What Does Islam Say About Animal Welfare? 8 Muslim Vegetarians Share Thoughts On Eid Al-Adha

Every 12 months round this time, there’s an intense debate about Eid Al-Adha and the related animal sacrifice. Some vegetarian and vegan Muslims nonetheless take part within the sacrifice as a way to feed others whereas declining to partake within the meat themselves. Others might undertake a “flexitarian” weight-reduction plan for the day and select to devour the meat. Still others argue towards the need for animal sacrifice with the reasoning that different sorts of non-meat meals could be donated as a substitute.

Regardless of the place one stands on the matter, there may be an intense want as an ummah to discover the idea of tayyib and “halal.” Many Muslims are involved with shopping for halal meat, however is the animal nonetheless halal if the animal wasn’t raised ethically and was raised in merciless and inhumane circumstances? Is halal solely in regards to the method through which an animal was slaughtered, or is it additionally in regards to the animal’s life as effectively?

There are quite a few examples of animal rights and their significance in Islam in each the Quran and Hadith; adopting an isolationist and reductionist view relating to permissibility does a fantastic disservice to the truth that Islam gives us a holistic and full information with which to stay our lives — together with within the issues of ethics, animal welfare, and moral consumption.

According to the late Imam B.A. Hafiz al-Masri of the Shah Jehan Mosque in Woking, United Kingdom: “If animals have been subjected to cruelties in their breeding, transport, slaughter, or in their general welfare, meat from them is considered impure and unlawful to eat (haram). The flesh of animals killed by cruel methods (Al-Muthiah) is carrion (Al-Mujathamadh). Even if these animals have been slaughtered in the strictest manner, if cruelties were inflicted on them otherwise, their flesh is still forbidden food (haram).”

We talked to eight Muslims who determine as being vegan and vegetarian to seek out out their experiences and views on Eid Al-Adha.


“Although you would normally sacrifice a goat on Eid al Adha, as a vegetarian, I tend to follow the thought process that you instead would sacrifice something of value. I also believe firmly in animal rights and the importance of treating animals in a humane manner, thus I personally have no problem with ethically treated goats being sacrificed for Eid since it is always done with halal butchers and I know that it was in the best manner possible. Another way I celebrate as a vegetarian is by having the meat given to those in need, as others do. So I’ve never felt neglected during the holiday 😊 I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 10, and converted (reverted) when I was 19.”


“I don’t eat non-vegetarian meals at all. I don’t like it; everyone in my family loves to have it as their daily preferences, I’m the odd one out here. On Eid Al-Adha I force myself to eat the tabarukh because of my family, but only for that day. I don’t mind having a bite or so. 😊”

Natasha Berlinski

“So I actually became a vegetarian when I was 8 years old (22 years ago), because I didn’t like the idea of innocent animals being killed when there are other things I can eat. I am also a revert, and converted around four years ago, so was vegetarian before I was Muslim! I don’t have an issue with the animals being slaughtered per se as I know we are remembering the important sacrifice that Ibrahim (AS) was willing to make. But I think we also have to consider what sacrifices are we making in our lives at this time other than slaughtering an animal? Are we donating enough of our money to help the poor? Are we using our time to read more Quran & pray more salat instead of watching TV or scrolling social media? I think that there other sacrifices that can be made other than just killing an excessive amount of animals.”

Farah Niazi

“I am an Indian Muslim and have been a vegetarian by choice for the most of my life. Honestly, it hasn’t been difficult to practice vegetarianism in a family where everyone is a non-vegetarian since my whole family has been understanding of my eating habits and have never tried to change them, Alhamdulillah. And when it comes to my experience with the society, i.e. the non-Muslim folks, they have always responded to the fact that I am a vegetarian with either a stereotypical phrase, such as “But you are a Muslim, and it is mandatory in your religion to eat meat,” or with a condescending expression, like “ Oh wow! You are a vegetarian despite being a Muslim and that it is oh so commendable.” And these feedback nonetheless hold coming at any time when I launched myself as a Muslim vegetarian.

Now in the case of Eid-ul-Adha, the day to commemorate the supreme sacrifice of the Prophet Ibrahim(A.S), I do participate in all of the celebrations, as I really feel at the present time is extra about one’s inflexible intention of sacrificing the worldly attachments within the title of the Allah and to feed the poor than simply to eat meat for the entire three days. And I don’t really feel at the present time contradicts with my being a vegetarian, because the command of Allah is all the time and all the time above my private selections and beliefs. And Allah is aware of greatest.”

Saba “anonymous”

“I’ve been a vegetarian since I used to be 17. Would have been before that, however my mother and father wouldn’t hear of it. I believe I will need to have been 4 after I knew that I didn’t need to kill animals for my meals. My dad took me to a butcher store and I noticed a stay goat being slaughtered. Every Eid Al-Adha after that was painful to have fun. We’d convey the goats to our home in Dubai the night time earlier than and sacrifice them within the morning. I used to be too younger to grasp that they’d be introduced for sacrifice and never as our pets. It would break my coronary heart to see them sacrificed after which damaged down in elements by the butcher.

