The TV channels are already airing trailers; celebrities promoting their shows on Social Media, and control freaks jotting ‘to-dos’ on notes and pasting them all over the monitor. Setting aside the fact that a downpour on Eid day is highly probable, we are all set for a picture perfect Eid — and isn’t it just as always?
Eid is a celebration of human bonding; of self-reflection, and of sharing. Qurbani is unique in the sense that it simultaneously teaches us the virtue of sacrifice and construct a social order to rejoice at.
True, Qurbani is about slaughtering, which many object to. But being vegetarian, or a vocal advocate of animal rights for a day will not bring about any change. In similar lines, piety should be reflected through actions in our everyday lives, in our every action. Religion is by no means a weekend option.
There is no denying, we as a nation are so desensitised that total disregard for the sanctity of life is rampant in society. Those who chose to respond to the call of the scriptures, should know that religion gives others equal right to express their opinions.
All quarters must understand. for millions Qurbani serves a higher purpose transcending the ways of our lives. While sacrifice now seems like a lip-service, it is in the very heart of the ritual. And any discerning mind would be quick to grasp the social, the agrarian and the economic importance that revolves around the celebration of Eid-ul-Azha.
There is no disagreement that livestock are no longer part of our lifestyle. There was a time when household cattle were loved as we love our pets. They were treated with love and affection, served with the most nutritious food the family could afford.
Much remains to be learnt from the traditions of the past. Today, cattle are fattened through chemical means, which is not only unfit for human consumption, but fatal for the animal. It has been widely reported that if remain unsold, they are destined to face painful deaths.
Eid-ul-Azha takes us back to the experiences of the patriarch of the three Abrahamic religions.
There is nothing wrong in celebrating an occasion, as long as they are done within the boundaries set by scriptures. Qurbani is as much about feasting, as it is about accepting God’s will and leading life accordingly.
On Eid day, think about blood sugar levels if you are diabetic. Think about your carb intake, if you are trying to lose weight, or maintain a healthy routine. Rethink if it is in line with the spirit of Qurbani that you share the image of the sacrificial animal on Social Media.
All cultures have their unique ways of saying grace before having food. Today, we make sure that the world knows what delicious steaks we are having via Instagram, while a neighbour’s children go to sleep on an empty stomach.
This is by no means a lesson on the probable evils of our current ways. Eid is, and will always remain, a joyous occasion, with some great food to go along. And of course, it’s acceptable that it continues for days on end. That soupy meat dish cooked on the day of the Eid turns dry, and gets better every time we reheat it on a gas stove. Understand and observe the day with due respect, but also pamper yourself with delicacies, even if you can only have a spoonful.
After all, its Eid!