True sacrifice not in regards to the goat
IN these extremely polarised occasions when the binary of ‘they’ and ‘us’ is turning into more and more blatant and boorish, a heart-warming reminiscence of non secular munificence nonetheless gladdens my coronary heart and thoughts. This occurred greater than a decade in the past once I simply received my doctorate diploma and to acknowledge my gratitude in direction of an erudite Indian Muslim professor who helped me lots, I phoned him that I’d come to India throughout Eid-al-Adha (Bakr Eid) en path to Karachi. I met the late Dr Rehan Qadir and his partner in Calcutta. Each insisted that I have to stick with them.
However I had this extraordinarily uncomfortable feeling that they might sacrifice a goat. However no qurbani occurred on the professor’s place. As an alternative, we went to an orphanage and hung out with the inmates distributing garments and meals amongst them. We fed the poor at Kalighat. I questioned why they didn’t sacrifice a goat on the event of Eid. ‘Aapne qurbani nahin di?’ I enquired, to which they simply smiled, and stated nothing. I went to Karachi from there and despatched a handwritten letter to them, questioning why they avoided providing a sacrifice on a sacred day.
What Dr Qadir wrote continues to be etched in my reminiscence. He wrote in Urdu which I’m translating into English, “No faith could be larger than fellow-feeling and empathy. You have been our esteemed visitor and we knew that you simply by no means touched meat in your life. It will have been terribly uncomfortable for you, had we sacrificed a goat throughout your keep at our place. Allah understands the intentions and makes concessions. Furthermore, we sacrificed our ardent want to sacrifice on Eid-al-Adah as a result of Allah says within the Quran, ‘Sacrifice what’s closest to your coronary heart and dearest to you.’”
That is the spirit of fellow-feeling and the essence of all religions. My Muslim host sacrificed his (non secular) want to sacrifice for my sake. Ostensibly, he went towards the diktats of his religion. However that didn’t deter him. The truth is, he served his faith in a way Allah would have authorised of.
The core of any faith or non secular apply is humanity. To sacrifice an animal is literal. The sacrifice of ego, which is dearest to us, is of paramount significance. The Sufis and mystics urged the followers to sacrifice all vices and eliminate ana (egoism). Till the ego disappears, self-realisation will proceed to elude us.
Hafiz Shirazi says in a Persian couplet: ‘Ya rakhtam bizaat-e-me izq/ shaist un ana nizq’ (Till your ‘I’ is totally dissolved, no sacrifice might be ample).
Allow us to transcend sacrificial totemism and perceive the crux of a faith and its practices. Creating goodwill is the common message of all religions.