Killing an animal hurts my feelings as well but I would make an exception for sacrifice. Having these feelings make us understand what Abraham went through when he obeyed Allah. It is Allah who created us and to Whom all things return. Obviously all this would make no sense to nonbelievers. Your objection in this article is only about sacrificial killing of animals. No wonder you forgot to mention animal food served in steakhouses all around the world (including the west) all year round. Hypocrite. Why did you not write about killing animals for sport, something that would make sense.
Nayeema Nov 06, 2011 11:06am
Hello Um-e-Zayan, I think you missed the point. Mariam has highlighted the trauma of a child who has to see a 'pet' animal killed in the name of 'sacrifice'. All human beings specially children develop a sense of attachment to any animals kept in house for a long time. If suddenly the animal is killed brutally in the house/garden it used to feel itself safe, was it not supposed to have an impact on human mind specially a child's mind ? I think it's time to think whether these customs/traditions are making us less sensitive as human beings, & if it's so then we are missing the whole point. Because one practises his/her religion with the sole aim of becoming a better and sensitive person who can feel the sorrow/pain of other individuals. Love to you all Nayeema
Tamil Arasan Nov 06, 2011 11:12am
Plants do have life, but you are eating plant derived foods at the end of their life cycle, if you leave a tomato or mango after their ripe stage it will get spoiled in few more days so you are no way killing that mango tree by plugging it's fruit, so you can't compare slaughtering animals with plant based food...more over what you have said is true - before stopping or analyzing peoples belief they should stop the killings in 'slaughter houses' for KFC and McDonald and then they can say see we have done it - why don't you stop...
Adil Nov 06, 2011 11:22am
i hope based on what you said that you should be a vegitarian as burgers and steaks you have also come from poor animal that we very conviniently buy from stores!
Nyeema Nov 06, 2011 11:24am
We love our family,relatives and friends more than the pets. Then do you suggest that from the next time we sacrifice out family/relatives/friends instead of the 'poor' pets ? Enjoy your killing then !!
J. Narula Nov 06, 2011 11:42am
Hinduism also had a tradition of sacrifice to please the Gods/Goddesses, but that has withered away. People Indulge in Animal sacrifice, Eat copious amounts of meat and generally are contemptuous of rules, regulations and laws, just to prove that they are MACHO. It has nothing to do with Religion. JN
Mariam Magsi Nov 06, 2011 11:48am
Watching animals being killed will have a psychologically disturbing affect on children. You cannot argue over this and justify it by coaxing your children that the souls of the animals they are going to watch being sacrificed will go up to a higher being and they will be rewarded. The five pillars of Islam, observed moderately should be enough to prove your identity as a Muslim. The sacrifice of livestock as practiced in Pakistan has turned into a cultural expectation rather than a religious obligation. There are competitions on which house is hosting the finest cows and goats, people going as far as spending in lakhs on fattened up, well fed cattle. This money can be utilized elsewhere. Moreover, since ours is a meat consuming society, is it not enough that animals are caged, pushed around, transported in heinous, congested ways almost DAILY that now we have to inflict on them further injustice for a period of three days? Is it fair to give the poor a taste of something they will not consume for another year while the same families who were so kind to do qurbaani and distribute the meat resume their self absorbed lives? Should charity, sacrifice, compromise not be instilled in our future generations all year round? Do you see the state of our already polluted streets after Eid and the amount of stench, bacteria, filth and body parts/fluids that ferments on cracked, concrete roads, amongst homeless children and families for DAYS? To each his own. I am expressing an opinion, not dictating how a religion should be followed, definitely hinting on how it can evolve. Judging by the positive feedback from fellow Muslim, Pakistanis worldwide, I am glad many of you can relate to my thought process. Also for the great advocates of Islam, delve into the Prophet's life a little, from an unbiased and unconditioned point of view. His love and compassion for animals and virtually vegetarian diet can be read about in various accounts by those who recorded his life.
