Sura 19 Ayah 29 to 33:
So she pointed to him. They said, “How can we speak to one who is in the cradle a child?”
[Jesus] said, “Indeed, I am the servant of Allah . He has given me the Scripture and made me a prophet.
And He has made me blessed wherever I am and has enjoined upon me prayer and zakah as long as I remain alive
And [made me] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me a wretched tyrant.
And peace is on me the day I was born and the day I will die and the day I am raised alive.”
We are just exiting the festive season when Christmas has been celebrated by many. Last year, my in-law took the unprecedented step of excluding us from and breakfast, lunch or dinner which may or may not have occurred that particular Christmas, and the first exclusion in my 20+ years of being in that family. Perhaps an iota of hurt remains. But hurt aside, that act of exclusion did lead to me recognising that I needed to not be as involved in the celebrations as I have been in the past. I love the incidentals of the celebrations – the colours, the decorations, the movies, the togetherness.
This year, I re-read the translation of Sura Maryam (19th chapter of the Holy Qur’an). Prompted actually by a conversation with Aunty F on the preceding Jummah afternoon when I stopped by to visit. When I was relating to her the Cherry Tree carol and what I thought was its reference in Al Qur’an. Aunty F corrected me and said it was the date tree. So I re-read Sura Maryam. A suran full of references to several Prophets a.s, stemming with Zakariyya a.s. and the pure Yahya a.s., and Maryam r.a., and Esa a.s., and Ibrahim a.s. exhortation to his father to worship only the One God, and Musa a.s. and his brother Haroon a.s., Ismail a.s., Idrees a.s., and Nuh a.s.
I reproduce below the translation of Ayah 23 to 26 of Surah Maryam
And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. She said, “Oh, I wish I had died before this and was in oblivion, forgotten.”
But he called her from below her, “Do not grieve; your Lord has provided beneath you a stream.
And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates.
So eat and drink and be contented. And if you see from among humanity anyone, say, ‘Indeed, I have vowed to the Most Merciful abstention, so I will not speak today to [any] man.’ “
In this very comprehensive article on qurbani, the author states that it is proper for a woman to slaughter her own animal, and that in fact, if she is able to carry out the Dhabah (slaughtering) correctly, it will be better for her to sacrifice her own animal.
The following is the hadith of Rasool saws which supports that there is no prohibition against a female performing the slaughter of an animal:
ان امراة، ذبحت شاة بحجر، فسيل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم عن ذلك، فامر باكلها
A lady slaughtered a sheep with a stone and then the Prophet (ﷺ) was asked about it and he permitted it to be eaten.
Al-Bukhari (may Allah have mercy on him) reported in his Saheeh from `Ubayd-Allah from Nafi`, that he (Nafi`) heard Ibn Ka`b ibn Malik narrating from his father that they used to have sheep which they allowed to graze on mount Sala’ in Madinah: a slave-women noticed that one of the sheep was dying, so she broke a stone and slaughtered it. He said: “Do not eat it until I ask the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) or I send someone to ask him. So he asked the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), or sent someone else to ask, and he told him to eat it. `Ubay-Allah said: “I liked the fact that she was a slave-woman and yet she managed to slaughter it.”
Commenting on this hadith, Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “This shows that it is permissible to eat meat slaughtered by a woman, whether she is free or a slave, old or young, Muslim or from the People of the Book (Jewish or Christian), in a state of purity or otherwise, because the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) told them to eat the meat she had slaughtered and did not ask for further details.”
This year, when Maulana summoned one of my children to perform the slaughter, Youngest shied away from the cow, stating that he preferred to start with a sheep. BD stepped forward and performed the slaughter herself. May Allah swt be pleased with her and accept her and our udhiyaa.
Squeamishness aside, NoS has been apathetic towards personally slaughtering the sacrificial animal on Eid ul Adha, and this year, has exhorted his desire to have it performed overseas and the meat distributed to those in need there. My own view is that as much as possible, we should be physically and actively involved in the sacrifice. Differing views aside, I came across the following hadith on this site:-
Hadhrat Abu Saeed Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that once on the occasion of qurbani The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said to his daughter Fatima (Radhiyallahu anha):
“O Fatima! Stand near your qurbani animal and witness its sacrifice, for verily every drop of blood is forgiveness for your past sins.”
She then inquired:
O Prophet of Allah! Is this virtue specially for us, the Ahle Bait (Family of Rasool), or is it for the entire Ummat?
The Prophet upon whom be peace replied:
“It is for us as well as for the rest of the Ummat.”
[Musnad of Imam Bazzar]
It is narrated that Umm ‘Atiyah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said:
“We were commanded (and in one report it says, he commanded us – meaning the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) to bring out to the Eid prayers the adolescent girls and the women in seclusion, and he commanded the menstruating women to avoid the prayer-place of the Muslims.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1/93; Muslim, 890.
Change of venue this year. Possibly close to 200 persons attended.
This year, we invited friends to join with us yesterday, to partake of the Qurbani meat (beef from the cow slaughtered by BD). So while I have much to my chagrin, no photos of the decor (inclusive of a beautiful rose gold foil Eid Mubarak banner loaned by Sister R, beneath the eave of a pink & purple striped canopy set above pink covered tables dressed with silver bottles from whence sprang darker pink fronds of glitter), I can share photos of the sweets – mousse made by BD, caramel blondies & chocolate cupcakes topped with homemade marshmallow frosting made by BD, sour cream crumb cake made by BD, cheesecake made by Sister S, our neighbour, coconut cake squares made by Sister W of Halalicious Treats, & an unnamed absolutely deliciously dreamy concoction by Sister S, mother of 3 girls. With ice cream – caramel toffee, strawberry, coffee mocha & chocolate. Friends came, and stayed, and all seemed content.
The Mustahab (best) method of distributing qurbani meat is to divide it into three equal parts. One part should be given to the poor, one part to one’s relatives and friends and one part retained for one’s own family.
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“The lifespan for my Ummah is from sixty years to seventy years and very few surpass this”
Some weeks ago, Aunt P who has been my class mate, my housemate, my spouse’s second mother, my colleague, my partner, my confidant, a prayer warrior, and most of all, my friend, passed that milestone of 80. In addition to her family sponsored festivities, BD, my mum and I took her out to tea at the seafront restaurant at Bougainvillea Hotel. Fruit tarts, smoked salmon & cucumber sandwiches, carrot cake, vegetable samosas, egg pinwheels, cheese & blueberry scones with clotted cream and jam. And Harney’s brand of teas!