Next week marks the days of the muslim Eid al-Adha, the feast of sacrifice, and many will be sacrificing livestock, mainly sheep, as alms to feed the poor.

During Muhammad's times, 1500 years ago, one's wealth was measured by few yardsticks, one of which was how much livestock one owned.

Back then in the Arabian Peninsula, livestock (camels, horses, sheep, cows, etc.) were a key element of one's wealth and it made sense to measure giving to the poor in terms of how many sheep or camels one donated to feed them.

In this day and age, especially in our new COVID 19 world order, and the other diseases that are expected to afflict us with varying degrees of intensity, the less well off and the poor have different needs.

It could be paying rent for a humble abode, buying medicine or clothes, paying a utility bill to keep warm and keep the lights on, meet a loan obligation or school tuition, or other essential needs - it is not always food, and if it is food it is certainly not always meat.

We need to re-define what makes for an appropriate almsgiving during Eid al-Adha in our day and age.

Perhaps it makes sense instead of sacrificing a sheep to donate the price of that sheep into a national fund that would, in turn, give financial support to the poor and the needy as their needs may be.

Happy Eid...