NADEEM Nov 06, 2011 11:55am
hello all.... i want to draw your attention towards one fact... if you think rationally you will stop having and propagating illogical arguments like miss mariam Allah is creator of evrything... Allah created dogs... a female gives birth to 5-6 kittens at a time.... owing to amount of kittens taking birth... this world should have been full of dogs... how many do u see evry day? a goat gives birth to 2-3 kids (sorry for not knowing proper name) at a time... they are eaten all over the world... hundreds of thousands are sacrified evry year..yet you are never deficient of them... why this balance has been created and who created that? mariam plz think about religion its importance and its place in our lives
Sheikh khalid Nov 06, 2011 11:58am
I fully agree with the comments made by sister um-e-zayan.what Ms. mariyam says is nothing but absurd and illogical.if she is so aghast at sacrificing animals on Eid i wonder why she is silent over other people of this planet who daily consume tonnes & tonnes of meat.Moreover today science says plants too have life therefore killing plants is also i suggest Ms.mariyam plz don't kill plants!
Emad Rizvi Nov 06, 2011 12:00pm
I hate the smell of ignorance in the morning... The whole concept of Eid-ul-Adha is to show unwavering obedience to Allah, establishing the superiority of the Afterlife over this life, by carrying out the Sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) who was ready to slay his own son on Allah's command. Assuming a lack of hypocrisy, I believe the writer must be using all her energy to shut down every meat-driven business esp. in the west where the animals are slaughtered in contrast to the least painful method prescribed in Islam. You can't stop lions from eating meat... May Allah guide all of us to the straight path Ameen.
Imtiyaz kashmiri Nov 06, 2011 12:03pm
Not agree with ur article becoz "stop slaughtering " applies to both animals and plants,. Plants do have life ,they too have modern science is evident to it,...
Subhan Basha Nov 06, 2011 12:19pm
An animals intelligent is like a child and killing them is nothing but killing a small child. God asked Ibrahim to spare his son and sacrifice an animal, but He has not asked you people to kill animals wholesale in the name of God.
zia bugvi Nov 06, 2011 12:23pm
writer tried to portray sacrificing ritual a very gruesome activity n am awed to see my progressive Pakistani folks endorsing it like hypnotised beings. stupid article in general, perhaps her milieu prompted her into writing this piece of trash where animals are consider more sacred than humans(especially of middle east, south asia et al )...go get a life
zia bugvi Nov 06, 2011 12:25pm
right on the money!
Dev Nov 06, 2011 12:38pm
Brave article. Contentious issue. A quick aside, need an opinion. I have a question about halal - is a hunted animal (say felled by a bullet) considered fit for consumption by Muslims? Thanks.
Raheel Liaqat Nov 06, 2011 01:26pm
honestly speaking when i was kid i was never afraid to see a goat or cow getting slaughtered neither i have seen a single kid in my life running away crying after seeing this ritual.......
Arif Khan Nov 06, 2011 02:18pm
Dear Mariam No direspect to all but how can you say all this when you are a practicing Muslim. Scarifice is part of our religion and we have been given permission by Allah to eat what is made halal for you. How can you deprive any muslim for his devine right to eat all which is Halal. For the matter of children pysci i have my nieces and newphew who always love the their respective goats and bulls etc but wait eagerly for the day of slaugter and they enjoy it. You are imposeing what your own experience on everyone which is highly unfair. regards
Arif Khan Nov 06, 2011 02:28pm
Whose line the writer is towing? basic concept of slaughtering on Eid a Adha is sacrifice and tha cannot be challenged, we the Muslims are not vegetarians ad such Articles are just crossing the line of Independence of thought.
