Originally written in Urdu by Zahid Mughal.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of animals who cannot speak for themselves get their throats slit in the name of religion. The money spent on fulfilling the duties of the faith can be better used to feed the poor and serve the struggling humanity.
The above sentence is a reflection of modernist anti-religious mindset which opposes all forms of religious expression. Such sentences are not an intellectual sign of the modernist mindset, rather they represent its mental shortcomings. Even though as Muslims, we do not need to know the economic benefits of the acts of worship, as this kills the very spirit of the act, but we will list some of them here just for the satisfaction of the anti-religious folks.
Even if we look at the ritual of sacrifice purely from the economic perspective, only those who have never studied the science of economics can have a problem with it. For example:
- This ritual causes the growth of the farming and cattle industries; as usually the small farmers and the poor communities are linked with them. On the Eid of sacrifice, these people earn a lot of money which they couldn’t possibly earn in the market in normal days. Hence this ritual has a positive impact on the distribution of wealth.
- Those who say that all the money spent on this ritual should be given to the poor are obviously unaware of the fact that poverty cannot be cured by distributing money. It is cured by moving the wheel of economic activity in the poor community, and the act of sacrifice is the best way of doing that.
- The meat of these animals is distributed among the poor in the whole world, even those who only dream of meat in the whole year get to eat it on this occasion.
- The skin obtained from these animals is used for making leather products; this is the source of income for hundreds of thousands of people.
- People who work in the transport industry also earn a lot of money through delivering animals.
Hence, just in a limited number of days, the Eid of sacrifice speeds up the wheel of economic growth by liquidating the huge yet useless savings of billions of rupees. At least those who are familiar with the Keynesian Multiplier model cannot dare to open their mouths and criticize the Eid of Sacrifice from an economic perspective.
The people who have a modernist mindset only remember the poor when it comes to the expenses of Eid of sacrifice, which is a completely poor-friendly ritual. They do not see the hundreds of billions of rupees wasted on pizzas and overpriced burgers by the rich elite on a daily basis. They never point their fingers at the hundreds of billions of dollars wasted on manufacturing of toys for pets in America and Europe. They don’t have a problem with hundreds of billions of dollars wasted on the field of semantics every year, the only purpose of which is to make you look younger just a bit longer.
Hence, when you look around, you will see that these modernists never protest at the wastage of these valuable resources worth trillions of dollars which, in essence, are the kind of expenses which crush the spirit of the poor, and the only purpose of these expenditures is the satisfaction of some delicate feelings of the rich elite. But when it comes to the Eid of Sacrifice, these people become supporters of the poor community and act as if they are the only ones who ever spoke about the rights and sufferings of the poor in the history of mankind. In reality, the real problem with these people is not the safeguarding of the poor, rather it is their enmity towards the religion, which they express on every opportunity they get.
It is also worth praising that these modernists use the metaphor “animals who can’t speak for themselves” as if to give the impression that the act of sacrifice is an act of cruelty and transgression against animals. Where is their sense of injustice when they’re sitting in expensive five-star restaurants enjoying kebabs, tikkas and other kinds of delicious barbecue dishes? Does the meat used in these delicious dishes come down from the heavens like manna and quails (man-o-salwa)? Or does it come from the slaughter houses of the butchers? None of the silly excuses these modernists come up with can be weighed on the scale of intellect and rationality.
The blog was first published on The Defiance on 14 October, 2013.