Are Muslims willing to see the essence rather than rituals?

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A few among the Muslims, just a handful of them, and you can count on them, have a problem with the article, “Do Muslims have a choice of what to sacrifice? Published in the wire – https://thewire.in/religion/muslims-eid-festival-islam-sacrifice-animals

HERE IS MY RESPONSE: ESSENCE NOT RITUALS

COVID has changed our practices, Muslims are not going to Juma prayers to the Masjid, Kaaba was closed for several months. Even burials and weddings have different rituals – but the essence remains the same.

People are looking for alternatives – the Prophet said to go to Mosque for Juma, can we go to the Mosque until the COVID is over? We have a choice. Prophet also said to stand shoulder to shoulder in the prayers – do we do that? The essence of that idea was to be together, and not allow divisiveness – the essence remains the same, but we now, stand 6′ apart.

People are questioning the Qurbani of animals, and God wants us to think. Everyone has a choice – not all Muslim practices are the same.

When the Prophet said to go to Hajj – the means of transportation then was a Camel. Today we fly in the planes – Hajj is the same, the essence of transport is the same, but the means are different. Should we insist on riding the camel? Jesus rode on the donkey to Jerusalem, does that mean everyone has to do the same?

Punishing the thief was to prevent him from stealing again – cutting hands was a practice then, but now we put him in prison. The essence is the same; prevent thievery; the mode matches current social dynamics.

You can donate the meat to the poor – that is one-time Sawab (good-deed). If you can help them how to earn and take care of their families, it becomes Sadq-e-Jariah (continual blessings). This Eid, I paid to a woman who weaves the baskets and takes care of her family and she is a Hindu woman. Neither Allah nor Muhammad were discriminative, they said, take care of your neighbor. Period. There is a greater good in it. I also chose to donate the money to a patient in a hospital who could not afford the hospital fee.

The essence of Islam is to create cohesive societies where every human feels secure about his/her faith, race, religion, region, ethnicity, or any other God-given uniqueness.

God bless us all to be peacemakers. Ameen!

Mike Ghouse

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