Ammar Nov 06, 2011 02:42pm
The article is a perfect example of truth+evil = Great effect The opinion about charity and people in Pakistan showing there wealth at Eid is true and fully acceptable however the idea of mercilessness on animals and trauma associated with pet sacrifice is totally trash, rubbish and evil. If some one is hurt over Muslim's mercilessness on animals; I think you are getting closer to Hinduism view of being vegetarian. (Ps: I do not know the religion of the writer) If some one is concerned on child's trauma on sacrificing their pet, let me say that you have chosen the wrong type of pet, may be some sort of pigs would help? Finally; "why must these poor animals take the brunt of an incident that took place centuries ago?" with due respect you are not 'entitled' to decided our beliefs. Yes Muslims will continue to practice this exercise because God has ordered us to do so.
Humaira Nov 06, 2011 02:45pm
Bushii(Um e Zayan) I got so overwhelmed to see ur ans!This article attracted my attention and I was planning to write a reply having no idea dat u have written such a good reply!! I think Mariam needs to understand that this is the whole point of sacrifice!Imagine the love of the father who was ready to sacrifice his son for Allah!Is it in anyway comparable to the love we develop in the 10 days for animals? You are trying to potray it as a fairytale which carries no importance and moral!!! Sacrificing animals is not a custom but a religious obligation. We can not quit an obligation if a percentage does it for a showdown of wealth.There is nothing merciless or ruthless about it otherwise Allah would have never made it an obligation!!To enlighten you further,please read the life of Holy Prophet(PBUH) and educate yourself of how much reward the act of sacrifice carries and how he(PBUH) has sacrificed and eaten meat himself!!It is better than gulping down the facts and highlighting only the matters of interest Funny how a layman tries to interpret religion and Dawn is always ready to give space to nonsensical moderate Islam!!!
Hemanth Nov 06, 2011 02:47pm
Which science proved "plants have emotions and they feel pain" ??
Azeem Anwer Nov 06, 2011 03:00pm
I am sure the writer is not wiser that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who ordered us to sacrifice animals. So we are bound to follow the wiser not the writer.
middleman Nov 06, 2011 03:40pm
Mariam has made a very important point here. I guess everybody irrespective of caste creed or religion shoud accept that the process of slaughtering and the traumatic scene of dying animal can impact in a very bad way on the immatured and innocent minds of children. Therefore Childrens and young ones should be kept away from the place of slaughtering / sacrificing whatever it may be. Regarding sacrifice I can say that in Ecosystem some animals survive on vegitable and some on animal protine and we the humans have both vegitable and animal protine. Therefore, justify yourself as you like.
AH Mughal Nov 06, 2011 04:37pm
I absolutely agree with you, but the problem is that every religion, be it Islam or Hinduism, it limits the thinking of people. At many occasions we are taught not to think further and just accept as it is said. That's why people are not ready to change the rules made fourteen centuries back.
Roman Nov 06, 2011 04:38pm
Completely agree with you Mariam. It is indeed traumatic to see a loved pet being sacrificed. No one is trying to undermine religion, its just that religion needs to keep pace with the time, we cannot live in the past, during ancient times, we had a different life, now we have a different life. Mariam has just pointed out on the pain and trauma a child undergoes during Eid, there's no reason to attack her. You must admit that people are entitled to their opinions. Eid Mubarak.
Sair Nov 06, 2011 05:03pm
The author, or for that matter any one else, do not need to write a whole article. They can say in simple 2 sentences " I want Islam the way I want and not the way Allah wants and His Messenger (S.A.W) taught". Rest of the arguments are based on either of the premise you choose. If you don't like Islam the way it has been designed by Allah, say it out loud. You don't have to gift wrap your thoughts with pseudo-intellectual secular humanist arguments.
Khuram Khan Nov 06, 2011 05:08pm
very well written. thanks for such a fresh and bold take on the cruelty issue interspersed with this religious essential. its barabric to allow children to watch the misery of a dying living creature. the best way is to do it in isolated slaughter houses and if possible using anesthetics insted of electrocution (as in civilised countries) to obey the religious way of doing it (letting blood flow out properly).
Mark Nov 06, 2011 06:34pm
Brave article....great spirits. I can see, your personal opinion( however humane) is almost challenging the prickly religiosity of your countrymen, which is rather unfortunate.
