the Feast of Sacrifice
First of all , let´s look what "sacrifice" means. Sacrifice is "qurbân" in arabic and it literally means "to come close". We can explain it like " getting closer to Allah" by thanking Him for all He granted to us and by showing our willingness to fulfill His wishes, showing our submission. And of course we are to share the meat of the animal sacrificed, with the poor and the needy. So muslims sacrifice animals for the consent of Allah and again we share the meat for the consent of Allah.
-"The animal offerings are among the rites decreed by Allah for your own good. * You shall mention the name of Allah on them while they are standing in line. Once they are offered for sacrifice, you shall eat therefrom and feed the poor and the needy. This is why we subdued them for you, that you may show your appreciation." (al-Hajj ,36)
-"Neither their meat, nor their blood reaches Allah. What reaches Him is your righteousness. He has subdued them for you, that you may show your appreciation by glorifying Allah for guiding you. Give good news to the charitable." (al –Hajj,37 )
- Though "qurban" has been practised since the first human, first prophet ;Adam´s time, it gained its true meaning with the great self-sacrifice of Prophet Abraham ( who could attain the title of being the friend of Allah : "Who is better guided in his religion than one who submits totally to Allah, leads a righteous life, according to the creed of Abraham: monotheism? Allah has chosen Abraham as a beloved friend." –an - Nisa 125- ) . Prophet Abraham asks Allah to give him a righteous son and makes a vow that if he ever has a son, he´ll sacrifice him to Allah. Later he has many sons but forgets about this vow he made, with time. Then, one night he sees himself sacrificing his son ; Ismael in his dream and he sees the same dream three consecutive nights. He interprets this dream as a sign from Allah that he should be loyal to his vow to sacrifice his son and he understands the fact that he is being put to a test, a great trial. A trial so difficult to get through for a human being. A trial so hard to accept for anyone.Upon this, Prophet Abraham goes to his son Ismael and tells him about the dream he has been seeing. And Ismael says he is ready to submit Allah´s will even if it´s about his life. They both submit to Allah ; Ismael sacrificing his life and Prophet Abraham sacrificing his beloved son who is one of the most valuable persons to him. Both making the biggest sacrifices that could ever be made, maybe. And right when Ismael puts his forehead down ,ready to be sacrificed, Allah intervenes to save Abraham and Ismael. And gives them an animal to sacrifice instead. (all of this is explained clearly and in a detailed way in the verses below )
-" My Lord, grant me (Abraham) righteous children." We gave him good news of a good child. When he grew enough to work with him, he said, "My son, I see in a dream that I am sacrificing you. What do you think?" He said, "O my father, do what you are commanded to do. You will find me, Allah willing, patient. "They both submitted, and he put his forehead down (to sacrifice him). We called him " O Abraham" You have believed the dream." We thus reward the righteous.That was an exacting test indeed. We ransomed (Ismael) by substituting an animal sacrifice. And we preserved his history for subsequent generations. Peace be upon Abraham. We thus reward the righteous.He is one of our believing servants. " ( as-Saffat 100-111 )
- Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) said "None among you will be a truthful believer till he likes for his brother or for his neighbor that which he loves for himself". And when he says our brothers he means our brothers with whom sometimes we share our apartment buildings, sometimes our neighborhoods or our country or the world, and who we need and who need us to get through in times in life. And so he wants us to share the meat of qurban with all, with our family, with our neighbors, with the ones who need… So if we as muslims like our children eating meat and getting all the proteins; all the benefits it has, we'll like the same for our brothers, their children too. That's why every year during eid ul adha tonnes of fresh and tender meat is sent to comparably more destitute countries from Saudi Arabia, with specially equipped air conditioned aeroplanes. And hundreds of thousands cattle (or a money equivalent to their worth) are donated to charities for them to share and deliver the meat to the ones who need. And despite all this you´ll hear some say the act of qurban is "barbaric". Don't you think even only these examples are enough to prove how considerate and beautiful this act is?