Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Sacrifice, Animals, Be the Change, General/Animals, Inspiration, Religion

From a Non-vegetarian eating Muslim to a Vegan – Reflections by Faizan Jaleel

Guest post* by Faizan Jaleel

*Views expressed herein are solely the personal views of the author – Faizan Jaleel, who can be contacted on faizanjaleel@icloud.com

**For those interested in the subject, there is also a website based book titled, “Animals in Islam” by Al-Hafiz B.A. Mazri , which can be accessed by clicking here

Being a Muslim has been linked to meat eating and in fact rightly so because many or most of the Muslims (followers of Islam) are non vegetarians. Being a Muslim myself and a non vegetarian till around 2009, I could simply understand that meat was a part of our cuisine and never in the entire time of my being a Non Vegetarian came from any religious guidance at that time. Meat was cooked and we ate it. It was not told to us in any religious sermon that you should eat meat to be a Muslim and yes neither it was the other way round like it was also not told to us not to eat meat as well. We didn’t know about the slaughter and cruelty and the pain and suffering and sentience. It was out of sight and so out of mind.

If we look at the history of Islam which had its roots in the sands and deserts, it is obvious that many hundred years ago there would have been almost meager vegetation and that’s why the cuisine there was mostly bland (lack of spices) and meat (lack of fruits, vegetables and grains). While Islam does teach about being compassionate and merciful and loving to all the life forms, it doesn’t prohibit meat eating, which fits well for that era. There is no evidence that I could refer to where it has been propagated in Islam to raise farm animals for organised slaughter and profit making if there are alternates available in abundance.

The entire meat eating frenzy which is common to a large part of our society is an organised business that rides on billions and trillions of dollars, cruelty and misery. Each day many million lives are taken in an indefinite number of slaughter houses. Many countries and unfortunately my Country also participates in this madness and crime and holds a distinction of causing maximum cruelty through its extremely crude methods of killing and murdering animals. Billions are earned each day.

As I see it and present my view, I believe, that meat eating in today’s world which provides a sea of alternatives is not as per the teachings of Islam. I believe Prophet Mohammad would have never approved of this, I believe that no Islamic scholar can justify this madness of killing and profit making when it is not required to be as per the tenets of Islam, however it can be very easily proved that this form of mass murder is against the teachings of love, compassion and mercy that Islam preaches so strongly. And it is not only about eating meat and killing animals, another aspect of the same issue is the amount of food grains used in raising these cattle and livestock population, the food that could have very easily fed millions of starving human population.

In Islam, drinking alcohol is prohibited because it is “sharaab” or “water that induces indecency” and is habit forming and is something that is not necessary to life – based on the same principle, meat in today’s context is extremely habit forming and not at all required as there are other options available – so why Muslims should not denounce meat in total and live the spirit of Islam!

This photograph (Photo © Jaagruti) was clicked by us a few years back while walking through the narrow by lanes of Chawri Bazaar in Old Delhi. It shows one one of the goats that was due to be sacrificed during the course of Bakr-Id, that was to follow shortly. When I asked Faizan with curiosity, what was his opinion on religious scarifices of animals like this goat, during Bakr-Eid, Faizan shared, "with regards to the sacrifice of animals on Bakra Eid, let me tell you that Allah doesn't require us to sacrifice a Bakra or any living being at all, it is the mutilation of religion and has become more of a status symbol. The spirit of that particular eid is about sacrificing what you love the most and obviously that has lost its significance in present times where religion has become more of consumerism."
This photograph (Photo © Jaagruti) was clicked by us a few years back while walking through the narrow by lanes of Chawri Bazaar in Old Delhi. It shows one one of the goats that was due to be sacrificed during the course of Bakr-Id, that was to follow shortly. When I asked Faizan with curiosity, what was his opinion on religious scarifices of animals like this goat, during Bakr-Eid, Faizan shared, “with regards to the sacrifice of animals on Bakra Eid, let me tell you that Allah doesn’t require us to sacrifice a Bakra or any living being at all, it is the mutilation of religion and has become more of a status symbol. The spirit of that particular eid is about sacrificing what you love the most and obviously that has lost its significance in present times where religion has become more of consumerism.”