Mukesh Nov 06, 2011 09:36pm
My views are as under: Eating meat or anything else is ones personal choice, noone should enforce his/her views upon others. Killing an animal in a brutal way, openely in front of small children - totally unacceptable in modern times
Umar Nazar Rathore Nov 06, 2011 10:58pm
exactly i agree with your comment 110%
Billi Nov 06, 2011 11:21pm
The author makes a fair point - and the methods that are often used in Pakistan to slaughter the animals are often brutal at best - totally going against the Islamic teachings
whocareswhoamI Nov 06, 2011 11:26pm
Allah wanted us to give up things without which we normally think that we cannot live without...and this includes all the worldly pleasures and a whole lot of vices (whatever they are). If you a true Muslim, give up those vices in the name of allah and the sunnah is gonna be much more. Dont malign god with your misinformed way of thinking.
Arman Zain Nov 07, 2011 12:05am
Stop it right here. This is not tradition it is part of religion, Islam. It is Sunnah. Please keep you western confused and hypocritical ideology to your self. In argument of Science, study evolution and natural selection, since eventually all animals feed of each other in nature so do human. That is how food cycle works in nature. May Allah guide us all as now we have stated questioning the basic fundamentals of Islam.
Arman Zain Nov 07, 2011 12:08am
I find you completely unaware of Islam and Science.
Unknown Nov 07, 2011 12:21am
Mariam you ought to do more homework next time. Do you have any Islamic degree or are you just shooting your views at us. How did you assume the authority in telling the public that the 5 pillars of Islam are enough to follow. Do you know the first pillar? Its Tauheed; to believe in the Oneness of Allah, who you have never seen. Can you pin it down to logic? Please dont try to put everything in the boundary of "whats the logic of this?" Now let me tell you what to do: You should learn to address our Prophets with respect. Addressing Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) as Abraham, like as if he is your Canadian next door neighbor, is utterly disrespectful and shows the shallowness of your faith. I have kids of 8 and 4, and they suffer from no psychological trauma or any other sort of multiple personality syndrome etc etc. They are used to the idea of sacrificing for Allah and obeying Him without throwing questions at us. There is so much more I want to say, but i cant go on and on about this, i would just advise you to enroll in an Islamic program that will clear out the fog in your head.
Tanvir Nov 07, 2011 01:35am
The leaves of plants change color with changes in mositure, light and tempeature. Ultimately, leaves drop off trees in fall and winter. In some cases the whole plant dies from these chnages. Thus plants feel the affect of the chnages aroud them. Just because plants do not bleed does not mean they don't have life. They have different form of life, as science says so.
Maya Nov 07, 2011 01:53am
I'm not sure what your definition of a 'fact' is, but there is a fine line between 'fact' and 'religious belief'. Whether you are thinking rationally or Mariam is, is more of a question of who decides what is rational and what is not. I find that your logic is far more irrational than hers as you base your religious beliefs to be the base of your 'logical' argument, and even within any particular religion people can have differing beliefs pertaining to certain practices.
bardas Nov 07, 2011 01:57am
totally agree with Ms. Mariam Magsi, killing animals on street in front of children is nothing more than barbaric acts of past that are still carried on in the name of religion. Be careful Ms. Magsi though, because these religious brainwashed fanatics will carry their ultimate tool of violence 'fatwa' upon you. Yes, I completely agree of the worst psychological effects...As a child, I hated the occasion, hated the family, and everyone who was involved in taking my 'bakra' pets away from me...on the day of eid when butchers arrive, I will run away from home. To your point still running away...have a good one. Hats off to you.
Mariam Magsi Nov 07, 2011 01:59am
I am not imposing at all, sir. Merely sharing my experiences and opinions. One blog post will not change the minds of millions, it will simply give you a perspective that differs from yours.
