of The Lambs...
The mullah's long
mediaeval type blood stained robe hung loose just above
his ankles. His beehive beard almost concealed a happy smile
on his face. The sharp knife held in his right hand shimmered
in the hot sunlight. The young sheep (lamb) tied to a pole on
the street side looked at him as if begging for mercy.
The man murmured something under his breath. Next moment the
razor edged blade fell on the neck of the hapless animal
squirting thick blood.
This time the
Mullah's uttering was loud and clear. " Mashaaa Allah"
It is the
coming of Ramadan. A time for fasting ( or feasting ?) . A common
sight in the Middle Eastern Muslim countries during the holy month ,
the slaughtering of animals and fowls such as
lambs, camels, cows and chickens reach their highest to cater
to "iftar" feasting. It is
estimated that the consumption of meat during the Ramadan is
twice as higher among Muslims as that of rest of the
flooded with eatables and consumer products. The long queues
of Muslims in front of abattoirs and meat shops
foretell the coming of a festive and feasting season.
The day long fasting observed by majority of the one billion Muslims
around world is a preparation in itself for a hefty and
sumptuous meal that awaits them at dusk. And they devour at
the delicacies until the wee hours of pre-dawn.
the guests who are invited for a dinner ball gala
skipping their usual lunch in order to fully enjoy a 5 course
buffet later in the evening. !!
As many as twice
the amount of animals are slaughtered during the holy month of
Ramadan for consumption in Muslim countries. This obsession with
meat consumption are ritualistically and religiously followed by
Muslims all over the world. Muslim are the only population that is
specifically bestowed by God with feasting on delicacies
even after their death, on condition they have observed
fasting among other many Islamic rites.
Quran says in Sura
"And We shall
bestow on them, of fruit and meat, anything they shall desire"
Eating flesh calls for taking the life
another creature and it makes one wonder if these poor beasts
had the ability to talk. Even though Jewish people and
Christians too include meat delicacies in their regular
dietary , what sets them apart from Muslims is their
discretion when it comes to slaughtering animals. And a
month long festivity of meat consumption is not their prerogative.
Moreover many members from Jewish and Christian
communities of West now propagate vegetarianism more than
non-vegetarian is not the question here. Almost all the human
communities on Earth are flesh eaters. It is the divine element that
Muslims hold high in slaughtering animals that is most disturbing.
People of different faiths other than Muslims don't attribute their
palette for meat to God. Slaughtering an animal for consumption
is part and parcel of Islamic custom authenticated by their Holy Book.
What is the
puzzle here ? Human beings killing animals to satiate
their appetite under a profane façade is understandable. And we
must take the moral responsibility for killing a fellow creature. There is
something immoral and unjustifiable about these mass killing
for we, humans can live in this world without taking a bite on
a piece of meat. If a day ever comes by a miraculous cause
when someone or something representing all the slaughtered
animals come forward and try us , then we
secularists are in deep trouble.
But not Muslims !
They have someone to point a finger at. Their merciful God. !
Muslim to argue against slaughtering an animal for consumption is
blasphemy because Allah has ordered it.
Prohibited for you are animals that die of themselves, blood, the meat of
pigs, and animals dedicated to other than GOD. (Animals that die of
themselves include those) strangled, struck with an object, fallen from a
height, gored, attacked by a wild animal - unless you save your animal
before it dies - and animals sacrificed on altars. Also prohibited is
dividing the meat through a game of chance; this is an abomination. Today,
the disbelievers have given up concerning (the eradication of) your
religion; do not fear them and fear Me instead. Today, I have completed
your religion, perfected My blessing upon you, and I have decreed
Submission as the religion for you. If one is forced by famine (to eat
prohibited food), without being deliberately sinful, then GOD is Forgiver,
The above verse
sanctions lawful slaughtering of an animal ( except pig)
provided Allah's name is pronounced up on it .!! Allah
has even taught Muslims how to train hunting animals to fetch their
prey. However, they are ordered to evoke Allah's name over the poor
creature . !!
See the versus
confirming that below.
They consult you concerning what is
lawful for them; say, "Lawful for you
are all good things, including what trained dogs and falcons catch for
you." You train them according to GOD's teachings. You may eat what
they catch for you, and mention GOD's name thereupon.
You shall observe GOD. GOD is most efficient in reckoning.
So eat of (meats) on which Allah's name hath been pronounced, if ye have
faith in His signs.
But the tragic saga of killing the
silent creatures hits the most gruesome phase during another
sacred Muslim event . The HAJJ !! . A report
posted on a web site on Hajj pilgrimage describes the
commemoration of the Prophet Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his only son
to Allah, hundreds of thousands of animals are then sacrificed.
This year they estimate there will be more than 700,000
in Mina alone including 700,000 sheep and 8,000 cattle and camels. The
livestock comes from all over the world, including
Livestock in Mina
Historically pilgrims carried out the sacrifices themselves with a
proportion of the meat being gifted to the local poor. As the
has escalated enormous amounts of meat rotted in the sun and had to be
buried in huge pits which was both wasteful and a health hazard.
The sacrifices are now carried out by the Islamic Bank in a number of
slaughterhouses, some can handle 50,000
a day. There are more than 28,000 butchers on hand who work around the
clock for three days.
The actual killing is done with a single stroke of a knife. This is the
Halal method of killing
which is supposed to be quick and painless.
Most pilgrims do not even see their sacrifice occur, they buy a voucher
from the Islamic Bank and the sacrifice is carried out in their name. If
they want to pilgrims can observe and even assist in their sacrifice
though few do.
Vouchers signify one sacrificial
This year a sheep sacrifice cost pilgrims SAR 350 (£57). Many lined up
for hours in the midday heat to purchase their offering.
Muhamed Iqbal Noor of Pakistan told Arab News, "I threw my money in
with two other pilgrims, and we were able to make a sacrifice of one
Some pilgrims opt to sacrifice more than one animal. Fouad Mehad
five sheep because he likes the idea of people he has never met in places
he will probably never go to enjoying his gift. The meat from the offering
is packaged, frozen and shipped to various destinations inside
and abroad, to feed the poor.
Since 1983, the meat of 8.8 million heads of sheep, camels and cows has
been distributed among the poor in Islamic countries including
for the appeasement of an almighty God- That is
the most deplorable act human can conduct in today's world. It
makes me wonder why no animal rights groups or organizations come
forward to raise their voice against this primitive form of
ritual called Hajj that involves the killing of silent animals in
hundreds of thousands .
thinking , a merciful almighty God cannot condone the spilling of
blood of a poor animal in His name.
Nor its flesh distributed amongst the poor for his appeasement.
this whole episode symbolically draws parallel to the mind set
of Islamic fundamentalism for they are most comfortable with a sword than
with an olive branch.