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How Islamic Is The Animal Sacrifice
By:Sultan Shahhen
Date: Saturday, 28 November 2009, 5:28 am


Better help the needy with the cost of the poor animal.

Only pagans think that God Almighty enjoys to see blood flowing from animals or even from Jesus. Is Christianity a pagan religion?

Not only did the pagan Arabs sacrifice to a variety of Gods in hopes of attaining protection or some favour or material gain, but so, too, did the Jews of that day seek to appease the One True God by blood sacrifice and burnt offerings. Even the Christian community felt Jesus to be the last sacrifice, the final lamb, so to speak, in an otherwise valid tradition of animal sacrifice (where one's sins are absolved by the blood of another).

Islam, however, broke away from this longstanding tradition of appeasing an "angry God" and instead demanded personal sacrifice and submission as the only way to die before death and reach "Fana" or "extinction in Allah."

The notion of "vicarious atonement of sin" (absolving one's sins through the blood of another) is nowhere to be found in the Qur'an. Neither is the idea of gaining favour by offering the life of another to God. In Islam, all that is demanded as a sacrifice is one's personal willingness to submit one's ego and individual will to Allah.

One only has to look at how the Qur'an treats one of the most famous stories in the Judeo-Christian world: the sacrifice of Isaac (here, in the Islamic world seen as the sacrifice of Isma'il) to see a marked difference regarding sacrifice and whether or not Allah is appeased by blood. The Qur'anic account of the sacrifice of Isma'il ultimately speaks against blood atonement. See The Holy Quran --- 37:102-107

37:102 And when he was old enough to strive along with him, Abraham said, “O My dear son! I have a vision that I must give you to a life of test and tribulation for a Noble cause (37:107). So look, what do you think?” He said, “O My father! Do what you are commanded. God willing, you will find me of the steadfast.”
[Zibh and Zabh = Sacrifice = Disregard comfort for a Noble cause. Just as Qatl = To subdue, kill, fight, humiliate, bring low]

37:103 As both of them had surrendered themselves (to God), he made Ishmael prostrate on his forehead in gratitude. [Contrary to popular tradition, Abraham never envisioned or intended to slaughter his son. God does not play games with His servants]

37:104 We called unto him, “O Abraham!

37:105 You have already affirmed the vision. We – This is so - We must reward the doers of good.”

37:106 This was a trial, clear in itself. [Leaving the prestigious office of Chief Priesthood in Babylon and now the comfort of Syria for the wilderness of Makkah]

37:107 We exchanged his life for a Momentous Sacrifice. [Please notice here the absence of the Biblical and the traditional myth of a 'ram' sent from the heavens. Also, note that slaughtering of a sheep or goat, by no means, can be considered a Momentous Sacrifice. 14:37, 37:102]

37:108 And We left for him remembrance among the later generations.

37:109 Peace and salutation to Abraham!

Notice that the Qur'an never says that God told Abraham to kill (sacrifice) his son. Though subtle, this is very important. For the moral lesson is very different from that which appears in the Bible. Here, it teaches us that Abraham had a dream in which he saw himself slaughtering his son. Abraham believed the dream and thought that the dream was from God, but the Qur'an never says that the dream was from God. However, in Abraham and Isma'il's willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice -- Abraham of his son, Isma'il of his own life -- they are able to transcend notions of self and false attachment to the material realm, thus removing a veil between themselves and Allah, enabling Allah's mercy to descend upon them as the Spirit of Truth and illuminate them with divine wisdom (thus preventing a miscarriage of justice and once and for all correcting the false notion of vicarious atonement of sin).

Messages In This Thread

How Islamic Is The Animal Sacrifice
Sultan Shahhen -- Saturday, 28 November 2009, 5:28 am
Re: How Islamic Is The Animal Sacrifice
Shahzad Ahmed -- Sunday, 29 November 2009, 6:25 pm