Gordan Sumanski Nov 07, 2011 02:06am
Mariam, thank you for sharing your thoughts on a sensitive matter. Keep up the writing. Your biggest fan. :)
Mariam Magsi Nov 07, 2011 02:07am
Sir...I repeat: "I am expressing an opinion, not dictating how a religion should be followed."
Sara Hussain Nov 07, 2011 02:14am
Wow! Some of you are attacking the author's diet preference and religious "freedom of thought" as if you are the supreme beings of morality never having sinned at all. She is not even asking anyone to give up meat and I agree with the messed up way the animal intestines are left to rot on the road. Religion has to evolve much like everything else and the root of poverty has to be dealt with in Pakistan, why are there so many on the streets requiring food...temporary compassion will not help the problem it will worsen it. Think before you say things people and give her a chance to express her thoughts. Shameless attackers!
Maya Nov 07, 2011 02:31am
How exactly do you define 'independence of thought'? If you think that independence of thought is something you are entitled to but the author is not I can see entirely what you mean and that definitely would be crossing the line. But then again, that defies the very concept of the term itself. So maybe you should rephrase yourself and espouse the sanctimony of the limited independence of your thought, maybe even shake a few fists of fury at the audacity of the author to dare to share her opinion with others. How dare she pen together an article framing her opinions! Down with freedom of expression and food for thought!
kris Nov 07, 2011 03:24am
Ignorance! Dear, plants don't have central nervous system to feel the pain.
kris Nov 07, 2011 03:31am
Exactly, now you are asking the right question. Use God given brain to decide not a Mullahs dictat
peter stanley Nov 07, 2011 04:05am
meat is a necessary diet for humans......NOT TRUE.
Basit ali Nov 07, 2011 04:15am
110% agreed wid u
Sarah Nov 07, 2011 07:58am
You cant change something written in the Quran. It is eid of Qurbani. So you sacrifice an animal. Thats it. No ifs or buts about it
Fox Nov 07, 2011 08:18am
Your nephews and nieces enjoy to see the cattle slaughter! I think that is more worrying.
NS Nov 07, 2011 09:31am
If you want to sacrifice, give pain to your self instead of something else..
NS Nov 07, 2011 09:33am
You can choose to be a blind follower.
Chirag Nov 07, 2011 10:39am
This is not so much trash, and definitely nowhere has Mariam said that animals are more sacred than humans. She's right that Abraham heard the voice of Allah to sacrifice his son. But there is no direction from any Paighamber that every Muslim should make a tradition of slaughtering animals to commemorate the action of Abraham. Actually I have never seen a single Muslim who had the voice of Allah to slaughter an animal in the name of sacrifice. Why make a show of wealth in the name of sacrifice. An animal has the same sense of pain and suffering as we do, only they are helpless. Killing a helpless creature painfully is not sacrifice.
Ahmed Azmi Nov 07, 2011 10:44am
Agreed Mariam.
Chirag Nov 07, 2011 10:55am
Cheema, as a human if you feel hurt about an animal being killed, how come you want to make an exception for sacrifice. Sacrifice is for us believers to perform by giving up our comfort and belonging, not by killing an innocent creature in the name of sacrifice. Hazrat Ibrahim got a call from Allah to sacrifice his son. We Muslims never get a call from Allah to sacrifice our sons. Goats and cows are not our sons, nor can animals be considered Ibrahim's sons, so who are we sacrificing?
prashant Nov 07, 2011 11:13am
I don't think god will be dis agree if you don't sacrifice an animal.We are just following what is followed sice a long time. But we can introspect the customs. You will be surprised to know in Indian lot of religious place animal sacrifice is banned by the honour. Court. I don't think God will be happy in killing or slaughtering an animal. As this is a sacrificing day, so we should sacrifice means we should do some thing for the upliftment of the poor people . Again it is a personal choice who understand in what way.
