Sunday, September 18, 2016

Refining our good deeds including when sacrificing animals

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; blessings and peace be upon Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.


The Declining Day (Al-'Asr)
1. By the declining day,
2. Lo! Man is in a state of loss,
3. Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort 
one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance.

IT is fruit season again. Local fruits such as rambutans and durians are in abundance. On September 2nd  upon entering the masjid in my kampung for Friday prayers, I saw two basket-full of rambutans being placed at its entrance.

Alhamdulillah (All praise belongs to God), a good resident had 'sadaqah' (donated) the fruits - obviously the person would like to share with fellow kampung folks the good things Allah SWT had blessed upon him/her. 

After prayers, upon leaving the masjid, I was shocked to see 'kulit' (skin of) rambutans' strewn all over the place - astaghfirullah (I seek forgiveness from Allah) when an ugly thought raced inside my mind - who ate the rambutans - human beings or 'monyet' (monkeys)?

Well dear readers; to 'sadaqah' fruits such as the rambutans was a good deed; but why not refine our doings...may I suggest to rambutans' donors at masjids in future to place several rubbish bins near their baskets of fruits with big sign boards with bold words like 'PLEASE DO NOT LITTER'. If people keep on messing the place, then they are truthly 'monyet'...err I mean in characters, again I seek forgiveness from Allah SWT.

After all, 'dirty people' are 'dirty people'; an 'ustaz' (religious teacher) once said perhaps only the law could teach them lessons. This is why enforcement of the law is very important. Some people are only afraid of being fined; if that is the case then why not we follow some strict societies like the Singaporeans who went to great length such as fining those who do not flush after using toilets?

To our enforcement authorities and men, please wake up...I seen people throwing rambutan's skin out of their cars on the roads. Luckily, they did not throw out durian's skin! Then there are drivers who stopped or slowed their cars only to put their used cup or bottled drinks on the roads. Many smokers are fond of throwing out their cigarette buts (still alight) out of their cars, posing danger to other road-users. They might caused fire if the cigarette buts fell on dried grass and 'lalangs'.

Our dirty habits of littering was obvious during the celebration of 'Merdeka' recently. It was rubbish wave after the event. After the cleaning job of DBKL and Alam Flora workers, tonnes of rubbish we seen deposited on the roadside. It was reported that the cleaning work involved 70 workers, took two days to finish and cost a whooping RM100,000! Celebrating 'Merdeka' was a good deed but of course littering was not!

Since this week we would be celebrating 'Eid Adha' let us have a thought about refining our deeds when sacrificing animals. The Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. said in a 'hadith' with the meaning: "Allah has decreed kindness or proficiency in all things. So when you kill, kill well, and when you slaughter, slaughter well. Let one of you sharpened his blade and spare suffering to the animals he slaughters." (Saheeh Muslim)

If we had to kill, for example kill insects such as cockroaches inside our kitchen, kill it well. When killing a lizard, perhaps we could do it with one blow - please do not torture the animal for example giving a life lizard to our cats for they would play if it. Cats are fond of playing...they do not kill their prey immediately.

During my 54 years existence in the world, I had witnessed several events of sacrificing (slaughtering) the animals...but sorry to say that I had never had the knife in my hands to slaughter any animal. But I must admit that some people do it in fine ways...for example before slaughtering the animals they dig  holes so that blood would flow inside it so that blood would not splash and spur the place. Please do not harm the feelings of the animals such as sharpening our knives in front of them.
Muslims celebrate 'Eid Adha' on the 10, 11,12 and 13th of Dhul-hijjah commemorating the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim a.s. (peace be upon him) to sacrifice his beloved son, Prophet Ismail a.s. as an act of obedience to Allah SWT. Muslims who can afford are encouraged to sacrifice their best domesticated animals such as cow, sheep and goat as symbol of Prophet Ibrahim’s a.s willingness to sacrifice his only son to his second wife, Hajar (Hagar).

In Malaysia, during the festive of  'Eid Adha', thousands of animals were slaughtered by individuals and various groups which organized the events such as masjids' committee members. The meat of the sacrificed animals were then distributed to the poor and needy nevertheless the rich too were given the meat as presents. 

