Nizam Pasha writes.
Of late, a new fad has caught the imagination of those around the world, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, who are trying to re-interpret the animal sacrifice that marks the festival of Eid-ul-Zuha as an expression of charity that is more appropriately expressed in money terms in today’s day and age. In their own understanding, this is an attempt to make Islam more compatible with what they perceive to be the demands of the ‘modern’ world. Unfortunately, this fad proceeds on a mistaken understanding of both Islam as well as the ‘modern’ world.
To begin with, let me straightaway clarify that this is not an attempt to argue with animal rights activists. If you believe that animals are not meant to be eaten and advocate vegetarianism, then all I can do is to quote the Quran where it says “to you be your way and to me be mine”. Though I will say this in fairness – at least your philosophy is internally consistent and does not contradict itself. But if you enjoy steaks and kababs and naharis all year round and save your animal rights and environmental activism for this one day of the year, then this article is for you. To begin with, I would like to inform you that the processed meat you buy from the frozen foods section of your local supermarket was once a frisky lamb or a fluffy chick that had its throat cut open by a gutka chewing man in a banyaan. I just wanted you to know that.
A study conducted by the Institute of Management Sciences, Peshawar in 2009 found that the sacrifice of animals on Eid-ul-Zuha constituted a direct transfer of money to rural households with fewer intermediaries and generated employment for thousands of opportunistic animal rearers, livestock traders, butchers and leather industry workers among others, who look to Eid for a small annual windfall.
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