Compassion, The Islamic Way
Another Reason for Homeschooling

A Bloody Faith

I woke up in the morning. In the usual groggy mode I walked to the bathroom, turned on the light and picked up my toothbrush.

I sensed that something was amiss. I was not alone. I turned to my left--never have I gone from a state of being half-awake to full alertness more quickly.

A goat was standing there, staring at me. I politely yielded and tiptoed out of the bathroom. I went to my dad and uttered a statement that I hope to never say again.

"There's a goat in the bathroom!"

"Yes, I know," was his reply.


"We're going to slaughter it today," said my dad.

I was most disturbed by his use of "we".

My dad had invited the family of his friend for Eid. They were both going to offer the sacrifice together. Four people were needed for help. We had:

  1. My father.
  2. My father's friend.
  3. The son of the friend who was two years older than me.

So, I was the lucky fourth.

We all entered the bathroom. The bathtub was at the end, the sink was at my right and the door was behind me. Within this cramped space was the goat.

We were all on the floor. My dad and his friend were in charge of the front half of the goat. I was holding the right hind leg, and the other kid was holding the left one--he was sitting to my right.

"Don't let go!" said my lovely dad.

I could only nod.

The moment had arrived. After a few seconds of mumbling, my dad started to slice the throat of the goat. Blood gushed out and the goat thrashed. The kid who was holding the other hind leg immediately let go in horror. He turned around and buried his head in his hands.

"Hold it down!" my dad yelled.

So, I was holding both its hind legs as a fountain of dark red liquid poured out of its neck. Its tongue was sticking out and it made a sickening sound as life slowly left its body.

"Good for nothing," said my dad as he looked at me.

I didn't reply. The other kid was still shivering.

I got up and surveyed the mini-slaughter house. The left side of the bathroom had a pool of blood and a decapitated goat lay in the middle.

My job was done and so I left.

By the way, at the time, I was no more than ten years old.


The Raccoon

Damn, man, this is horrible! Why in the bathroom?

Isaac Schrödinger

"Why in the bathroom?"

So that the blood could be contained and later washed away. It was either the bathroom or the balcony... blood-tinged water flowing down the building, and onto other balconies, would have been worse.

Wonder Woman

Wow and I thought I needed therapy ;)


Aw, shit Isaac, my family had me do pretty much the same thing with a pig when I was 9, so it has little to do with the Muslim faith. I was officially Christian, though in practice we were all atheists. It's not so bad. Granted, I'll wait longer (15-16 might be a good age) before introducing my future son to the experience, but I fully intend to take him hunting, and show him how to kill, skin, and clean an animal.

Isaac Schrödinger

"[...] it has little to do with the Muslim faith."

The whole slaughtering event is definitely a part of Islam. Of course, if some non-Muslims do the same thing, then that doesn't negate the point of the post.

I do think that people should be aware of what happens to animals that turn up as meat in the market. Though, if they're queasy about the whole thing or if they don't want to engage in the process, then it's understandable.

The fact that Islamic nations are too comfortable with the whole thing is not comforting. Westerners would be horrified if kids were shown far less violent stuff than real-time decapitations: doing it for Allah.

Josh Scholar

Hands on killing in the bathroom, with children. I feel sick after reading that.

I can't help it, my first thought was, this is great practice for honor killings - today a goat, tomorrow your daughter, sister or mother.

The Raccoon

Uhm. This is done in the city?

Doesn't it... dunno, bother people? And the smell would stay on forever, I presume.

Isaac Schrödinger

The Raccoon: "This is done in the city?"

Oh yes! We lived just a few seconds away from my school. There were many grocery stores, restaurants, and numerous buildings around where we lived.

We lived in an apartment on the third floor (counting the ground as the first).

To cut to it: We lived in Khobar--the city where the Khobar Towers were bombed in 1996.

"And the smell would stay on forever..."

Well, the blood and all the mess were cleaned up within a few hours, so I don't remember the smell. Though, for some days, I dreaded entering the bathroom.

The Raccoon

This is just extremely weird. The city would need dozens of thousands of goat in the same day. What do they do with the remains? Guts, skin, head, etc? That's like hundreds of tons of additional organic garbage that stinks like nothing else.

This is totally surreal.

Isaac Schrödinger

"The city would need dozens of thousands of goat in the same day."

Most people buy the animal a few days/weeks before the event. (Isn't it good that the kids get attached to the animal before their fathers butcher them before their eyes?)

So, either my dad paid a lot and got the goat that morning or paid the animal seller to reserve one or my dad's friend brought the goat.

"What do they do with the remains?"

Throw it out in the garbage. What's done afterwards, I do not know.

"This is totally surreal."

Welcome to Islam!


"The fact that Islamic nations are too comfortable with the whole thing is not comforting."

Like I said, it has little to do with the Muslim faith. The reason "muslim nations" are comfortable with it is because all muslim nations are third-world nations. People in third world nations in general are very comfortable with butchering animals, as are people who grew up in rural areas of poorer nations. My experience was in the former Yugoslavia. I have Polish and Czechoslovakian friends who did similar things. And I've met people from Africa (Rwanda and Somalia specifically) who've spoken of similar experiences. In most of the world people would read your story and shrug their shoulders, thinking "so what?". It's only in the modern world that people find it to be unusual.

Don't get me wrong, I understand your concern. People who are comfortable with butchering animals will find it a lot easier to do the same thing to people. However, this is not something that's unique to Islam, and it's wrong of you to give people that impression.


Ritual sacrifice of an animal is totally primitive.

What's the most disturbing is that the ritual glorifies the acts of an abusive father who decided to slit his son's throat because of something he saw in a dream.

If any father did that to his son now, we'd call him psychotic.

Isaac Schrödinger

J: "If any father did that to his son now, we'd call him psychotic."

True. One of the most terrifying paintings I have ever seen is this one.

The first time I saw that, the helplessness, the innocence and the name of the child made me recoil in horror.

Classical Liberal

A number of times my mother has told me that when she was a child when they were going to have fried chicken in the evening, in the morning her mother (my maternal grandmother, whom I never met) would chase down one of the chickens in the back yard and wring its neck. This was done by grabbing its neck and spinning the body around until it snapped. My mother never could do that herself, and could barely make herself pluck the feathers of the dead bird. Of course, this was done to put meat on the table, not for any ritualistic reasons.

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