Posted in Islam

Misguided Qurbani

1500+ years ago, when Islam was founded, the Ummah population was nowhere near the approaching 2 billion today. Neither were Muslims spread across the globe. Today, tens of millions of animals (on the conservative side) are slaughtered annually after Eid al-Adha.

As a result the same number of animals: camels, cows, goats, sheep are reared just for this purpose. These animals over their lifetime feed tons of grass, contribute to soil erosion and release enormous amounts of methane. A greenhouse gas attributed to climate change.

Every year the supply of these animals surpasses the demand. Despite this very many Muslims households cannot undertake Qurbani and those that can do several. Yet our “good Muslims” increase the prices of animals prior to Eid to cash-in on Muslims who can. This price increase is not justified and is outright greed. As such we are to blame ourselves for condoning this.

Is it not time for the model to change? That is from one household sacrificing several animals to several households agreeing to slaughter one animal. Where one hand holds one knife to slaughter one animal, multiple hands can hold the same knife to slaughter one animal. Instead of slaughtering camels and cows, we should transition to smaller animals thus creating a lesser environmental impact. Whether you sacrificed one animal yourself or couple of households shared an animal, the Niyyah is the same.

The Sunnah of thirds. It is recommended (not obligatory) that the sacrifice meat is divided into thirds. One for yourselves, one for relatives and the remaining for the poor. We distribute a third to our neighbours and relatives and they distribute their Qurbani to us. A zero sum game, whatever third distributed out is received back. The very people who can afford to perform Qurbani and eat meat regularly in a year are exchanging among themselves. Would it not be better to distribute the enter sacrificed meat to the poor? Keeping a very small portion (100g) for yourselves if you wish, as it is also Sunnah to eat what you sacrificed.

Am not supportive of Qurbani in its current state. It’s exploitative, gluttonous, unethical and destructive!

On this note #EidMubarak 🙂