After selection, the goats and sheep were driven further out into the back part of the farm. Brothers collected their animals, marched them off some ways away, out of sight of the other animals, made the sacrifice, and then some seeming professionals stepped in and did the skinning and gutting for a small fee.

I stood with the little fellow for quite a while, making soothing sounds, proclaiming the greatness and oneness of Allah, and generally trying to comfort the goat. He relaxed quite a bit, and just stood with me, followed me around, and seemed quite at ease.

After a time, I led the goat over to a clearing, some brothers helped lay it on its side and gave me some instructions, and then I said “Bismillah. Allahu Akbar!” and with a quick slice it was done.

I didn’t shoot the actual sacrifice part. 1) I had my hands full; 2) I sorta forgot; 3) insofar as it’s an act of worship, maybe it’s best that I was just present there in the act, without the mediating effects of picture-making competing for my attention.

Sharp knives are key, and make short work of the actual act. And since the goal is to minimize any fear before or suffering during the actual sacrificing, short work is a must. In fact, Allah azza wa jall may not accept the sacrifice if the animal suffers too much or is frightened, and if the animal is too tense, the meat can get a bit tough.

With that done, I carried the corpse over to a place they had set up for cleaning and gutting, and watched while a couple of friendly fellows made quick work of the skinning and gutting.

So far, we went to the farm, selected a goat, sacrificed, cleaned and gutted it, and coming up tomorrow, we’ll prepare a leg, roast it up, and… dinnertime!

iPhone 5, built in camera app, minimal processing in Lightroom 5.

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