Is it so hard for us to stop eating meat because it has become a habit; is it stronger than the urge to be righteous? Has it become bigger that the religion itself?

I know by writing this I must have disturbed many Muslims, but that is what I meant to do, so that the next time when you have your juicy chicken breast, roasted lamb, steaks or veal, biryani or qorma, roghan josh or stew, kebabs or liver fry.. you take a moment to think that it is coming from one of the murder houses which just made a profit running in billions at the cost of your ignorance about your own religion and you are still happy about it.

This is the time to think again and be a rightful Muslim…. Not eating meat will not kill you however you will save a life somewhere.

Ignorance is a crime, seek knowledge and be an informed and compassionate being that is what we ought to be – all of us!

With love for all….

Faizan Vegan J

Posted in Against Animal Cruelty, Animal Sacrifice, Animals, General/Animals, Stories from Ground Zero, Take Action!

Bakr-Eid: what happens to the goat?

This is one of the goats that would be sacrificed during this Bakr-EId. This photo was clicked while walking through the narrow bylanes of Chawri Bazaar in Old Delhi (Photo credit: Jaagruti)

Before you begin reading this, please allow us a moment to introduce Meera Ahmad (the contributor of the below post) to all of you.

Meera is a Ph.D student at University of Delhi and lives with her mother, brother Kabir and her canine companions in Nizamuddin. Meera is secular by birth, born to a Hindu mother and a Muslim father, her home is lovingly referred to as ‘Chintu Ghar’, the first time I visited her, I thought Chintu was the name of their first pet, but infact as Meera’s mother amusingly shared Chintu was their stuffed toy ‘Elephant’ whom they cuddled and cared for and were even willing to risk their lives for! (yes! yes! that is what Meera’s brother Kabir tried to do, when he jumped from the auto-rikshaw thinking that Chintu was in the bag that had fallen from her mother’s lap on the road). Perhaps it was Chintu, the elephant toy that made them realise that before they realised that their heart was filled with love for animals. Meera and her family look after and feed the many street dogs in Nizamuddin and at Lajpat Nagar as well, besides taking the responsibility of getting them sterilized and vaccinated at nearby animal hospitals.

When she saw a man taking his sick goat to an animal hospital yesterday, she was prompted to reflect over her thoughts on Bakr-Eid. Read on…

Bakr-Eid: what happens to the goat?

By Meera Ahmad

Yesterday, a man from my colony in Nizamuddin West took a sick goat to the nearby Friendicoes Animal Hospital

He said to the doctor: ” Please treat my goat so that it becomes well quickly. I have to cut it day after tomorrow.”

Animal sacrifice is the biggest farce and misplaced superstitious belief in the name of religion.

Today (17th November, 2010) is the first day of three days of Bakr-Eid or Eid al-Adha or Eid-e-Qurban. For Muslims it is a day to celebrate how Prophet Ibraham willingly almost sacrificed his own son Isma’il as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened and gave him a ram to sacrifice instead. To commemorate it Muslim families blindly sacrifice many animals (goat, cow, sheep, camel) on this day often after days of feeding and caring for them extremely well. The act of sacrifice carried out in Muslim homes is extremely cruel as the goats are killed slowly in front of each other by the very people who fed and nurtured them and whom they came to trust deeply. Children too are encouraged to cut them on these days from a very young age so that they become conditioned to it.

In my colony a few weeks before the festival it is common to see children roaming about with healthy and well nurtured goats and grazing them in the parks and bylanes. After the sacrifice I have spoken to them and they comfortably and eagerly narrate gory details of how they carried out halal (religiously permissible form of sacrifice in which the animal’s throat is slit to slowly bleed it death so that it is drained of all the blood before being skinned and cut) of the goats.

