SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Man is the loftiest of creatures and God has created everything else in the world, including animals, for him so that he can benefit from them (use their meat, a means of transportation, etc.). Slaughtering animals on happy occasions and religious gatherings has been encouraged by religious teachings. Considering the monetary value of animals that can be slaughtered (like cows, camels and sheep), to do so is a way of pleasing God by giving our wealth in His path. On the other hand, by doing so, a group of poor people will be provided with food to eat and, when carried out in high quantities, it can be a means of enhancing their economic situation. If there were no hungry or poor people that were in need of this food, it would seem cruel to slaughter animals, but when there are people starving and in urgent need of food, it does not make sense to feel sorry for the animal and turn a blind eye to the people that may die from hunger.
Moreover, such gatherings are a great opportunity to think of the blessing that God has granted man, to thank Him and try to get closer to Him. The philosophy behind giving the meat as charity to poor people is a way of thanking God for His blessings. Nevertheless, Islam has not encouraged such a thing for all gatherings and Muslims must take into consideration the situation to see if it is appropriate to do such a thing.
From an Islamic point of view, man is the loftiest of God’s creations, and everything else was created for him to reach perfection. The Quran says: “It is He who created for you all that is in the earth, then He turned to the heaven…” In other words, God has created everything in this world to fulfill the needs of man. This includes animals about which the Quran says: “O you who have faith! Keep your agreements. You are permitted animals of grazing livestock, except what is [now] announced to you, disallowing game while you are in pilgrim sanctity. Indeed Allah decrees whatever He desires.”
Slaughtering animals and giving their meat to the poor has been encouraged by Islamic teachings and can be traced back to rich Islamic culture. When prophet Ibrahim was commanded to sacrifice and slaughter his son Ismail, he prepared to sacrifice his only son without any hesitation. He showed that he was willing to sacrifice the closest person to him for God’s pleasure and passed this extremely difficult trial. To honor his effort and to stop him from sacrificing Ismail, God sent down a ram for him to slaughter instead. Similarly, when we place an animal facing the Qiblah and slaughter him in the name of God, it is a symbolic way of slaughtering our desires in the path of God. This act can even be obligatory in certain acts of worship and on certain occasions, and it may have reasons that we do not know about.
When explaining the acts carried out during Hajj and that it is obligatory upon Muslims to embark on this journey, the Quran says: “And proclaim the hajj to people: they shall come to you on foot and on lean camels coming from distant places, so that they may witness the benefits for them, and mention Allah's name during the known days over the livestock He has provided them. So eat thereof, and feed the destitute.”!
In the next verses God says: “We have appointed for you the [sacrificial] camels as one of Allah's sacraments. There is good for you in them. So mention the name of Allah over them as they stand. And when they have fallen on their flanks, eat from them, and feed the self-contained needy and the mendicant. Thus have we disposed them for your benefit so that you may give thanks.”
These verses point out two of the reasons behind sacrificing animals:
1- Thanking God because of the numerous blessings He has granted us
2- Feeding the poor and needy
In another verse he says: “It is not their flesh or their blood that reaches Allah. Rather it is your God wariness that reaches him. Thus has he disposed them for your benefit so that you may magnify Allah for His guiding you. And give good news to the virtuous.”
In this verse, He mentions a very important point: that He does not benefit from the flesh, meat and blood of the sacrificed animal. What He seeks is your righteousness and God-wariness, in other words, to give a part of your wealth in the His way and feed the hungry is a valuable act and a sign of one’s God-wariness.
We must pay attention that sacrificing animals in Islam has certain conditions:
1- The animal must be halal-meated so that people can benefit from the meat
2- It must be facing the Qiblah when slaughtered
3- It must be slaughtered with a specific method in which the four main vains are cut first
4- The slaughtering must be done with sharp metal so that the animal does not suffer much. There are also other mustahabb (recommended) conditions that show that the philosophy of sacrificing animals is a very lofty one and not to simply kill an animal enabling some to say that it would be better to free an animal instead.
On the other hand, millions of livestock are being slaughtered around the globe which is completely necessary for the continuation of man’s survival. If this was stopped, it would create a crisis. However, Islam has given this issue a spiritual aspect making it a way for man to get closer to God, while others only benefit from its worldly benefits.
Therefore, sacrificing animals in religious gatherings has ethical, economical and social reasons and reminds us of man’s strong bond with the teachings of the prophets. However, freeing animals especially in the contemporary circumstances where natural sources have greatly decreased and many people are in need of the meat to survive causes the loss of many spiritual and worldly benefits.
 Tawdih al-Masaa’il of the maraji’, vol.2, pg. 568, issues 2583 and on.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - Facing angry reactions from its Muslim and Jewish population, Poland government has decided to amend its law to allow ritual slaughter one week after its ban by a decision from the European country’s constitutional court.
“This is the quickest way to change the law, as a [new] bill by the government would require protracted public consultation,” Stanislaw Kalemba, the minister of agriculture, told Polish news channel TVP, Russia Today reported on Friday, December 7.