As an grownup I turned a vegetarian and now go for vegan meals as a lot as doable. Eid Al-Adha is an advanced Eid for me as a result of I perceive the origins of why this Eid is well known, however I can’t convey myself to eat or sacrifice an animal. I’ve been pressured immensely by household, family, and society on the whole to eat meat at the least on this Eid. I’ve been advised I’ll burn in hell for not following these customs, and denying that which Allah has permitted for Muslims. It took me a very long time to cease feeling responsible about being a Muslim vegetarian, however I’ve made my peace with it. I consider Allah is merciful and my alternative shall be one thing that received’t be held towards me on the day of judgement.

I nonetheless costume up on this Eid, have fun with household, provide prayers, and provides charity. I simply don’t sacrifice an animal.”

Safiya A. Muhammad

“Spending Eid as a somebody who doesn’t eat meat is as onerous as you may assume. I have fun Eid Al-Adha as a pescatarian. Almost yearly, I normally spend my Eid in my dwelling nation, Morocco, with my household. We begin to put together for Eid every week forward. I do know I don’t eat meat, and I haven’t since I used to be about 7 years outdated, however my household does, so once we seek for a Eid sacrifice (اضحيةالعيد)we search for a wholesome one that’s large enough for the remainder of my household to eat and to present to mates and the indigent.

During the second days of Eid, we all the time give about half of the sacrifice as sadaqah (صدقة)to the poor and needy, and the remaining is for my household and mates to cook dinner, eat, and revel in. But as a substitute of meat for me, I’ll have a few of my favourite dishes comparable to fried or grilled fish or a Moroccan vegetable dish. Though I don’t eat meat, yearly I’ve an exquisite Eid with my household, giving charity, and partaking in our particular traditions. May Allah grant you all a stunning Eid with many blessings, Ameen!”


“I’ve been vegetarian for about 20 years now — I’m at the moment 40. I’ve by no means been a giant fan of meat, and I diminished it till I lower it out naturally from my meals. When I used to be youthful, Eid Al-Adha (and all different Eids) had been (and nonetheless are) the event had been we might all collect with household and shut mates and share a good time collectively celebrating what our faith is educating us; it wasn’t actually in regards to the meals, even when the remainder of my household are actually into meat).

When I began to work, I made a decision to get a Mutton and to reward it to a household who wants it and may’t afford it, so I nonetheless have fun Eid Al-Adha with my household. All form of meals is accessible that day to make everyone across the desk joyful, and I do know that one other household can be joyful having fun with their reward!”


“Salam! I’m a vegetarian Muslim woman, and I needed to share my expertise with you. I used to be a fan of meat till I watched the present What the Health? on Netflix. I used to be so shocked that I determine to nerver eat meat by no means once more. It’s been 5 years — I’m fifteen now. And my mother and father settle for the truth that I’m Muslim and a vegetarian.When my mother and father eat meat, I normally eat greens or vegan meat, or something that doesn’t comprise meat. I do really feel individuals considering it’s sophisticated to be each Muslim and vegetarian, however it’s not whenever you get used to it. So many individuals, Muslims included, assume that it’s a should to sacrifice animals throughout Eid. In fact, it’s a Sunnah; you are able to do it or not. The Prophet did it, and so we might do the identical. Though it’s talked about within the Quran that there was a sacrifice made by Abraham (PBUH), it didn’t point out it’s compulsory, and even the Hadith doesn’t state its compulsory. I do know that some individuals do require meat to outlive, whether or not that’s as a consequence of poverty, medical circumstances, or in any other case. While my preferrred world would haven’t any necessity for animal meat, it’s an unrealistic purpose that excludes many susceptible individuals with legitimate considerations. My philosophy is the discount of struggling wherever doable (that’s why I’m vegetarian), and that implies that those that can stay with out meat, ideally, ought to, and people who do want meat ought to ideally get it in means that’s as moral and sustainable as doable.

The Eid ul-Adha sacrifice is supposed to feed the hungry and people in want. Those who go hungry would not have the posh of meat, so with out meat they’d be liable to malnourishment and demise. When an animal is killed within the right Zabiha technique, the animal is killed with as little ache and struggling as doable for the aim of decreasing the struggling of others. As lengthy because the detailed guidelines of Zabiha are adopted, I’ve no points with animals being sacrificed (even when i don’t it partake from it), though I want it wasn’t mandatory. Having stated that, a Muslim could be totally vegan all through his or her life and nonetheless fulfill all obligations of being a Muslim so long as the explanation for being vegan just isn’t derived from religion, however from private alternative or for well being causes.

Now coming to the query of what does a vegetarian Muslim do on Eid ul-Adha? Well she or he can carry out sacrifice and distribute all of the meat to his/her household, neighbors, family, and the poor. It is forbidden to counsel as somebody who’s personally a vegan that consuming the meat which Allah SWT has made meals for us is haram. If somebody may be very uncomfortable personally doing the sacrifice, it’s alright to pay another person to do the precise sacrifice for you, after which donate the meat.”

What do you concentrate on the idea of moral consumption, tayyib, and our tasks as Muslims? Slide in our DMs at @muslimgirl on Twitter and Instagram and tell us.

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