So deeply engrained becomes the notion of halal in them that they even practice it on toys and stuffed animals. In an extreme case I remember hearing that a child slit the throat of his pet rabbit. When his mother came running on hearing the wails of the poor animal and asked the child why he did it he said proudly that he had done halal. My neighbor’s young daughter who studies in class 2 was last year wailing uncontrollably outside her house on Bakr-Eid for she wanted to cajole her father to let her keep the baby goat that he had brought for sacrifice and not let it be killed. When her father asked her the reason for it she said she wanted to play with it and make it her pet. However, her tantrums didn’t have any effect. A few ays back when I saw her roaming in the park with a goat on leash I could not resist asking her what she would do with it. She said that she would do it halal. Her father had convinced her that the goats that are done halal on these days are fortunate as they go straight to God (Allah).

That the animals are alive and moving for quite sometime after their throats are cut and while they are being skinned was pointed out to me by children who have witnessed and participated in the sacrifice.The goats that are to be cut on the following days are kept in the same place where their fellows were cut, skinned and hung in front of their eyes. They kick and cry loudly for days and nights before the sacrifice, but once the killing begins they go eeringly quiet. It is as if the face of imminent death makes them mum. A look at their faces and in their eyes chills the soul. I have always felt it is a look of resignation, dullness and deep gloom.

“The mullah finishes the prayer. Ameen. He picks up the kichen knife with the long blade. The custom is to not let the sheep see the kinife. Ali feeds the animal a cube of sugar – another custom, to make eath sweeter. The sheep kicks, but not much. The mullah grabs it under its jaw and places the blade on its neck. Just a second before he slices the throat in one expert motion, I see the sheep’s eyes. It is alook that will haunt my dreams for weeks. I don’t know why I watchj this yearly ritual in ou backyard; my nightmares persist long after the blood stains on the grass have faded. But I always watch. I watch because of that look of acceptance in the animal’s eyes. Absurdly, I imagine tha animal understands. I imagine the animal sees that its imminent demise is for a higher purpose. This is the look……..” -Khaled Hosseni, The Kiterunner.

Nature provides food to goats, cows, sheep so they can live well. Humans provide food to them so they can kill and cut them. Nature provides food to goats, cows, sheep so they can live well. Humans provide food to them so they can kill and cut them. If we really love our earth and want it to be a comfortable place for future generations, we all need to start reflecting on our daily decisions. How we live. What we eat. What we buy. How and where it is made. How we travel. Everything we habitually do has an impact and also sets an example. One of the most important among these is our relationship with the animals of this planet that should be of compassion and protection. This change may not always be easy or comfortable, but it is certainly better than doing nothing and lamenting later. Let us start by raising our voice against animal sacrifice and slaughter.

kurbaan-kurbaani_goats-before-being-scarificed-on-id_ht-city_281109

Other posts by Meera Ahmad:

Abandoning one’s pet: Could there be a crime bigger than that?

Posted in Man and Animal: Stories of Kindness, Religion

Islam and Kindness to Animals

~Allah  loves those who are kind to animals.

There’s a hadith that narrates how a prostitute was forgiven her sins, simply for giving a dying dog some water~

(Volume 4 Book 54 Number 538, Narrated by Abu Huraira)

Please click here to watch the animation

Additionally, the holy Quran also encourages Muslims  to be kind to animals and are forbidden to hurt them.

Once the Prophet Muhammad said: “A woman was punished because she imprisoned a cat until it died. On account of this, she was doomed to Hell. While she imprisoned it, she did not give the cat food or drink, nor did she free it to eat the insects of the earth.”

The Prophet was once asked, “Are we rewarded for kindness towards animals?

He said: There is a reward for kindness to every living animal or human.

Additionally, while taking the life of an animal for food, Muslims are commanded to do so in a manner that causes the least amount of fright and suffering possible.


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