Muslims faithful celebrate three festivals every year; the Eid al-Fitr, which is always celebrated after Ramadan festival, the weekly Jumat service on Fridays and Eid al-Kabir (the Great Festival) or Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), it is also popularly referred to as the Ileya festival which is scheduled to be celebrated on Friday, 30th July 2020. As the preparation of this festival is ongoing, Imam Abdul Ganiyu Rahmon of Tawakalitu Mosques, Orile Iganmu-Lagos, enlightens Lagos residents on the importance of using healthy animals for the forthcoming Feast of Sacrifice.
In his words, “Animals that are forbidden for slaughtering include animals with any form of the disease, an animal which either or both of its eyes are blind, a deformed animal, animals whose ears are turnover one-third, animals with broken horn by over one-third, animals whose tail is cut off by more than one-third without healing. Q 22: 36-37 says, “We have subjected these animals to you so that we may be grateful. It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Him but your piety.” In this festival, Allah is not interested in the blood or meat of the animals; it is our intention, and fear of Almighty Allah with which we use to slaughter the animal. Therefore, any of the qualified animals that would be killed in respect of Eid-al-Kabir must be free from coronavirus disease and other forms of ailments,” says Imam Rahmon.
While talking about the qualified animals, the Imam mentioned Camel, Ram, Cow, Sheep, and Goat as animals that can serve as the sacrificial animal.
“Though, the teachings of the Holy Quran said ram is the most suitable animal for Eid-al-Kabir but Goat, Carmel, and Cow can also be used. The Cow must not be younger than 4 years, Carmel 6 years while Goat and Ram should not be less than a year old. Those who are eligible to kill the animals must be Muslim men and women, if not, someone who is knowledgeable about killing animals can be paid to help them out. Except this, underage person, someone under the influence of alcohol, thugs, and nonknowledgeable persons are forbidden to kill Ileya ram under Sheria law.”
Apart from the list of qualified persons that can kill Eid-al-Kabir animals, the knife that is expected to be used must be very sharp to cut the jugular to allow a continuous and free flow of blood from the animal. In the case of a camel which cannot be killed by a knife, a very sharp arrow is expected to do the slaughter. Before an animal is a slaughter, the person who is to kill the animal must pray to Almighty Allah, as instructed by the Holy Prophet Muhammed (SAW). “Pray unto your God and sacrifice the animal.” (Qur’an, 2:108). Therefore, it is very important for the person to proclaim his/her intention by mentioning the name of Allah, Bismillah, Allahu Akbar, which means in the name of Allah, Allah is the greatest. An Islamic scholar, Akeem Ogunleye, who teaches Islamic Knowledge, said the importance of Eid-al- Kabir is to reflect the total submission to Allah’s will practice by all Muslims household in the world, and to remind us of Allah’s divine intervention in any hopeless situation we may find ourselves.
la said, “Muslims celebrate Eid-al-Kabir to show their total surrender to the will of Almighty Allah, who instructed Prophet Ibrahim (a.s) to sacrifice his only son to him. It also reminds us of how the Almighty usually intervenes to turn a situation of hopelessness to that of hope and happiness. Therefore, on the day of festival, Muslims must uphold the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), they must take a bath before Fajr prayers, put on a new or decent clothes. It is Sunnah for men to use perfume but women are not expected to use perfume anytime or day. Muslim brethren are expected to fast while going to the praying ground and offer assistance on their way, if you pass through a path to the prayer ground, you must pass through another while coming back, and on your way to Eid, you must keep reciting Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, laa ilaaha ill-Allah, wa Allahu akbar, Allah akbar, wa lillaah il-hamd, which means; Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, there is no God but Allah, Allah is Most Great, Allah is Most Great, and to Allah be praise and continue saying it till after three days.”
Another significance of Eid-al-Kabir is seen in the act of giving, the sacrificial animals are expected to be divided into three; one part for the family, one for those who can not afford to buy an animal, and the last part for our neighbours. Any part of the animal is not expected to be sold as that is against the Sunnah of Eid-al-Kabir, everything must be giving out. Also, the animals must not be killed before the day but after the Imams prayer on Eid-al-Kabir day.
By Ife Adewole