Sacrifice... just a simple word. What does it actually mean? Is it a difficult thing to do? Is it actually worth doing?
Of course there are no straight answers. Sacrifice means different things to different people... and it comes in different levels. If we are to consider the historical act of Nabi Ibrahim (a.s.) offering his son Nabi Ismail for slaughter, then I have in no way reached that level of faith. Nonetheless, each and every one of us has faced tests and trials in our lifetime and no doubt, has had to sacrifice something along the way. Perhaps what makes certain levels of sacrifice a difficult thing to do is when we have to offer something of value in exchange for something that is not yet tangible or certain. In all likelihood, we may not even be able to experience or get the return we expect the sacrifice to bring. In other words, there is always the chance that we may lose. Sounds a bit like a wager, doesn't it?
But to me, it is not... because the noblest aspect of sacrifice is expecting nothing in return.
Ok then... now to what I did during the Hari Raya Korban holidays. This time around, we made a day trip to my parents in Singapore. Ar-raudah Mosque is located just across the road from my mom's flat in Bukit Batok. Every year the mosque organizes a community qurbani event where sheep are offered for slaughter. When I was younger, I helped out the organizing committee as a volunteer... basically doing simple things like herding the sheep, packing the mutton and cleaning up the place. It has been quite a while now since I last volunteered. Many of the younger generation are at hand to help out. Nowadays, I am just an observer.
Ar-raudah Mosque committee has been doing the qurbani for so many years that they have near-perfected the system of organization. From the initial registration, the import of sheep from Australia, the veterinary requirements, the temporary pen, the slaughter, the butchering, the packing of the meat, the distribution of various portions and the final clean-up and disposal. As smooth as clockwork. The following are some pics that I took of the process... except for the part where the sheep went under the knife because I couldn't get access.
Hope that your Aidiladha this year was a memorable one...
|Ar-raudah Mosque front entrance|
|Sheep for the slaughter|
|Cleaning up the crap is a dirty job, but someone has to do it|
|Crowd at the meat distribution counter|
|Volunteers distributing the portions of free meat. Note the sign above...|
|I didn't have that level of `sabar'... so I didn't `beratur'|
|Those who queued for the free mutton|
|The mid-day heat did not deter those who have patience|
|The queue stretched to the outside of the mosque compound|