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Muslims mark Eid-Al-Adha on Thursday -Rules and etiquette at slaughtering animals

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Muslims around the world will be celebrating Eid al-Adha  one of the two most important festivals in the Muslim calendar  on Thursday, September 24, 2015.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Moon Sighting Committee of Saudi Arabia. The release stated that Tuesday, September 15, 2015 was the first day of Dhul Hijjah, the beginning of the “great 10 days” in Islam. The day of A’rafah is Wednesday, September 23, 2015. While the day of Eid-al-Adha, also known as the Feast of the Sacrifice, is Thursday, September 24, 2015.

In the same vein, the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), through its Secretary General, Prof Is-haq Oloyede agreed with the decision of authorities in Saudi Arabia that the month of Dhul Hijjah begins on Tuesday, September 15, 2015, stressing that, “Eid-El-Kabir, fondly called “Ileya” would be observed on Thursday September 24, while Wednesday is Arafat day.”

Difference between Eid-al-fitr and Eid-al-adha

ENCOMIUM Weekly’s findings revealed that, while Eid-al-fitr is held after the termination of Ramadan fast, Eid-al-adha takes place a day after the A’rafat, one of the compulsory hajj rites.

2) It is suitable to eat an odd number of dates (or food) before going to pray at Eid-al-fitr. While it is not allowed to eat until after the Eid-al-adha prayer. The person should eat from his sacrifice.

3) The khutbah (sermon) during Eid-al-Fitr focuses on the rulings of Zakat-al Fitr (obligatory charity), but the khutbah during Eid-al-Adha centers on the jurisprudence for slaughtering rams.

4) It is sunnah (prophetic practice) to delay the prayer for Eid-al-Fitr. However, It’s the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) to hold the prayer for Eid-al-Adha early.

Rules and etiquette of slaughtering

Slaughtering of animals for Eid-al-adha is emphatic practice of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The performer would be rewarded greatly by Allah, but he who does not, has not committed a sin.

It represents a show of gratitude for Allah’s favour and blessings including the demonstration of the concern of the rich towards the poor as well as the commemoration of the Sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and that of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Animals to slaughter for Eid

According to the consensus of scholars, the animals to be slaughtered should be grown-up ones as follow: Camels, 5 years; Cows, 2 years; Sheep, 6 Months and Goat, 1 year. However, camel is more beneficial for the poor because of its great size (more can benefit from its meat), and similarly, a cow is more useful than a sheep.

In addition, the sacrificial animals must be free from any blemish as clearly defined by the Prophet. Narrated by Baraa bn ‘Aazib: “Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ‘There are four that will not do for sacrifice: a one-eyed animal whose defect is obvious, a sick animal whose sickness is obvious, a lame animal whose limp is obvious and an emaciated animal that has no marrow in its bones.’ (Abu Dawud).

Other defects that should be avoided include; animals with about half of the horn or ear chopped off or an animal with slits in its ears or displaced teeth, etc.

Ram sellers excited over sales

The prices of rams in the market has relatively reduced compared to the previous years, ENCOMIUM Weekly can authoritatively confirm. What, however, is the challenge of most homes preparing for the annual festival is the harsh economy.

Despite the fact that the prices of rams range from N65, 000 to N40, 000, some find it difficult to buy. Even the cheapest ram, which is between N18, 000 to N13, 000 depending on the sizes. Hence, it has affected the patronage in most of the areas visited in Lagos and of course, dealers are lamenting.

For TMC, a popular ram market at Ijeshatedo area of Lagos, it was a booming business. When ENCOMIUM Weekly visited the centre on Sunday, September 20, the first and second sets of the rams, including cows have been bought. The traders confirmed this to us, saying there was slight reduction in the price compared to last year.

“In fact, seven people contributed N20, 000 each to buy a big cow of N140, 000, which was around N200, 000 last year,” Abdullahi noted.

For Suludi, it was also an exciting experience. The trader had already sold out his rams, about 45. He said: “Alhamdulilah, I have sold all my rams. I came with about 45 from Kebbi state. Though had a loss on the way and some other mini losses, the profit was cool despite the fact that I didn’t sell it at exorbitant prices.”