Uproar followed a decision by Poland's top court last November 28, ruling that the religious slaughter of animals is illegal.
The Polish court considered the case following a petition by animal welfare groups.
Attorney General Andrzej Seremet, at the request of animal rights' groups, argued that a 2004 amendment allowing ritual slaughter on religious grounds was unconstitutional in that it contravened animal rights legislation dating back to 1997.
Under the 1997 laws, slaughter should only "follow the loss of consciousness" after a farm animal is stunned.
The Constitutional Tribunal said it was against Polish law to allow animals to have their throats cut and bleed to death without first being stunned.
According to the Islamic and Jewish ritual, the animal is slaughtered by a sharp blade.
The concept of halal, -- meaning permissible in Arabic -- has traditionally been applied to food.
Muslims should only eat meat from livestock slaughtered by a sharp knife from their necks, and the name of Allah, the Arabic word for God, must be mentioned.
Muslim scholars agree that Shari`ah provides a divine law of mercy that should be applied on all Allah’s creations, including animals.
Islam also provides details about avoiding any unnecessary pain.
Issued weeks before an EU law allowing the practice takes effect, the constitutional court ban would have been overridden by the European law.
“Arguments have been made that European law overrides national law, and that EU regulations can be applied directly,” Kalemba, a member of the Polish Peasant’s Party (PSL), said.
He also said that “it is necessary to respect the rights of religious groups, where ritual slaughter has been practiced for thousands of years.”
Kalemba’s announcement will be welcomed by Poland’s small Muslim and Jewish communities after critics expressed concerns that it would send a message about religious tolerance in the country.
Poland has about 6,000 Jews and 25,000 Muslims, according to the European Jewish Congress and US State Department estimates.
The decision is also good news to Poland’s export industry.
Poland has 29 slaughterhouses which practice ritual slaughter, employing 4,000 people. The industry is worth $259 million in exports.-www.shfaqna.com/English
Source: On Islam
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - Shia killing spree in Pakistan has gathered pace within 24 hours after President Barrack Obama’s speech at United Nations General Assembly in which he condemned the Shia and Sufi Sunni killings. Ten more Shias have been killed around Pakistan in the last 36 hours, underscoring the systematic genocide that Pakistan’s intelligentsia and human rights groups try to obfuscate and hide.
27 Sep- Karachi: Shabbir-ul-Hasan of Gilgit, killed in North Karachi
27 Sep- Quetta: Ghuklam Sakhi (Denter-Painter), Syed Gulab Shah killed in Quetta
26 Sep- Karachi: Bilal Ali, 25, killed in Lee Market area
26 Sep- Quetta: Saryab Road firing, Deputy Director Geological Survey of Pakistan, Mohsin Ali, killed. (a non-Hazara Shia).
26 Sep- Karachi: Zahid Hussain and Nisar Ali killed in Karachi
26 Sep- Karachi: Zaheer Abbas, 28, killed in Gulberg area
25 Sep- Karachi: 3 Shia Muslims killed when Takfiri Doebandi-Salafi terrorists of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (Sipah-e-Sahaba) entered a house of Shia Muslims in Karachi, killing Abbas Raza 35, Kumail Raza 35 and Muhammad Raza 50.
25 Sep- Karachi: Shia lawyer Frhat Naqvi attacked. His brother-in-law Nasir Naqvi injured.
These killings come in the wake of important speech that President Barack Obama delivered. Representing the United States, and speaking at world’s most influential forum, Obama recognized for the first time that Shias and moderate Sunnis are faced with persecution at the hands of Takfiri Salafist-Deobandi terrorists. Just when Pakistan’s media is quiet or continues obfuscating the real cause of these killings, Obama’s reference to Shia genocide at the hands of Takfiri terrorists is a wake-up call for everyone.
Takfiri ideology whose financers and supporters sit in Riyadh and other Arab countries has spread far and wide now. Pakistan has borne its brunt with the Takfiris operating in and outside Pakistan, with more than 40,000 killed so far.
When Obama spoke of Shias and moderate Sufi Sunnis, he was accepting for the first time that there exists a grave issue stemming from this Takfiri ideology. It does not of course absolve Obama of America’s complicity in violence and repression in Bahrain and Syria. But his acceptance of the fact that Shias and moderate Sunnis are subject to killings by Takfiris is recognition that Saudi exported Takfirism threatens the world peace.
The genocide of Shias in Pakistan and killing moderate Sunnis must concern everyone since Takfiri ideology does not distinguish between good or bad Muslims. For Takifirs, everyone who does not accept their ideology is an infidel and therefore liable to punishment.
Obama’s call for ending the killing of Shias and moderate Sunnis must also instill some honesty in Pakistani intelligentsia and human right activists who never get tired of obfuscating Shia genocide as Sunni-Shia sectarian or ethnic violence. It must also translate into America’s firm stance against Takfirism, and must force America to act against Takfiri ideologues, financers and supporters in Saudi Arab and other Arab states. LUBP— www.shafaqna.com/English