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A traditional goat slaughter: Sounds and images of Eid

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Ryan Schuessler, Columbia Faith & Values
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KBIA
Hassan Yusuf and some of his family chat with farmers near Tebbetts, Mo., as a goat is loaded into the tractor. They were using the goat for a religious tradition.

Viewer and listener discretion: Some of the images below contain blood and show the slaughtering of a goat. The audio includes moments of this, as well, though we've made sure it's not gratuitous.

In Islamic tradition, the prophet Abraham had a dream that he was supposed to sacrifice his son Ishmael for God. As the story goes, he was troubled and confused by the dream, though because it was a divine message, he decided to follow through with it. He told Ishmael about the dream, who replied that if it was God’s will, then he would accept it. Just before Abraham was going to sacrifice his son, God stopped him and sent a ram to sacrifice instead, grateful that Abraham and Ishmael had such strong faith.

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Credit Ryan Schuessler, Columbia Faith & Values / KBIA
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KBIA
Per tradition, the animal is not killed until it is calm and relaxed. Its eye is covered so it does not see the blade.

  Muslims believe that this happened on the day that has come to be known as Eid al-Adha, which always falls after the last day of the hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. Traditionally, Muslim families would buy at least one ram, humanely slaughter it, and share a third of the meat with their family, another third with friends, and the last third goes to those in need. Wealthy families often buy a ram for those that cannot afford one.

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Credit Ryan Schuessler, Columbia Faith & Values / KBIA
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KBIA
The family works together to collect the meat. Per tradition, one third is kept for family, one third is given to friends and one third is for the needy.

  For Muslims in Columbia, upholding this tradition isn’t always so easy, as there aren’t many goats to be found within the city. City codes also would make this ritual more difficult to observe. Every year, some members of the community go out to various farms in mid-Missouri to buy goats and carry out this tradition. Columbia native Hassan Yusuf, his brother, uncle, cousin, and a family friend, go to Larry Ferguson’s farm outside the town Tebbetts to carry out this ritual. 

Listen to our audio postcard to learn and hear more. You can see more photos at ColumbiaFAVS.com.