Regarding this aspect in a 'tazkirah' (Islamic lesson), I heard an 'ustaz' (religious teacher) saying sacrificing animals to God (Allah SWT) but distributing the meat to the needy display and prove the beauty of Islam.

"We sacrifice the animals just to please Allah SWT, but Allah does not need the meat. We give away the meat for the benefit of fellow human beings. It is such a beauty; compare it with some 'praying rituals' carry out by men of other beliefs where the items 'sacrificed' such as food and fruits such as oranges and apples are left to rot under trees or are being washed away in waters of rivers and seas," said the ustaz.

Regarding the act of sacrificing animals, Allah SWT says: "Their meat will 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." (Surah Al-Hajj 22: 37)

'Subhanallah' (Glory be to God), Allah SWT The Mighty Rich does not need the meat; is is meant to feed the poor. 'Alhamdulillah' nowadays Muslims of Malaysia have made themselves available almost everywhere at poor countries of the world to sacrifice animals there. 

Troops of Malaysian Malaysian volunteers and workers are having their arms busy in countries such as Cambodia, Philippines (southern part of the country), Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand (southern part of it) and far away lands such as Sudan during the days of sacrificing the animals that is on the day of Eid Adha (10th Dhul-hijjah) and the days of Tashreek - 11, 12 and 13th of Dhul-hijjah.

Of course regarding the sacrificing of animals during Eid, the Holy Land is a place where hundred thousands of cows, camels and sheep are slaughtered; and during a hajj season a few years back, Saudi Arabia’s prestigious sacrificial meat utilization program sent the meat of one million heads of sheep and 10,000 cows and camels to the poor and needy in many poor countries, as well as Syrian refugees.

It was reported that its inception in 1983, the project has utilized and distributed meat of more than 16 million livestock, amongst the poor in Saudi Arabia and 27 other countries. Subhanallah, the sacrificing of animals by Muslims during Eid Adha truly benefited people through out the globe; it clearly points up to the 'beauty of Islam'.

While Muslims worldwide are celebrating Eid Adha, some four million very, very lucky men and women have been chosen by Allah SWT to be His guests performing hajj in the Holy Land. 

Pilgrims are recommended to recite this verse: "Labbayk, Allahumma, Labbayk, Labbayk, La Shareeka laka, Labbayk Innal-hamda wan n’mata laka wal-mulk, La shareekala" – (Here I am at Your service, O Lord here I am, No partner do You have, Here I am, Truly the praise and the favour is Yours and the dominion. No partner do You have).

For Muslims who are not performing hajj in their homelands, they are encouraged to perform recommended deeds during the first nine days of Dhul-hijjah such as fasting especially on ‘Wukuf’ day (on the 9th Dhul-Hijjah) and giving charity. Then during Eid Adha (10th Dhul-Hijjah) when Muslims perform ‘solat’ (Eid prayers) and the days of Tashreek (11, 12, and 13th Dhul-Hijjah) they are recommended to do the slaughter or ‘korban’ (sacrifice) animals (such as sheep and cow).

Scholars said one of the special characteristics that Allah has blessed the Muslim ummah; are the times of the year, during which, acts of obedience and worship are extremely advantageous. These times of the years are in fact gifts from the Allah that He has given to Muslim ummah. Allah announces mercy, blessings and presenting gift of great rewards during these seasons.

 Abu Hurairah relates that the Messenger of Allah. said, "There are no days more loved to Allah for you to worship Him therein than the 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah. Fasting any day during it is equivalent to fasting one year and to offer salatul tahajjud (late-night prayer) during one of its nights is like performing the late night prayer on Lailatul Qadr'. 

Another virtue of the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah is that the Day of Arafah (9th day of Dhul-Hijjah). The Day of Arafah is a great day during which Allah frees many of His worshippers from the fire of Hell. The Messenger of Allah s.a.w. said: "There is no day during which Allah frees more worshippers from the fire of Hell than during the day of Arafah."

'Korban' or sacrificing of animal has great great rewards in the eyes of Allah SWT. Sayidatina Aisha' reports that the Prophet s.a.w. said,"The son of Adam does not perform any actions on the day of sacrifice which is more pleasing to Allah than the shedding of blood. The sacrificed animal shall come on the Day of Judgment with its horns, hair, and hooves. The sacrifice is accepted by Allah before the blood reaches the ground." (Tirmizi).

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