It is crystal clear like the biblical “mene mene tekel yufasin” that the latest festivity in town is the Muslim Sallah. The stalls of rams are visible to the blind while their cries are audible to the deaf.

A vast majority of Muslims have taken to the market to claim their rights of ownership on big and jumbo sized rams in order to fulfill the practice of the celebration. While some, just in the spirit of “not to be left behind,” resorts to buying goats, sheep, butchered cow and/or camel.

Well, it is imperative to note that, despite the fact that slaughtering of ram is a major tradition of the event, the spirit of the festive goes beyond the meat and blood of the animals. Rather, it is in order to forestall the sanctity of humanity and tranquility among all for the purpose of peaceful coexistence.

This is because it bonds the family ties and enhances friendship among, even, the Muslims and the non-Muslims who celebrate with them.

As such, making the rams fight is against the teachings of the doctrine and humanity because humanity includes extending love and kindness to the animals.

Furthermore, the tradition is to revive the feeling of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) when he was taking his son to be slaughtered in sacrifice to God.

Also, the feeling of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) when his son died on the morning of this festive.

Meanwhile, the ram could be you. What if the ram to be slaughtered is your son? Will you take him to the wrestling ring before the day? Imagine the pain the animals are going through.

So in order to get the desired and required reward of the Eid, let’s be humane in our dealings with one another and the animals; it goes beyond the meat.

BEYOND THE MEAT

He’s not an idol on whose head

Bloods of animals are spattered.

He’s not a god before whom

Bowls of meat are tendered

For decay or for the canines of

Wandering hounds and hungry pigs.

Dirt are for deities, made from trees,

Irons and stinking imaginations.

I saw the rich men throwing their rewards

Into the robust horns of wrestling rams

Whose meats were flushed down their

Bowels with gulps of milky liquor.

While the poor men spring into Jannah

With the hairs on their skinny goats.

He rewards piety, not by being meaty

Just lay a ram that’s obviously healthy.

He zooms the Taqwa lens on every heart

And shot into them their required darts.

©Taofeek Ayeyemi

Author: Yemi Olarinre