Qurbani And Corona

2020 has been a hard year for people all over the world. Lockdowns have impacted the people financially that many people have lost their savings. Saudi Arabia cancelled the Hajj for International pilgrimages, which at first was criticized worldwide, but at the end it was a good decision. The Day of Hajj is followed by the Day of Sacrifice or Eid Ul Adha when Muslims sacrifice an animal for the sake of Allah. This year Muslims worldwide had concerns regarding Qurbani during corona and most of them abstained from doing Qurbani. We will look at what Qurbani is and what is its importance.

Prophet Ibrahim had a dream that he was slaughtering his son for the sake of Allah. He told his son about the dream, and his son said that you should do what you have been ordered. He laid down to be sacrificed, but when Prophet Ibrahim tried to slit his son’s throat, the knife wouldn’t function. Not that the knife was old or not sharpened, but Allah had neutralized the knife. Allah was pleased with Prophet Ibrahim and this was revealed in Sura Saffat, verses 102-108 : “O Abraham! You have fulfilled the dream (vision)! Verily! Thus do We reward the Muhsinun (good-doers).Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice (i.e. a ram). And We left for him (a goodly remembrance) among generations (to come) in later times.”

To honour Prophet Ibrahim, Qurbani was introduced to the Muslims. By doing Qurbani we are signifying the act of Prophet Ibrahim for the sake of Allah. Every Muslim who is financially capable of doing Qurbani is obliged to sacrifice an animal. First, we will look at the types of animals that can be sacrificed and then we will look at the current situation.

We can sacrifice camels, cows, goat, sheep, and lamb. The camel must be at least 5 years old, the cow should be at least 2 years old, the goat, sheep, and lamb should be at least 1 year old. If the selected animal is less than the minimum age specified, then the sacrifice will not be accepted. The hardest thing for us is to determine the age of the animal. There are no birth certificates of the animal, and unfortunately, the shepherds in our region are what can we say, people. Their livelihood is dependent on the animals, thus the animals age and price goes up during the peak Qurbani time and we are left at the mercy of them for our Qurbani to be accepted. Most of the time, in fact at all times, they don’t reveal the correct animal age. They are making a living and they want all their animals to be sold at high price. You need to check yourself the age of the animal, and this can be determined by inspecting their teeth.

The way to check the teeth of a goat or sheep is that the front two teeth should be present and these two teeths have to be bigger than the rest of the teeth. If the front teeths are all the same size, then the animal is still a baby and can’t be sacrificed. It is easy to differentiate between a baby cow and grown up cow and a baby camel and a grown up camel compared to goat, sheep or lamb. Determining the age of a lamb is the hardest since the lamb is usually less than a year old. There is an exception in this case. If the lamb is healthy and looks grown up, it can be selected for sacrifice, even if it is 6 months old. They key is that it should be looking beyond its age. The animal we select must be healthy and disease free. It can’t be sick, weak, unwalkable, handicap, hurt, or fall in the category of a wild animal . The ears, nose, and teeth must be in the right shape, no part of them should be missing otherwise the sacrifice won’t be accepted. If the animal is missing one or both the horns due to some tragedy then it won’t be accepted as sacrifice. The only exemption is that if the animal is born with defect having no horns, then it will be accepted as sacrifice.

Now, we analyze the current situation regarding corona. Corona spreads from person to person and so far it hasn’t been proven that an animal can spread corona to humans. According to WHO, Corona viruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that MERS-CoV spread from dromedary camels to humans. Several known corona viruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans. According to CDC America, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. Therefore, the risk of Corona being spread from cattle to humans is relatively low. On the other hand, when you go to the market to buy the animal, the market is crowded and there is no social distancing or SOPs being followed. You don’t know who has Corona and who doesn’t. Thus, it is possible to catch Corona from an infected person in the crowded market and transmit it to your family and others. In this case, it is not advisable to go to the cattle market and buy animal for sacrifice.

But, Qurbani is mandatory for every Muslim who has reached the age of puberty and one who can afford it. What can I do? Don’t worry; Islam is not a strict religion, scholars have made it strict! If you missed Qurbani this year, don’t worry, you are not the only one. Many Muslims around the world, even in Pakistan, couldn’t fulfill the duty of animal sacrifice due to the fear of corona. The first option is that you should donate the amount of the cost of sheep or goat to the poor. For example, the cost of a lamb for sacrifice for Eid 2020 in Pakistan was 30,000 rupees. You can donate this amount to the poor. Remember, when donating the same guidelines should be followed as giving Zakat. It is better to give to a poor person who is really in need of money or to a multiple number of poor families. You will get rewarded for helping the poor, but it is not a substitute Qurbani.

The second option you have is to sacrifice an extra animal next Eid. If you have missed a number of Qurbani’s in the past, for whatever reasons, calculate the number of Qurbani’s missed and sacrifice that number of animals next Eid. Remember that when sacrificing the animal, the animal and the butcher must be facing the direction of Kabah. The butcher has to be Muslim since Allah’s name needs to be recited at the time of sacrifice. One the animal is sacrificed, and the meat is ready for distribution, remember that it can only be given to Muslims.

If you are still not comfortable, then you can have the complete process handled by a foundation. Welfare foundations like Edhi Foundation, Dawat E Islami, and Muslim Hands accept Qurbani donation online and they buy the animal to sacrifice and carry out the sacrifice themselves. After the sacrifice, they distribute the meat to the poor people. They are trusted organizations and their rate is listed in their website. May Allah forgive us and have mercy on our soul. Remember, Islam is not a strict religion; it is the Muslim scholars who have made it look strict. And most important of all, Allah is the most Forgiving and Merciful, Rahman and Raheem.

Qurbani And Corona

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