It has been a recorded tradition and practice in the traditional madrasahs in West Africa that whenever a student of knowledge finishes a hizb or juz'u of the Qur'aan or a text in any of the sciences of Islaaam, he/she celebrates with his/her mates in the school by slaughtering a chicken, goat, ram, cow or even cook food and share it amongst the students of the school or people living around in shukr to ALLAH azza wa jall for HIS mercies extended to HIS slave, enabling him/her to give time to studying the deen and the beautiful texts. This I can recall as I was told by my Shaykh and a senior student friend of mine who said it was the sunnah of Ibn 'Umar who slaughtered a cow after memorizing surah al baqarah.
In the mahdharahs of Mauritania, students still practise this beautiful traditional whenever they finish studying a text to its end. I was once joking with a friend of mine the day he completed the grammar text al Aajurumiyyah when I said it to my Shaykh that he had to make him slaughter a Ram and distribute it amongst the students. The Shaykh smiled and said maybe an egg or biscuits will suffice but when he finishes standard grammar text like Turrah (only read in Mauritania studied after alfiyyah) then he has to slaughter a cow.
My friend wasn't ready to celebrate but I pushed him to a shop to buy for us food stuffs so that we can cook and celerate to the joy of the day. We went and got the food stuffs and did have a good day.
For me, I was also blessed about two months ago to finish a text of fiqh that has taken me months studying. I started this text during my first visit to Mauritania but couldn't finish because of the time limit I had to spend. When I came this time around, I continued from where I stopped till I finished. It was a great day for me having waited all this long.
I informed my Shuyukh and they jokingly said to me that I have to celebrate it. I wasn't taken by surprise because I had already been planning over how to celebrate the long waited day. It didn't take me much time to start with the arrangements as I spoke to a friend in the village to assist me in food preparation and buying of soft drinks. He hurriedly got things ready and the day started. I got a goat to the butcher and made available necessary things needed for the meal.
Sh. Mukhtaar, Muhd Lamin , Sh AbdaLLAH, Muhd Lamin (Shaykh's son-ln-law)
I informed some of the students around, three of my teachers and three people around and we gathered for the celebration. We ate, drank, discussed and relaxed. It was indeed a good day and moment spent in the gathering of my teachers and wonderful students.
Without delay, I started a new text on fiqh which insha ALLAH is the highest text in the Maaliki school. I don't know how long it will take me to finish it if I have to memorize it as I am doing at the moment. I also have the option of not memorizing it but will take me shorter time to finish. As a Shaykh said, it took them 5 years to study it. I was asked if I finish such a text what will I slaughter? I jokingly said maybe I get myself a car, marry a wife then slaughter a cow, masha ALLAH.
May ALLAH makes it easy for all students of knowledge, purifies our intentions and guides us all to the path of truth.
Was salaLLAHU 'alaihi was salaam.