Eid al-Satay Mubarak?

When I went to Jatinangor this afternoon, the smell of fresh satay lingers all street long. I can easily find smokey places, and I know what is going on there, barbeque. Two hours earlier, my mom warmly welcomed my neighbor who distributes bags of meat. She got a half kilo. Then suddenly she cleaned the meat and put them in boiled water. Voila, a big bowl of gule sapi (meat curry) for our dinner.

Wether it is satay or curry, the situation is annual. I remember when I was just a little boy, Eid al-Adha came exactly on December 31, a new year’s eve, so my neighborhood could have a BBQ party. We were happy, yes, definitely. But untill now, I still don’t know the relevance of satay to the spirit of Eid.

If we take a look the history of qurban ritual, it has no relevance with satay, or any food. In Islamic tradition, it starts when Abraham the prophet received God’s message trough his dream. God asked Abraham to sacrifice, literally kill, Abraham’s only son Ismail. Heavy heart, Abraham follow the order to perform qurban. But when his sword almost touched Ismail’s neck, God replaced Ismail with a lamb. This story tell us about Abraham’s obedience to God.

From that quranic story, muslims are asked to do qurban in the month of Dzulhijjah. While some doing a hajj pilgrimage, others who has enough money asked to buy lamb, cow or camel to be sacrificed. The meat then distributed to the poor, so they also can taste healthier and more delicious meal. This Eid simply asks us to learn how to give our most precious things, and ikhlas (giving without expecting). This also reduce poverty, promote social solidarity. In Indonesian, we called it gotong royong.

But now this annual charity has been changing the route. Sometimes we forget to give those bags of meat to fakir (the poor), and just bring them to our kitchen. Or maybe, okay, we give some bags to the poor, but we still forget about worldwide poverty we face recently.

What about hungry and dying people out there? Let alone about fake homeless people which got 10 million Rupiah per month. In fact, there are still real and actual poor people, that you can find them sleep in the front of minimarket everynight. How can you think about what you have to do with you meat, while they are not sure will get enough food for next lunch. You can imagine that they will search food in the same trash bin where you thrown expired satay a night before.

So this is exactly what Head of STT (College of Theology) Jakarta Joas Adiprasetya refer as glamourization of religion. We welcome a big religious day with too much preparation, misleading celebration. We spend more money. We forget the value within the day. So this is how secular people made religion as jokes. Because religious people are sometimes ridiculous.

I am afraid we lose the essence of this Islamic big day. Maybe we have to find different methods to celebrate this one. Anyway, happy Eid al-Satay, folks. Uh, sorry, I even forgot the real name. []


  1. I think the spirit of Ied Al-Adha is we must have a willingness to set aside our own flesh desire for the sake of Allah's will. The will of Allah means as His representative in this earth we do what He want, take the world as we need not as we want, so we have a lots of opportunity to help others, the needy. This act makes Allah pleased with us, he does not only reward us as we've done, rather He multiplies it with many fold. It depend on our sincerity. the more sincerity we are the more reward we will get.
    Allah wants us not to be selfish, but to be a person who care to His people who are in need. Never underestimate the small one, cause small job, good deed if it done well, sincerity means a lot.
    So ied Al-adha means the willingness to cut of the flesh desire for the sake of Allah's love. Sacrificing lamb, got or cow is a symbol, cause Allah says in QS:22:37 "It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is piety from you that reaches Him." So the quality of our heart is everything. it must be present in performing this sacrifice. Allah knows best.


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