Every year Muslims throughout the world slaughter millions of goats, cows, camels and sheep to commemorate the festival of sacrifice known as Eid-al-Azha. There are rich people with plenty of black money who cheerfully pay more than ten million rupees for a well-fed cow or bull. Even middle-class Muslims who are living hand to mouth think it's their religious duty to spend forty to fifty thousand rupees on a small-sized goat or lamb and sacrifice the animal.

Not long ago almost all Muslims were very poor and could not afford to spend money on meat. Giving sacrificial meat to such people made sense. But today I've yet to meet a Muslim in Karachi who doesn't consume meat almost daily. What I find astonishing is that we give them the sacrificial meat. What we should do is to give the money we spend on animals to those very poor Muslims in the villages of Pakistan whose houses have been washed away and whose crops were destroyed in last year's floods. Then of course there are those who lost everything in earthquakes.

I know that our religious scholars will never agree to this, so I won't say much except that in Pakistani cities the animals are slaughtered on the streets, leaving their entrails and unwanted stuff to rot under the sun for many days. It also costs a lot to remove it, besides of course exposing the people to contracting diseases like malaria.