Every year Muslims all over the world sacrifice a domestic animal as a testament to their submission before God. The ritual commemorates Prophet Abraham’s sacrifice.
As the story goes, God tested Abraham’s faith by ordering him to slaughter his own son. Abraham closed his eyes and began the sacrifice, but then found that his son had been replaced by a sheep.
Muslims reenact this sacrifice on the festival of Eid ul Adha.
The festival lasts for three days starting on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah month according to the Islamic calendar.
There are certain guidelines and etiquette prescribed for the sacrifice:
- The sacrificer is recommended to buy the animal in advance and rear and nurture it before it is slaughtered.
- A group can share in the rearing and sacrifice of one cow, sheep, camel, or goat if an individual cannot afford it.
- The animal must be an adult and free from any obvious defects.
- The animal should be comfortable and conscious at the time of slaughter.
- The slaughtering knife must be extremely sharp to instantly severe the jugular vein.
- The sacrificial animal must not see the knife.
- The blood should be allowed to drain completely from the animal before it is skinned and chopped.
- The meat must be divided equally between family, friends and the needy.