Hammad Mazhar Nov 07, 2011 11:26am
I guess the reasons for conducting a sacrifice are more sociological in nature. Diets in the primitive societies have been based on subsistence and sacrificing an animal has always been a special occasion because meat has been a hard to get commodity. These days as all over the developing world where people have more buying power and are in a position to match the dietary habits of North Americans, consuming meat is no longer considered an “Occasion”. I remember, in my village, cooking a murghi /bakra was considered as a delicacy and celebrated as a feast. Saying “no” or leaving before the murghi/bakra was cooked was considered offensive. Eid was also considered as an occasion where poor are served by the rich by distributing meat. It helped rich in maintaining social order, reducing the resentment among poor against the rich and way to gain some authority among the poor. However, the availability of meat and changing dietary patterns among the masses in Pakistan means that events like eid might lose some significance in the future and might be only considered an occasion, just like Christmas, an occasion which has lost its social significance and is now a more commercialized occasion. Buying an animal on eid might be a farz (or grants you some type of a social status) but what most of us forget is that, animals are grown and consumed at a huge enviourmental and social cost. Increase in buying power means that more people are buying goats and camels and so more has to be raised. I agree with the writer that society has to very smart in its resource consumption. If at the time when you are suffering from the after effects of the floods, as a society and as an individuals, sacrificing an animal should be a secondary priority.
Ahsan M Nov 07, 2011 11:47am
I can see the writers point of view but here is where I disagree. I currently reside in the United States, but have been blessed enough to spend a few Eid-Ul-Azha's in Pakistan and I enjoyed it thoroughly, and I too went through the pain of losing a pet or two each year, but the whole point of Eid-Ul-Azha is not killing of Animals, Allah has intended us to feel pain when we sacrifice the animals thus the term "sacrifice" where you give up something you care for in the name of Allah. Just like Prophet Ibrahim(swh) was told to Sacrifice Ismail(swh). One other thing, yes the pain of seeing goats get sacrificed lingers but only for a day or two and the kids move on just like kids in pakistan have been doing for years and will continue to do so in the future. I'm totally against killing animals for no reason, but the reasoning you use in this article does not make sense to me at all, and judging by the comments on this article I can see many others also disagree. In closing Eid Mubarak to all.
Sajad Padder Nov 07, 2011 11:56am
I am so happy after reading this peace of writing. I am always convinced that the millions of rupees we spent on sacrificing animals could be used to rescue our poor fellow citizens. Education is the most powerful weapon by which we could equip our children to shape their destines. Sacrificing animals is a ritual not religious obligation in the strict sense of the term.
pramod kumar Nov 07, 2011 12:01pm
Excellent article but i am sure one will listen. instead people will try to justify that.
MyThoughts Nov 07, 2011 12:29pm
Almost all of the comments that are "against" Mariam's article have stemmed from the point that it's a part of religion and one has to follow it.. Does that honestly make a good argument? That Religion said so..
Ashok Nov 07, 2011 12:34pm
You are correct Rizvi, that "You can’t stop lions from eating meat…" as Lion is not a social animal but we are. we can cultivate and eat rice or roti instead of being like a Lion. I have no comments for any regional sentiments but thought to reply your comments. May Allah and also our parents/seniors/teachers/experienced person can guide all of us to the straight path Ameen. Eid Mubarak to all my dears Pakistanis. - Ashok ( A daily reader of Dawn)
Waqas Mustafeez Nov 07, 2011 12:39pm
When writing blogs its often useful to step outside of ones mind and see if one is projecting own experiences onto the wider world and audiences without realizing that others might not feel or think the same thing even thought they might be seeing the same thing. So you didn't like it or felt it wasn't for you... great! but don't project that onto others and there kids. If anything the idea of hiding from view what happens to our food and how it comes about onto our plates has taken us away from reality of our existence on this planet and our responsibility of using resources carefully and respecting the cycle of life. I can assure you... food that comes in cardboard boxes is a far bigger tragedy and trauma then the Eid Sacrifice.
