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The rules surrounding Qurbani, specifically, the slaughter of an animal and the distribution of its meat, teach us far more than how to kill livestock humanely or help the poor eat well once a year.
We can look at our hearts, our actions and our behaviour during Qurbani, and consider how to achieve the same state permanently.
For just three examples of what we can learn from Qurbani, and how to translate these lessons so that we become better people all year round, read on.
Just as Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) ha faith that Allah (SWT) would not ask him to sacrifice his son, Ismail (PBUH) without good reason or reward, so we trust that blessings will be bestowed in answer to our sacrifice of an animal. We also trust others at face value, which is something we could do more often; if an animal seller says an animal is of the desired age and health, we accept him at his word. Imagine trusting people implicitly, until given a reason not to; how much less miserable would you be? How would you enjoy a life without paranoia, games and tests?
Donating Qurbani meat to those most in need across the world is admirable and favourable. In some cases, your donation could mean an entire family enjoys a good meal, even in the most volatile and difficult regions. Charity and bestowing kindness on others is not just something we are taught in Islam, but also something we should practice as human beings. If we are fortunate enough to have wealth and comfort, then why wouldn’t we share with others who are not so lucky? Charity is not limited to Zakat and Qurbani; it is a small act of kindness that can make a big difference, all day and every day.
Biped or beast, we should show compassion. It is not about being nice to your peers or your family dog; it is about showing compassion for all living things. We are reminded of this during Qurbani by the strict guidelines given to us. We minimise the animal’s suffering by slitting the throat quickly, with a sharp knife. We also avoid causing the animal unnecessary stress or fear, by refraining from sharpening the knife or slaughtering another animal in front of them. If we showed the same levels of kindness, consideration and compassion to everyone and everything, the world would be a far better place.
So this Qurbani, when you are offering your sacrifice to Allah (SWT) and sending your neighbours warm wishes and good meat, think about how the experience can help you become a better person in the long run.