By Sadaf Ali, MMNS
New Boston-December 10: On Wednesday December 19th over 1.5 billion Muslims across the world will be celebrating Eid-ul-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice. That number also includes the 2.35 million Muslims living right here in the United States who now have the opportunity to perform the ritual sacrifice at home.
Although a majority of American Muslims send money overseas to have a goat or lamb sacrificed, a growing number of people are now turning to local ranchers to provide this service.
Kenneth Summers, owner of Summers Ranch in New Boston, Michigan says that his family has been working with the Muslim community for over 30 years. Summersâ€™ father, Kenneth Summers Sr., was first contacted by a local physician, Dr. Mushtaq Bhatti, who needed a more economical way to provide fresh meat for his large family.
Soon word spread and the Michigan Muslim community began to line up.
â€œI feel everybody has the right to believe whatever they want and do whatever they want to do,â€ he said. â€œThatâ€™s your religion then more power to you.â€
According to Summers, during the course of the three-day celebration, he will have processed approximately 100 to 150 goats, lambs and cows. The actual sacrifice and prayer is done by the individual.
Ali Asghar Ziapury, a software engineer at Ford Motor Company, says he has always performed the sacrificed in the U.S.
â€œDoing it by my own hands gives me the satisfaction that I have really celebrated our great religious holiday in its right spirits,â€ he said.
With Eid and Christmas being celebrated in the same month, Ziapury feels it is important for his children to also take an active part in the festivities.
â€œWith kids being born here, they might not have the taste of the celebration without actually witnessing what happens,â€ he said, â€œThatâ€™s why I bring my family with me.â€
Owner of the Tikka CafÃ©, in Brownstown, Abdul Rashid says a majority of the meat served at his restaurant is slaughtered by his own hands at Summerâ€™s Ranch. He has also become another resource for the Muslim community by providing them with information regarding quality sacrificial animals.
According to Rashid, it was his brother-in-law, the late Dr. Bhatti, who opened the doors for Michigan Muslims.
â€œItâ€™s important for me to be able to practice my religion,â€ said Rashid, â€œItâ€™s hard to find these types of things here.â€
Rashidâ€™s cafÃ© has been open for two years and he says the demand for quality sacrificial animals has been growing, but Summerâ€™s says it is this demand that has made finding those animals difficult.
â€œAnimals are getting harder to find mostly because Dearborn has the Muslim population and thereâ€™s such a huge demand. Animals are getting butchered off more and more,â€ said Summers.
Eidul Adha is celebrated throughout the Muslim world as a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahimâ€™s (as) willingness to sacrifice his son for God. The holiday is celebrated on the tenth day of the month of Dhul Hijja. This is the month of the Hajj, or Pilgrimage, is the time of year when Muslims from all over the world visit the Kaâ€™ba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.