Tag Archives: Islamic Academics

My 1st Udhiyyah: What I’ve Learned To Respect And Appreciate About Life&Death:

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Author’s-Note:

Dhul-Hijjah 12, 1438, A.H./September 3, 2017, C.E. I participated in an Islāmic-Tradition, predicated by Islāmic/Revelatory Texts, spanning Several-Generations: al-Udhiyyah/Slaughtering. This Traditional-Slaughtering commemorates the Rites of al-Hajj/Pilgrimage (predicated upon the Sacrifices/Sufferings of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael, Issac [Peace be upon them]), leading up to the Islāmic-Holiday known as Id-ul-Adha/the Celebration of Sacrifice​.

For more Information regarding al-Hajj & `Id-il-Adhā:

http://www.garethbryant.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/theoriginsofidiladha/

Annually, the Udhiyyah is done by Millions of Muslims Worldwide, to follow in the Noble-Footsteps of Abraham (Peace be upon him). It was now my turn to participate in this great Tradition. I was so excited, to actually do something such a Part of Islām, so deeply entrenched into Islāmic-History. There was 1-Challenge: I had never done this before. I had a Million plus 1 Anxieties regarding the Experience. And, to add to my Self-Awkwardness, I had gotten into a Fight with a Man who tried to rob me a Week prior to me participating in the Udhiyyah. So, it was still very much fresh on my Mind/Heart. As I got to the Farm I did the Udhiyyah at: my Nerves were shot. I did nothing for the first few Hours there but ask the same Types of Questions in various different ways. I was able to reinforce what I already knew regarding Udhiyyah & also learned a host of interesting New-Things as well.

The Things which are Generally-Essential to know before one commits themselves to do Udhiyyah/Qurbānī:

1. Pure-Intention for Allah, as Udhiyyah/Qurbānī is a Sacred Act-Of-Worship.

2. No Body-Hair or Nails can be cut/removed prior to the 10th-Day of Dhil-Hijjah (the 12th-Month of the Islāmic-Calendar: the Month of Hajj/Pilgrimage).(Muslim, Ahmad)

3. The Animals slaughtered can only be Animals which are Islāmically-Allowable to consume Dietarily…specifically for Qurbānī (Hajj-Time Slaughtering/Sacrifice: Cows, Camels, Goats, Sheep. (Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.22, 34)

4. The Animals slaughtered must be Healthy (no Signs of Ill-Treatment, Malnurishment, Abuse, Deformity, Disease, etc.).(al-Muwatta’)

5. The Animals slaughtered must be slaughtered at the following Ages, in order to qualify as Qurbānī: 6-Months to a Year for Sheep, 1-2 Years for Goats, 2-3 Years for Cows, 5-Years for Camels. This is according to the various Fatawa/Islāmic-Rulings of the 4-Major Madhāhib/Islāmic Legal-Schools: the Hanafī-School…Mālikī-School…Shāfi`ī-School…Hanbalī-School.(http://www.islamqa.info/en/41899)

6. The Animals slaughtered cannot/shouldn’t be Pregnant (this is the Position of the Shāfi`ī-School).(https://islamqa.info/en/192041)

6. The Blades/Knives used to slaughter the Animals must be as Sharp as Humanly-Possible & the Animals must be slaughtered across the Neck: forcefully & swiftly, ensuring that the least amount of Pain/Suffering is inflicted upon the Animals & the Animals must not see the Blades/Knives used for Udhiyyah, nor must they be slaughtered within the Presence of other Animals.(https://islamqa.info/en/153936)

So, the Day of the Udhiyyah: basically from Fajr/Pre-Dawn to Maghrib/Sunset we were working on the Farm…it was serious Work. There were so many Animals which we had to get slaughtered. Then it came to my Turn. Internally, I honestly started having 2nd-Thoughts. So many Things came to my Mind like: “What if I cause this Animal more Pain than necessary?!!!”…”What if I begun to use my still fresh Anger over the Fight I had & end-up oppressing this Animal with too much Force?!!!”…”What if I completely screw-up the Udhiyyah?!!!”…etc. But, then I just decided to cast my Fears into the Wind by relying upon Allah to help me through it, which He did. And, considering the Fact that I was a 1st-Timer doing Udhiyyah, even the Farm-Hands confirmed that I did a Good-Job, which was very Comforting to my Ego. In total, I slaughtered 3-Goats personally with my own Hands & assisted with the Slaughtering of about 20 other Sheep & Goats combined. Let me tell you: taking the Life of an Animal that Size is truly a Sight to see.

