On the day of Aidil Adha 2004, when Abang was 7 years old, it dawned upon him that someday, he has to take over from Abah as Abah has taken over from Tok Ayah Wahab. As the Tukang Sembeleh Lembu Korban that is!!
Since small, he had seen Abah helped slaughtering one or two cows while Tok Ayah did the rest. The backyard of Tok Ayah has always been the preferred site for the occasion by the villagers as a small stream flows through it making the washing up of those bloods and cow shit easier.
In 2004, however, Tok Ayah decided to throw in the towel and handed down his special knife to Abah, saying he couldn't do it anymore.So, Abah ,single handedly, slaughtered all the 7 cows ......
Abang saw it and later came to us and thoughtfully said, "Abang nak kena belajar potong lembu ni, Bila Abah dah tua nanti, for sure Abang yang kena ganti kan?"
Both Abah and me were left speechless for a moment!!
From then on, every year, without miss(except for last year when Abah went for hajj, servicing in medical team) Abang would help Abah preparing for the Day. They would bring out the knives, sharpen them, prepare the ropes and few other things related to it. Abah would read again from the book of Fiqh on the rules and regulations of doing qurban . Paying close attention to the sunnah ways of doing it. We also got to hear again to story behind it all and the significance of this sacred rite.
More importantly, we would also be reminded of the importance of sacrificing parts of our property, time and even our own self for the sake of Allah. We learn how if we give wholeheartedly to Allah, He will reward us much better than what we expect, both in this world and in the hereafter. We will read the stories of the august companions of Rasulullah SAW , how they sacrificed their whole life for deen due to which, we are muslims today.
(Abah somehow is less "celebrated" than Tok Ayah. Everything would be prepared for Tok Ayah. The cows already tied, there would be enough people to hold it down, the coconut leaves laid down etc. Tok Ayah just step up, sembeleh, went home. People then give some choicest cut of the meat to him prior to distributing the cow to 7 parts. He just walk away, didn't even have to carry the given meat, people will send it to his house!! Abah , on the other hand, do almost everything himself, before and after slaughtering, and seems to enjoy it....... and Abah's duty sometime covered 3 kampungs, Sabak, Bkt Merbau and Chica itself.)
Two years ago, Abah slaughtered 5 cows in our backyard garden and we had to suffer the smell that lingered on for quite some times. The men dug a big hole to bury all the smelly things but somehow some were left scattered around Abah's salaks ,dokongs, rambutans and banana trees....Okay, yes, they gave nutrition to the trees, but , we'd rather buy the organic fertilizers in big sacks from the jabatan pertanian, thank you.
This year, Abah was again supposed to go for hajj, heading a research team , (a joint program his university is having with the Makkah's Ummul Qurra University) , but somehow, at the very last minute, the plan fell through.
Everybody else, including Mama, had pledged a part of cow to be sacrificed, leaving Abah alone. So, Abah hastily found a cow, ( thanks to Pak Noh, the friendliest local butcher ever) and rounded up 5 friends and relatives to join in. He even arranged for Mama's part at Mak Tok's kampung to be taken up by someone else enabling Mama to join in this lembu.
So, the 7 of us will share the cow and Abah InsyaAllah will slaughter it and you Abang, will have to be on your toes and look closely as an apprentice, hehehe ( how to recite takbir, the cut must be proximal to the larynx, the two arteries severed; just writing about this pun dah make me shiver eeei.....)This one cow wont bring much bad smell I hope and this time I'll make sure the men scrape everything off the ground...
I just want you to know Abang.....
Abah and me are proud that you have that way of thinking, but you really do no have to worry about that. I guess Abah was chosen by Allah not by Tok Ayah. He has three sons, Ayah Mat who had military background, Abah and Ayah Chik Razif, a maulana. Both Ayah Mat and Ayah Chik would be more appropriate choice if it were up to Tok Ayah. Tok Ayah himself is a gentle soul, very well-mannered gentleman and have this serene look about him. Hardly the type you would expect to wrestle with a cow, but Allah chose him. Not everybody can do it, even Pak Noh himself, who slaughters cows on daily basis said he cannot /would not do it. I dont know his reason, you can ask him when you see him at the mosque.....
So Abang, dont worry, if Allah choose you, no one will be able to say," YOU ARE FIRED!!! "( a la the trump guy) to you...hehehe.