Tuesday, November 16, 2010


For some Indonesian Moslems, just as for those who are in the Saudi Arabia, today is the Eid-ul Adha, Festival of sacrifice. Indonesian government rules that according to their calculation, the celebration is not until tomorrow. Since some of our experts and staffs celebrate it today, our office decided that today is also a day off.

I've been thinking about the ritual of Eid-ul Adha. To the best of my knowledge, according to the teaching, those who can afford it sacrifice (at least) a goat or a cow. Later, I heard these animals would be our vehicle in after life. I dont know about that. I know that it's to commemorate Abraham's act of sacrificing his son, Isaac according to the Judaism and Christianity and Ishmael according to Islam.

What I perceive from the story, we need to learn to be ikhlas, sincere, with what we are giving. I dont think it's about the goat or the cow, but more about our heart. With disasters all over Indonesia, I thought instead of buying a goat the money is much better spend on helping the victims. I think Islamic scholar Quraish Shihab even said that making sacrifice is recommended. Meanwhile helping people who desperately in need in this disaster is an obligation. However, plenty people still think that making sacrifice is more important. Perhaps they still need their vehicle in after life. Each for their own. I was talking about it with an aunt, she commented that if all those goats and cows are donated instead of being slaughtered, it helps the victims to rebuild their lives. True.

The difference between slaughtering an animal and helping the disaster victims is the giver has the right to one third of the meat and he/she can give the rest to their friends/family or those who are asking for it. When we give to the disaster victims we give it all to them, and we are giving it to those who are really needed. Since I'm still living in this world, I think I know what is more important to me at this moment.


colson said...

Practical, sensible and human idea.

( The other day I read Saramago's fascinating novel "Ciam" = Cain). And with all due respect once more I shuddered just like the author, at this story. What the three holy books of the monotheistic religions aim at with the horrible story of a father willing to sacrifice ( = kill, murder) his son? Or with the even more horrible story of the ordeal of Sodom and Gomorrah with no exception for the innocent children.)

triesti said...

I was told, it's a way of testing Abraham's faith, by asking him to give up his most precious possession, namely his son, the one he had been waiting for ages. As both father and son were willing to make the sacrifice, God replaced the son with a goat (I dont honestly think there is a goat in Israel, perhaps sheep is more logical).

Reading/listening to religious stories always makes me wonder about the thin line between madness and divine revelation, and how G-d has a weird sense of humor.

Btw, it's been ages since I read Saramago, is that a new one?