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Sacrifice in Islam

Dina Essawy

10 Jun 2018

Sacrifice comes in many shapes and forms. Many religions around the world practice sacrifice differently.


In Eid Al-Adha, one of the major religious festivals in Islam, Muslims slaughter animals, such as sheep, cows, or goats.


“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.” [Al-Haj, 37]


The sacrifice is done in honor of Prophet Ibrahim (may Allah be pleased with him) who almost made the ultimate sacrifice. When he had a dream in which he was sacrificing his son, Ismail, Prophet Ibrahim decided to act on the vision he believed to be sent from Allah. Ismail, the ever obedient and faithful son, agreed that his father should follow Allah’s commands no matter what. However, Allah’s mercy intervened. At the last minute, Allah sent his angels and asked Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice an animal instead of his son, rewarding them for their obedience.


“And when he reached with him [the age of] exertion, he said, "O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think." He said, "O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast. And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon his forehead, We called to him, "O Ibrahim, You have fulfilled the vision." Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.

Indeed, this was the clear trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice." [As-Saffat, 102-106]


Now, the practice of sacrificing animals symbolizes giving up your own wealth to those in need, since it is encouraged to give the meat to the poor and underprivileged.


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