What will the lambs eat on Eid?

When I adopted veganism, I kept it a secret for a long time for fear of verbal harassment and annoyingly endless questions. After the matter was revealed, I was accused of forbidding what God allowed us to eat.

Vegans in Kuwait suffer a lot of sarcasm and disdain from some members of the society. We’re often kidded about our dietary restrictions, especially around the holy holiday of Eid Al Adha, when Muslims are required to sacrifice an animal, typically a sheep or goat, and give part of the meat to the poor.

When I adopted veganism, I kept it a secret for a long time for fear of verbal harassment and annoyingly endless questions. After the matter was revealed, I was accused of forbidding what God allowed us to eat. Some commented in a slightly gentler manner, saying I have deprived myself from the pleasures of the world. Then they thank God that they are not “insane” like me.

As a Muslim vegan, I prefer to abstain from meat, milk and eggs for health and ethical reasons. But certainly, I never uttered a prohibition. In the tale of the Prophet Jacob (PBUH), which is mentioned in the Holy Quran; “All food was lawful to the Children of Israel, except what Israel made unlawful for himself before the Taurat (Torah) was revealed. Say “Bring here the Taurat (Torah) and recite it, if you are truthful”, (Verse 93 – Al-Omran). Israel is the other name of Prophet Jacob. He preferred to refrain from eating camel meat after getting ill.

I’m not trying in this article to convince any of you to convert to veganism. But, I just want to highlight the types of sparring, ridiculing on the pretext of laughter, as well questioning a vegan’s religious beliefs.

Eid Al-Adha sees the slaughtering of sacrificial animals is a religious ritual in accordance with Islamic law, which calls for the slaughterer to say “Bismillah” (in the name of Allah) before he uses a very sharp knife to slaughter. The slaughtering shouldn’t be done in sight of any other animal. Then the meat gets divided among the needy, neighbors and family members, with the owner only taking a humble amount of it. This is a festivity to mark the day Allah sent down a lamb to Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) before he sacrificed his son Ismail (PBUH), subjected to the rules of Allah.

Muslim vegans may not slaughter a sheep but we still adhere to the pillars of our faith and distribute charity to the needy. We don’t need to slaughter or eat a lamb to prove our faith.

The question is – what will vegans eat on Eid Al-Adha? Perhaps a block of tofu! Happy Eid Al-Adha to all of you!

Athoob Al-Shuaibi
local@kuwaittimes.net

This article was published on 31/08/2017