Ashok Nov 07, 2011 12:42pm
You are right Narulaji. It has nothing to do with Religion. but let me share of incident. Me or my parents suppose to offer a goat in front hindu goddess but as these days i am more socialized , mature person and also my parents also don't like to kill a goat so they are planning to buy a goat and to release near to that temple's jungle where we suppose to kill. i was so happy by knowing this as my parents planning this kind of mature decisions. may be my grandmaa would have rejected this plan and would have asked to do the "BALI"/kill the goat for our better life or to get bless from the god. we should respect out religion but the same time we need to change as per the time. by the way, thanks to dawn who dares to publish this kind of articles. i have huge respect for this news agency compare to indian news channel. keep it up. every one has rights to live. with a smile, Eid Mubarak friends.
Anil Sharma Nov 07, 2011 12:44pm
Leaders of all faiths made exceptions for themselves and their close aides. Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son; but was given concession by allowing him to save his son and sacrificing a goat. What negotiation went on between Abraham and his Lord will never be known. If you like to eat goat, do it. There is nothing wrong in following a non-vegetarian diet. Do not pull god and religion to justify the cruelty. Do not celebrate your compulsions.
Fazil Nov 07, 2011 01:23pm
I congratulate the writer for for her boldness in raising a sensitive issue. This is what true journalism should be about.
hammad Nov 07, 2011 02:32pm
I guess the reasons for conducting a sacrifice are more sociological in nature. Diets in the primitive societies have been based on subsistence and sacrificing an animal has always been a special occasion because meat has been a hard to get commodity. These days as all over the developing world where people have more buying power and are in a position to match the dietary habits of North Americans, consuming meat is no longer considered an “Occasion”. I remember, in my village, cooking a murghi /bakra was considered as a delicacy and celebrated as a feast. Saying “no” or leaving before the murghi/bakra was cooked was considered offensive. Eid was also considered as an occasion where poor are served by the rich by distributing meat. It helped rich in maintaining social order, reducing the resentment among poor against the rich and way to gain some authority among the poor. However, the availability of meat and changing dietary patterns among the masses in Pakistan means that events like eid might lose some significance in the future and might be only considered an occasion, just like Christmas, an occasion which has lost its social significance and is now a more commercialized occasion. Buying an animal on eid might be a farz (or grants you some type of a social status) but what most of us forget is that, animals are grown and consumed at a huge enviourmental and social cost. Increase in buying power means that more people are buying goats and camels and so more has to be raised. I agree with the writer that society has to very smart in its resource consumption. If at the time when you are suffering from the after effects of the floods, as a society and as an individuals, sacrificing an animal should be a secondary priority.
rk singh Nov 07, 2011 02:35pm
@ Mariam Magsi , unfortunately you seem to have been born in a wrong country. Your article will bring more riducle to you than appreciation. Asking muslims not to slaughter animals on EID is as controversial as asking Hindus to eat beef.
vijay Nov 07, 2011 03:31pm
for me, i would say this was the best article of the day..I have same feelings for poor animals. I m a Hindu and a software engineer from India. At my native, Muslims are free to celebrate their festivals but for this festival they have to perform their all rituals in closed walls and they are not allowed to do it in open.It really looks awkward.
Mariem Nov 07, 2011 04:24pm
I am of the view that yes we should not spend tons and tons of money on buying the biggest and fattest animal just for showing off but we should sacrifice. I think your parents should have given you some counseling as my parents did. Yes my mom would not let me watch the slaughter as it has negative effects on the children but she explained to me what sacrifice was all about and how the goat/cow/sheep would be there on the day of judgement and help us cross pul-e-sirat. It helped me. In fact we sacrifice something we love for Allah and that is what the essence of qurbani is all about. As for eating the meat, my dad explained it to me as a child that when an animal has been sacrificed or slaughtered we should utilize most of its meat so that none of it goes to waste and that is the best we can do for te slaughtered animal (after the slaughter).