Normally, externally of this Event, Regular-People such as myself don’t live on Farms, aren’t as in tune with Fitrah/Nature the way we ought to be, as Humans. And, for those of us whom are confined to Concrete City-Life: the closest we get to Fitrah are Household Vermin, such as Roaches & Rats & Creatures we generally deem a Nusance, such as Squarels, Opposums, Raccoons, etc. However, to actually up close & personally slaughter an Animal which you know will eventually be on someone’s Plate for Meals, it truly forced me to reflect more introspectively concerning how precious & fragile Life itself really is. Also, it forced me to be ever more Grateful to Allah that I’m a Human & not an Animal. It compelled me, this Experience, to look at the Fragility of Life & Reality of Death this more Seriously. One instant, we’re here & the next, we’re gone: just like that.

When coming back to New York City from the Farm, I wasn’t/didn’t allow myself to shake the Psycho-Emotional relevance of what I’ve experienced via Udhiyyah/Qurbānī: being recallibrated & reconnected with/to the Natural-Environment…the smells of Grass, Hay, Livestock, the Large Rolling-Hills & Tree-Covered Mountains…the Muddy-Terrain which nearly ruined my already Dirty-Nikes…the Blood of the Slaughtered-Animals…the freshness & ordors of the Flesh of the Animals sacrificed. All of it was worthwhile, an Experience which I wish/hope that Allah always preserves within my Memory-Bank. And, yes: I plan to definitely do Udhiyyah/Qurbānī more often.

Gareth Bryant/2017

 

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Is al-Azhar University Serious?!!!

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Azhar Fail

Author’s-Note:
Egypt, in all it’s incredible idiocy, with the assistance of al-Azhar University, the Oxford/Cambrige of Islamic-Learning within the conventional Muslim-World, pertaining to it’s reputation & academic stature, has decided to grant King Abdullah, of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, an honorary-degree from the university.

Ok, so let me get this straight:

Egypt decided to get the bright idea to grant King Abdullah, of the Kingdumb of Saudi Arabia which is really Saudi America, via al-Azhar University, an honorary-degree, but, didn’t think even once about granting the People of ‪‎Gaza some honorary-humanity, by granting them asylum within the boarders of Egypt, as opposed to maintaining a boarder-wall, which keeps them landlocked, and victimized by the Israeli-Military, which is really AmerIsrael while Egypt, headed by Sisi the Muslim/Arab nation with the largest military in the Middle-East just sits-back & has Lipton Tea, with the Kermit the Frog face, like, “But, that’s none of my business”…Now, I dare that Egyptian-Woman who was ranting, “Sisi yes, Morsi no!!!”, to complain about what’s happening in Palestine/Israel.

Gareth Bryant/2014

Yasmin Mogahed: Enough said!!!

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Author’s note:
I have had the honorable privilege of meeting Yasmin Mogahed, learning from her, when she came to lecture at the Islamic-Center of New York University-To put it very plainly, she’s amazing: she has inspired, empowered & educated so many people in the Muslim-Community, in NYC, in the U.S., and really, anywhere & everywhere that Allah has allowed her to be. Yasmin Mogahed is someone whom I would want my daughters (Allah were to grant me to be the father of any daughters) to grow-up to be like. Not only is she a firm Islamic-Academic, who has a magnificent understanding of Islam, as well as a very sophisticated way of conveying the authentic, beautiful teachings of Islam, she’s a great literary-artist. She has recently agreed to be a guest writer for my writing page, which is like super-awesome…for real!!!

So, without further adieu, the very insightful, inspiring, empowering words of my sister, in Islam, Yasmin Mogahed:

I Grieve:

I lifted my head
Once more
Only to see
The sun had set,
The trees had slept,
And they’d all gone home

I grieve.

The sky that was clear
is now covered with fog.
My path, I no longer see.
Why try…when it’s all so gray?

I grieve.

Today I grieve
For what’s been lost.
My forgotten people,
still on their knees
before a snow god in spring

I grieve.

They’ve forgotten that prayer
And to whom they should call.
The Essence replaced
by mundane ritual,
empty symbols.
Their hearts… so tired,
jaded and worn

I grieve.

We are a people
defeated…but not conquered.
And somehow
I feel my blood return.
I will stand.
I will try.
And from beyond my grief,
I will see…

There are a people you can’t enslave.
A loyalty…you can’t buy.
For a land may be occupied…
but never a soul.
From beyond my tears
I’ll understand…

Today my people weep.
But tomorrow…Death will die,
as their tears give birth to a land
where…“on them shall be no fear
nor shall they grieve” (2:262).

Yasmin Mogahed/2012

For more info. about Yasmin Mogahed, please check out her website:

http://www.yasminmogahed.com