Eid ul Azha, New Humans and Mr. Prime Minister

This morning I woke up to a beautiful surprise.

A question had been bothering me for a very long time yet I couldn’t think of where to go with it. Those of you who know me, are aware that I’m a fairly self sufficient person. I’ll make my own mistakes and learn from them but don’t usually delve into seeking advice. Except that of my husband. He is literally the only person in the world who I ask for advice. Okay maybe Pasha for everything gardening and Kachelo for mangoes. Anum for baby development. Jehan Ara for business.

Yeah but literally can count on my fingertips. It’s really never anyone except Faisal for personal/ emotional/ opinion based decisions.

Posting in a Facebook group was farthest from my mind since I hardly post any questions anywhere. I find most of them judgemental, vile, overbearing and an extension of everything disgusting I usually evade in person about our society. Why would I bring it upon myself in the virtual world?

That’s when I decided to post in a closed non desi group of people I frequent mostly to read and support.

My question was very specifically Eid e Qurban (Sacrificial Eid) related and how to approach it with my child as she grows. Mind you this was a predominantly non Muslim group but I wanted an unbiased opinion so it kinda fit the bill. Here’s what I wrote.

“*Warning: This post contains religious discussion. Please be kind and comment on the subject matter if you have something to add*

I could’ve posted on a local more predominantly religious people including group but that would only have gotten me religious viewpoints and not gentle parenting related ones.

As Muslims we have an Eid (festival) where we slaughter a sheep, goat or a cow in the way of God symbolic of sacrificing our most loved in the way of God.

As a child we are all exposed to the sacrificial animal brought into the house and we got to play around in the weeks up to the Actual day of sacrifice. Usually children aren’t made to see it but some gung-ho and stronger religious factions actually make children see the act of sacrifice and call it an essential part of the belief. I certainly don’t and remember always running away to the other part of the house whenever they would start preparing for the sacrifice.

I am now extremely confused what to do. She gets really excited about having an animal in the house and I would love for her to experience that. But eventually the animal being sacrificed for eating is a bit too raw and harsh on a child. It is bound to have an impact on the child.

Do you think it proverbially toughens the child up and is a necessary experience a child should be exposed to

OR

I need to keep her away from this ritual. It’s not essential anyway. Only a recommended optional practice.

Help!”

Can you smell the fear in my tone? The fear to be judged as well as the desperation to seek an answer?

This morning I woke up just in time to see the post being approved and posted in the group. That’s when something beautiful happened.

People flocked to it from far and beyond. Instead of it being lost in the load, it kept singing and ringing with responses and sprouting spirited conversation. Some inquisitive about our belief, how the slaughter / sacrifice worked, the spiritual aspect, some about sharing their own experiences growing up or raising their children on a farm. Some sharing pets passing away stories, children’s pictures with animals.

That doesn’t mean the topic wasn’t disturbing to many. The post attracted Vegans, Vegetarians, EMPATHS like myself whose herts would bleed at the thought but they all had ONE thing in common.

Compassion and love.

They ALL including the vegans supported and gave excellent advice regarding all that can be done. Ranging from expose her to the experience with the animal for a few days and send it away to be slaughtered explaining her only in theory

Or getting a pet before exposing her to slaughtering another type of animal

Exposing it to her bit by bit. Take her lead and see how far she wants to see it.

The plethora of love and suggestions that poured in had my heart brimming with emotion at the incredible acceptance where people who’d say “I would have tried to save it! Glad I grew up catholic!! Now how do we go save all these lambs 🤔”

Yet follow up with the most incredible advice keeping in mind my question irrespective of their own personal convictions and beliefs.

Not a single snide or rude remark. Not ONE. I had to request the moderator to close comments on my post so other posts could be attended to.

In light of Imran Khan’s first speech yesterday as Prime Minister, it got me thinking.

What are we doing to improve ourselves as a better more refined and reformed nation? I’ve had to curse and block people to stop them from spreading venom all over my social media only because I differed from their political opinion.

I’ve had to shut women up on Mom forums for being judgmental, ridiculous and bullying other women, I’ve had to delete people who I thought were friends for growing into clique loving sheep following a bunch of snooty women around.

That’s a regular day in a Pakistani Mom’s Life. Always on the defensive because someone will slip in that snide remark or that rude disconnected bitchy rant.

So my friends, if you bring 5 Imran Khans, 6 Asad Umers and 10 Arif Alvis you still won’t be able to budge forward an inch to fix this nation until we become compassionate and just plain nicer individuals ourselves.

I have lately also been judging myself quite harshly at lashing back, deleting blocking ridiculous people and plenty of social media wars because these elections I actually picked up looking at politics after over a decade. I was slowly thinking there’s something extremely messed up with me why am I fighting everyone (to the extent that mid conversation I said to Faisal just yesterday Faisal you’re literally the only person I like!)

All of that self doubt? Yeah that came to an abrupt end this morning. I realised my claws come out (more so after Sassi’s birth) only when anyone else is being a proverbial ass. Otherwise, I am still the same old loving me deep down inside. Yeah you gotta dig down deep for the good stuff but work it if you want it.

As for the rest, I’d say learn to accept that not everyone will follow or agree with your political opinion and stop forcing it down people’s throat. Maybe talk about what you love about your leader on your own accord but stop shoving him in my face and calling me close to an infidel for not following him around like a lamb? Get a grip people. If you can’t handle contrasting views, what kind of improvement are you expecting in the nation?

We will still be the aggressive, unbearable lot, struggling to get by and socially inept at large.

All these Catholics, vegans and animal lovers who helped me decide whether I should expose my child to Eid of Sacrifice and the experience were not moderates by Trump, Teresa May or Malcolm Turnbull. These were people like you and I. Just able to empathise and willing to help.

I’m still getting inbox messages of support and advice after the post was closed for comments hours ago.

I’ve finally decided to expose her bit by bit. Maybe let her play with the animal and keep her from the sacrifice bit until she really wants to see, if at all and eventually share with her why we usually don’t do qurbaani. (We usually just give equivalent sums of money in charity and that’s something our family is comfortable with). It will then be her decision to continue with it or join us in what we do.

I’m definitely not keeping her from a part of spirituality, faith, religion or culture only because I believe differently as a result of my journey through the years.

And a bunch of vegans and animal lovers helped me decide this.

Hells Yeah and Eid Mubaarak far & Wide!

Here’s an image one of the ladies shared in my post who had lived in Palestine for 6 months and was aware of the ritual. Thanks Jessica!

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