Ahsan Shahid Nov 07, 2011 10:05pm
Sarah says that she follows the Quran, it good but for both Sarah and NS, do research on everything and you will find out why. The Sacrifice is to show that nothing is more imporatant then the Love of God and that the Sacrifices given in the name of Allah are not forgotten ever. ibrahim A.S. made a sacrifice and the sacrifice will never be forgotton and so Muslim's follow the same sacrifices by Slaughtering the Animals in rememberance of the great SACRIFICE.
Ahsan Shahid Nov 07, 2011 10:07pm
Sacrifice beautifully explained.
muhammad Nov 08, 2011 01:16pm
yes,i agreed with you after read your article, you focus on charity,or to help orphans rather then slaughtering of animals, its our responsibility to help flood affected peoples by cutting our exaggerate expenditure or as like zakat ,which islam told to us is better option .... rather then give up our other religious festivals which plays important role to reincarnat our soul.Its just like that when we say to any hindu to shrugg off holi festival because its squander of time and rupees but what will be their answers, you are very well aware.....
Aasif Iqubal Khan Nov 09, 2011 12:22pm
Dear Mariam,I am feeling sorry for you after reading your article.You may may be expert in ART but your knowledge about ISLAM is very very poor to say the least.If you are a follower of Islam (as you claim) then I will request you to get some basic knowledge about it before commenting on it or atleast get your doubts cleared by EXPERTS rather than becoming expert yourself on the basis of some HEARSAY which you have gathered from some where.Your comments on Islam is same as my comments on your ART as I do not have any knowledge of it.May Allah guide us All towards the Right Path. Aameen!
Amir Nov 10, 2011 02:04pm
Excellently put.
Maria Zia Nov 10, 2011 04:26pm
May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala fill our hearts with so much love for Him that it may surpass love for every other thing in our hearts and we may also be able to sacrifice even our dearest things in His way just as His khalil Ibrahim 'alaihi asslaam did....Allahu Akbar. We find in Ibrahim ('alahi asslaam) a total submission to the commands of Allaah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala and that is what it means to be a MUSLIM......One who submits His will to the will of Allaah Subhanhu wa Ta'ala. Eid -ul-Adha Mubarak to everyone.
Maria Zia Nov 10, 2011 08:09pm
Sensitive much? I as a kid, with my siblings and cousins used to love our bakras(one for each to feed) and we used to pamper them until we saw them slaughtered. 'Esaar' or 'Sacrifice' being the essence of this yearly religious act. We were taught as kids to put our best stuff at the back of our mind for the Sake of Allah. Just what Hazrat Ibrahim did for Allah, which bought him the title of 'KhalilAllah' (Allah's friend). Who wouldn't want that? :)
Maria Zia Nov 10, 2011 08:10pm
Maria Zia Nov 10, 2011 08:33pm
On the tenth of Dhil Hijja the father and his beloved son walked side by side. A young lad possessed forbearance and the old man was full of determination and spirit to complete submission to Allah. Their purpose was to carry out the orders of their Lord. Nothing was dearer to them than the service of Allah. They proceeded towards Mina with a sharp butcher's knife that, the old shaky Ibrahim had in his hand. Many a thought and memories of the past must have crossed in their minds. Finally they reached a special spot. The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) looked at his loving son whereas Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him) cast a glance at his, father obediently and cheerfully. The father laid his son prostrate on the ground. He was standing beside him. His heart was beating violently. He was shaking with emotions when he drew the knife across the neck of his son. It was a moment of action, an action that was very hard to put into practice. God highly appreciated them for their obedience and they heard a voice: "0' Ibrahim! you have indeed shown the truth of the vision. Surely do We reward the doers of good." (37:105) When Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) fulfilled the command of the dream, he was ordered not to sacrifice his own son. A ram was provided in his stead. The Prophet Isma'il (peace be upon him) stood up and the ram was sacrificed. So the moment of suspense came to an end and both the father and the son expressed a deep sense of happiness and gratitude. From that time until today, the savage custom human sacrifice has been absolutely abolished.