Eid brings with it free time. And that my friends takes you on a crazy trail of thoughts. So this Eid when everyone was busy deciding their sacrifice rituals i.e. which animal to buy for sacrifice? How much to spend? Who to send the meat to? Whether to buy at all? I was stuck on the why.
Eid-ul-Azha, is supposed to be the holier Eid because it represents the faith of Prophet Ibrahim in God that he was willing to sacrifice his dearest in His name, his son. And God lived up to Prophet’s faith in him; when the prophet opened his eyes, he saw he’d slaughtered a lamb and his son was standing right next to him. Muslims all over celebrate this miracle, sacrifice an animal, eat the meat and distribute meat among relatives and needy.
Growing up, I have always seen goats, cows, camels outside of people's houses and have heard the story of the miracle of Eid many a times. But I struggle to relate with the festival. And not because of the commercialization of ‘Bari Eid’ industry*. But because I don’t find any of the traits of the true meaning of Eid. I don’t see that faith of people in other people, let alone in the unseen. I don’t see people that in love with God to be willing to let go an unethical gain, let alone sacrifice something dear.
Frankly, I couldn’t care less, of why people do what they do. They are humans after all, and who am I to judge. But I struggle to find my place on Eid. Should I buy an animal a day/week before the Eid, feed it, and sacrifice it on Eid day? That doesn’t make sense! Why would I do that? That’s not me showing my faith in and love to God. That's just me showing the world that I have the resources to celebrate Eid and that I am a ‘good’ Muslim.
So what should I do? I need to graduate to this level of commitment. It's a two-way street, it's between me and my God. But when I know I am cheating, how would that faith be developed? And I am not talking about cheating on optics – qurbani, zakat, fast etc (basically anything that is practiced with/without intent to broadcasted for social gains). Cheating by being selfish with wealth, following the ego, gossiping, wanting more, being greedy, stealing from another etc etc.
So help me – Why do you sacrifice? Or celebrate Eid? If your answer is any different.
*In Pakistan alone nearly ten million animals are slaughtered on Eid days costing over US$2.0 billion (Asian Correspondent, 2011)