Sacrifice Sublime

I sacrificed the moon last night. A pale moon tethered to the sky. I drew the curtains. But as my eyes were preparing to adjust to the dark, light penetrated through the shades. The moon was replaced.

We do not know it, yet everyday we sacrifice a bit of something. We call it adjustment, tolerance, compromise. Above all, we call it love. We give of ourselves, the sons of Ibrahim are the vulnerable emotions within us.

I celebrate love. So, Eid Mubarak...

- - -
Love came,
and became like blood in my body.
It rushed through my veins and
encircled my heart.
Everywhere I looked,
I saw one thing.
Love's name written
on my limbs,
on my left palm,
on my forehead,
on the back of my neck,
on my right big toe…
Oh, my friend,
all that you see of me
is just a shell,
and the rest belongs to love.

- Rumi

- - -

And for those who are limited to and by ritual, my thoughts on Getting your goat.


  1. I don't want to pollute this occasion of festivities, reflection and celebration for billions with my own personal views/quibbles about religion. So,

    Eid Mubarak :)

  2. I myself feel sad when I see these Muslims slaughtering innocent animals and then feel happiness over that. I disagree with this Qurbani concept. It doesn't make any sense to my lil head.

    And on top of everything I feel anger when NGOs from Pakistan start asking about giving them money to feed th poor....Well, I do not understand this concept of feeding poor by slaughtering poor animals.....

    Plus, Pakistan has majority of Muslim people and If you go by Islam, then real Islam always encourages hard work and discourages beggars.....There is no concept in Islam about donations to these NGOs for Qurbani.....

    If you can afford give your Qurbani and If you can not then you don't need to.

    Plus, why Ibrahim was sacrificing his own son? and then left him deserted in a desert along with his mother to die.....I don't know why this man did that?


  3. Well, my own view was more like this,

    We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.
    -- Richard Dawkins, transcribed from a short video titled, Russel's Teapot.wmv found on yoism.org

    but, like I said this is a joyous occasion for so many around the world and smiles on the faces of the believers doesn't cause me any discomfort.

  4. Hitesh:

    When you say ‘reflection’ it does go beyond rituals. I doubt if many people think about these things.

    There are two aspects of festivities – general celebration (like any event, but probably has some personal historical baggage) and then there is the ritualistic aspect that is blindly followed. Some of it I talk about in the post I linked.

    It is not faith that brings joy but the sense of belonging…and I do not mean the depth of belonging, but a sort of label.

    I think you or anyone else has a right to question because in any field one man’s food could be another’s death…


    I dislike the manner in which qurbani is made mandatory. It has become a business, as much as the begging that goes on for zakat.

    However, there is another side that bothers me and that is liberal Muslims talking about how it is inhuman. If you eat meat, then this makes no sense. All slaughter-houses in the developing world are in bad shape the year round. They keep quiet and wake up only to show how liberal they are. Bull. They will also not raise their voices about animal as well as human sacrifice at temples and by tantriks in the name of religion.

    So, yes, we need to question, but our questions need to take in the broad sweep.

    What Ibrahim did was meant to be symbolic; all scriptures have to be read that way, whether you believe in religion or not. That is the reason I talked about sacrifice.

    Incidentally, this story is also there in the Bible:

    Genesis 22:1-12

    Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!"

    "Here I am," he replied.

    Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."

  5. >>What Ibrahim did was meant to be symbolic; all scriptures have to be read that way, whether you believe in religion or not.<<

    Well, maybe. It's not entirely clear if Ibrahim (or Abraham) saw himself or his deeds as symbolic . . . then.

    If I may, it does seem quite clear from the text that Ibrahim's abiding concern was that he should have offspring. Likewise, it seems clear efforts toward this end were quite extensive and convoluted (as far as we know, they didn't have en vitro then; but, if they had, the suggestion is Ibrahim and Sarai would have tried it). Finally, Sarai opts for surrogacy through her handmaid, Hagar -- only Sarai apparently did not anticipate how such a union would serve to complicate her own relationship with Ibrahim (and Hagar, now mother of Ibrahim's son).

    According to the Torah, Ibrahim is then required to demonstrate to Sarai's satisfaction that Hagar had not usurped her place in Ibrahim's affections (the Qu'ran, afaik, does not treat these events with nearly as much detail). Subsequently, we're told, Sarai does achieve to conceive a child by Ibrahim; but now the concern is for Isaac's place in Ibrahim's affections versus Ishmael. Sarai succeeds to have Hagar and Ishmael banished from her household (though not far, as subsequent readings will attest).

    It is in this context then that -- again, according to the Torah -- Ibrahim finds himself commanded to offer up his second son, Isaac, for sacrifice. In a sense, one might suggest Ibrahim had been manoevered (or manoevered himself) into situations in which he'd been required to sacrifice both his sons. And, while certainly Providence is depicted as stepping in in both instances at the last minute (both on the mount and at the well at Zam Zam), mentally, it would follow, Ibrahim must have written them off, i.e. commended them into his Lord's care, if he'd planned on following through as commanded . . .

    Eid Mubarak.

  6. The Muslim must either be feared or pitied. Those are the only two options.

    F, your link isnt working, fix it.

  7. Mark:

    It is the complexities that make mythology and myth so interesting. The surrogacy too can be seen as symbolic –a letting go to retain, so to speak. Emotions getting convoluted as a consequence do complicated but isn’t all ecclesiastical thought about going beyond these? I would like to clarify that this is for argument’s sake and not to justify anything that appears in any scripture. The idea of Providence stepping in is precisely the fulcrum of faith. It could by Ibrahim submitting (or manouevering to submit) to a higher power than himself (a mirage?) or devotees, or even people in relationsips. I mentioned love in my post, did I not?

    Eid Mubarak to you, too.


    You forgot - they must first be challenged so that they can be feared or pitied. Bakra kishtoun pe :)

    Fixed the link.


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