Suludi insisted that rams are cheap this year, except for those who want a big profit. Even in the commercial area like Lagos….rams are cheap because I also bought rams in Lagos.

According to him, rams are cheap this year most especially because of the absence of middle men who buy on behalf of government. They have dominated the market for a long time and they buy at crazy prices. However, there’s nothing like that. Most of government patronage was stopped and the market was left for people like me to bargain the way I like, so we got our rams very cheap and make our purchase easily.

Etiquette of slaughtering

1- Facing the Ka’bah direction and mention of the name of Allah to legitimate the sacrifice. Allah says: “So eat of that (meat) upon which the name of Allah has been mentioned, if you are believers in His verses. … And do not eat of that upon which the name of Allah has not been mentioned, for indeed, it is grave disobedience.” (6: 118, 121).

2- It is recommended that an individual Muslim should personally slaughter his sacrificial animal because the Prophet (peace be upon him) did it himself. However, if he is unable, then he should witness and stay at the place of sacrifice.

The Prophet told his daughter Fatimah: “Get up to your sacrificial animal and witness it (the slaughtering). Verily you will be forgiven of your sins by the first drop of the (sacrificial animal’s) blood. Say, “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds. No partner has He. And this I have been commanded, and I am the first [among you] of the Muslims.” (6:162-163).

3- Whoever hopes to sacrifice must seek the pleasure of Allah with the sacrifice so as to earn the reward. The messenger (pbuh) said: “Whoever sacrifices out of good heart, hopes for (reward from Allah) on his sacrificial animal, that will be a barrier for him from the fire” (Ibn Mundhiri).

4- Kindness to animal must be considered while the knife must be well sharpened to avoid causing harm on the animal and hide away from the animal. “Verily, Allah has enjoined excellence (ihsan) with regard to everything. So, when you kill, kill in a good way; when you slaughter, slaughter in a good way; so everyone of you should sharpen his knife, and let the slaughtered animal die comfortably.”

5- Mention the name of Allah, then pronounce the takbir, then mention the name of the owner of the animal and pray for the acceptance:

BISMILLAH WALLAHU AKBAR, ALLAHUMMA MINKA WALAKA ‘ANNI (OR SAY ‘AND SO AND SO PERSON), ALLAHUMMA TAQABBAL MINNI (OR SAY- TAQABAL MIN SO AND SO PERSON) ‘In the name of Allah, Allah is the greatest, O Allah this is from You and it is for You, on my behalf (or  on behalf of so and so person), O Allah accept from me (or  accept it from so and so person).

6- During the slaughtering, blood must be left to flow freely by cutting the throat, the gullet and the jugular veins so as to ensure comfort and kindness to the animal.

7- It is part of sunnah that one eats out of his slaughtered animal, share with family, friends, neighbours and the poor among the Muslim community. Allah says: “… and when they are [lifeless] on their sides, then eat from them and feed the needy and the beggar.” (22:36).

The meat could also be divided into three parts: a part for family; a part for neighbours and friends, regardless of their wealth, but as gift; and a part for the poor people among Muslims.

And it is not permissible to give the butcher anything from the slaughtered animal as reward for his service except as charity and gifts. It is also not permissible to sell the meat according to the recommendation of most scholars.

8- It is allowed for members of a family to partner in getting the sacrificial animal whether sheep, camel or cow. It was reported that the Prophet used to sacrifice one sheep on behalf of his entire household. (Ahmad & Hakim). However, other than a single household, scholars are of the opinion that partnering is only possible with regards to the camel and cow. One camel is enough for at least seven persons. Jabir bn Abdullah said: “We slaughtered a camel for seven persons, and a cow for seven persons at Hudaibiyah with the Prophet” (Muslim).

9- Whoever intends to make the sacrifice should not take away any of his hair or clip his finger nails, when the month of Dhil-hijjah starts. “When any one of you intending to sacrifice the animal enters in the month (of Dhu’l-Hijja) he should not get his hair or nails touched (cut) until he slaughters” (Muslim).

As we celebrate the Eid, remember that the meat of the slaughtered animals would not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. Thus have we subjected them to you that you may glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and give good tidings to the doers of good.

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