Brisk Sale of Chota (Small) & Bada (Big) ‘BAKRIS/BAKRAS’ (GOATS-FemaleMale) during Eid-ul-Adha as part of ‘QURBANI’!(SACRIFICE)
Mangaluru: The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said “A person is not a believer who fills his stomach while his neighbour goes hungry.” (Bukhari) What is Qurbani? Qurbani, or Udhiyah in Arabic, means sacrifice. Every year Muslims around the world slaughter an animal – a goat, a sheep, a cow, etc – to reflect Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail for the sake of God. At least one-third of the meat from the animal must go to people who are poor or in vulnerable situations. Qurbani is mandatory for every Muslim who has reached the age of puberty, and who can afford it.
How is a Qurbani volume decided? Is it a cow or a sheep? 1 sheep or goat = 1 Qurbani; 1 cow = 7 Qurbanis (1 Qurbani – 1/7th of the share). The slaughter will take place on one of the days of Eid. Saleem, the butcher at the Goat Mandi (market place), located inside the Mangaluru City Corporation slaughter House in Kudroli said, “If you give a Qurbani on the second or third day of Eid, the Qurbani will still be carried out on one of the days of Eid, as Islamic Relief has already purchased the animals to be slaughtered beforehand. Qurbanis are carried out on the basis of forecasts drawn. If necessary, modifications are made, and additional funds are transferred to the relevant country. In effect donors are paying towards Qurbanis which are already allocated”.
He further said, “The time for offering the sacrifice begins after the Eid prayer on Eid-al-Adha and ends when the sun sets on the thirteenth of Dhu’l-Hijjah. So there are four days of sacrifice: the day of Eid-al-Adha and the three days after it. It is better to hasten to offer the sacrifice after the Eid prayer, as the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to do, then the first thing he would eat on the day of Eid would be meat from his sacrifice. We make sure that the most vulnerable families are prioritised for Qurbani distribution, that families receive the best possible quality meat through our rigorous animal selection criteria, and that animals are transported and slaughtered humanely. The Jamnapari, Dumba and Ajmeri breeds of goats are up for sale, and like previous years, this year too they are in demand. By managing the whole transportation and logistics network and complying with Sharia, strict hygiene standards cover the handling, packing and distribution of all meat. Qurbani is a cherished treat that provides a family with food for a few days and offers them an important boost in nutrition but by itself, its impact is short-term”.
Siraj Iqbal, a meat contractor at the Mandi, narrated a few stories of goats during Eid Qurbani. He said “Few years ago, ‘Salman Khan’ and ‘Shah Rukh Khan’ were on sale in the goat markets here in Uttar Pradesh where sellers have named goats after the Bollywood stars, hoping to woo customers ahead of Eid. The simmering rivalry between the two Khans has found its echo in the markets of the state capital where many sacrificial goats named after celebrities can be found. And so, in the market, there was an oversized goat named ‘Salman’, while a dark-coloured goat named ‘SRK’ too is on display. The prices of celebrity goats hover between Rs.15,000 and Rs.1 lakh as prospective buyers ponder over their Eid buy. They have other celebrities to choose from as goats named after Bollywood and sports icons are also on the offer. These goats are treated with great care and affection. To keep the goats bulky but good-looking, they feed them a special diet of “chana, matar, vegetable leaves, almonds and honey”.
“While the celebrity sacrificial goats are in high demand, there is a category of goats with heavenly, spiritual and religious marks on them which are graded higher. A goat from Sadatganj in old Lucknow having a star and moon occurring naturally on its body and priced at Rs.2 lakh was sold in Bengaluru last year, and another having ‘Allah’ inscribed on its coat and priced at a staggering Rs.5 lakh was also sold. Here in Mangaluru, we have a price range for goats between Rs 15, 000 to Rs 50,000. If someone orders for a specific breed of goat, the price could go up to Rs 1 lakh and above”, added Iqbal.
On the other hand, while many Muslims follow the tradition of Sacrifice/Qurbani, there are also Muslims who say that as per Islam subjecting animals to cruelty is ‘haram.’ If animals are subjected to cruelty while breeding, transporting, slaughter, or in their general welfare, meat from them is considered impure and unlawful to eat (Haram). These activists say that the flesh of animals killed by cruel methods (Al-Muthiah) was equivalent to carrion (Al-Mujaththamah). Even if these animals had been slaughtered in the strictest Islamic manner, their flesh was still forbidden (haram) if they were subjected to cruelty while or before slaughtering.
Sources reveal that many Muslims have given up meat after they witnessed animals being subjected to cruelty. Some Muslims also say that sacrificing goats is not necessary. They could rather sacrifice one meal for the poor instead, and one can sacrifice their bad habits instead of animals on Eid. That way, a lot can be done for society as well as the environment. So during this ‘festival of sacrifice’, a male goat is sacrificed on this day and cooked into lavish delicacies that are divided into equal thirds and enjoyed by the family, donated to the poor and given to relatives. The noble idea behind the festival is that no one should be left without food on Eid-Ul-Adha. And among the specials prepared out of Bakri/Bakra, to name a few are- Bhuna Kaleji, Chapti Kebab, Mutton Kurma, Biriyani, etc- and I was lucky to enjoy the delicious Mutton Dum Biriyani delivered to my home by two Muslim families, for lunch and dinner. Yummy-Bon Appetit!