TEHRAN (IQNA) – An Indonesian Muslim has said that the slaughter of a sacrificial animal on the occasion of Eid al-Adha symbolizes the slaughter of animal characteristics of humans for the growth and development of their excellent qualities.
“The slaughter of sacrificial animals has several philosophies. First, by making sacrifices, we learn to sacrifice something in order to achieve something more meaningful. The spirit of the qurban still exists in every phase of human life. Successful humans must have had episodes where they sacrificed a lot while struggling. For example, sometimes we sacrifice the fun of playing to have time to study, ”Otong Sulaeman told IQNA in an interview, which reads as follows:
IQNA: What is the philosophy of Eid al Adha from an Islamic point of view?
Sulaeman: To understand the philosophy of Eid al-Adha, we must go back to the origin of the word, namely Eid, which means feast, and adha, which means slaughter of sacrificial animals. The activity of slaughtering sacrificial animals is the hallmark of Eid al-Adha celebrations, and because of this, another name for Eid al-Adha is Eid al-Qurban. The slaughter of sacrificial animals has several philosophies. First, by making sacrifices, we learn to sacrifice something in order to achieve something more meaningful. The spirit of the qurban still exists in every phase of human life. Successful humans must have had episodes where they sacrificed a lot while struggling. For example, we sometimes sacrifice the pleasure of playing to have time to study.
The second lesson of the massacre of the qurbans is more spiritual, or “irfani”. Every human being has the potential for good and evil. In the context of irfan, these bad qualities are often referred to as animal traits. Thus, the slaughter of a sacrificial animal has the meaning of slaughtering the animal characteristics of humans for the growth and development of their excellent qualities. The slaughter of sacrificial animals also teaches Muslims to be sensitive to the plight of the poor. According to Sharia, the person who slaughters the sacrificial animal can only consume a maximum of a third of the meat, and the rest must be distributed to others. Eid al-Adha always creates happiness for the poor who cannot buy and consume meat in their daily life.
The third is about trying to emulate the way of life of good people. In the story, the slaughter of sacrificial animals, which is a Muslim ritual of Eid al-Adha, is an attempt to imitate what was done by the Prophet Ibrahim, who Allah ordered to slaughter his son, the prophet Ismail. The slaughter of sacrificial animals has the spirit of emulating Prophet Ibrahim as a prophet who fearlessly fought in the face of injustice and hypocrisy.
Another lesson from Eid al-Adha concerns imitating the way of life of good people. The ritual of sacrifice is an attempt to duplicate what was done by Prophet Ibrahim when Allah ordered him to slaughter his son, Ismail. He followed the order but suddenly Allah brought goats to replace Ismail. So Allah just passed a test for Ibrahim, and he passed the test. Allah constantly tests us with various things throughout our life, ranging from wealth to sickness or hardship. But we must imitate Ibrahim; that is, whatever happens, always obey Allah’s commandments.
IQNA: How does this year’s Eid al-Adha differ from previous ones, given the coronavirus pandemic?
Sulaeman: Eid al-Adha celebrations since 2020 have been different due to the pandemic. The Indonesian government has specific rules regarding the implementation of Eid prayers and the slaughter ritual of sacrificial animals. We call it “zone rule”. In the “red zone”, where death cases from the coronavirus are still high, Eid prayers can only take place at home, not in mosques or open fields. The slaughter of Qurban animals is carried out at the slaughterhouse. Meanwhile, areas where the cases of spread and death from coronavirus are not too high or zero (we call it yellow zone and green zone) are allowed to do Eid al-Adha rituals like d habit by implementing health protocols. Basically, we celebrate Eid al-Adha, although in a different way.
Interview by Mohsen Haddadi