Ethical Animal Slaughter for Eid al-Adha: Guidelines

  • Publish date: Thursday، 22 June 2023 Last update: Sunday، 16 June 2024
Ethical Animal Slaughter for Eid al-Adha: Guidelines

Eid al Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, holds huge significance as a major Islamic festival celebrated worldwide. It is marked by Eid prayers, feasting, and Qurbani. Qurbani, also called ‘Udhiya’ by Arabic speakers, is the practice of sacrificing an animal for Allah.

It symbolizes an act of selflessness and gratitude, however during the Eid al Adha feast, it is highly important to take into consideration the ethical practices regarding animal welfare, to ensure the well-being of sacrificial animals.

What are the Ethical Practices and Measures during Qurbani?

Ethical Animal Slaughter for Eid al-Adha: Guidelines

  • You should start by saying “Bismillah” before the slaughter
  • Make sure that the knife is very sharp
  • Be careful to not show the animal the knife
  • Animals for sacrifice must meet minimum age and health requirements
  • Animals must be seated in a comfortable position facing the Qiblah
  • Make sure that the butcher cuts fast and deep into the main arteries so the animal doesn’t feel pain
  • The animal caretaker's responsibility is to ensure that the animals are well-fed and properly hydrated until the time of their slaughter
  • The animals must be in good health; in case an animal is sick, it must make a full recovery before being slaughtered
  • Animals should be transported comfortably without being tied up or overcrowded, allowing them to rest and eat before slaughter
  • Animals should spend a minimum of 24 hours at the slaughter site before the actual slaughter to avoid physical or psychological distress
  • The animals should not see other animals being slaughtered
  • After the slaughter, the animal should be left to bleed out before the skin is removed and the head is cut off so that it does not feel the pain

More Tips Related to Qurbani's Practices

Ethical Animal Slaughter for Eid al-Adha: Guidelines

  • Qurbani must be given on the 10th, 11th, or 12th days of Dhul Hijjah Sacrifices can only be made after the Eid prayer (sacrifices made before do not count as Qurbani)
  • Qurbani should be performed by Muslims who are capable, particularly those who have reached the age of puberty and possess the Nisab value
  • Qurbani sacrifices must be given in three shares - one for you, one for family or friends and one for people experiencing poverty and those in need
  • Conducting ritual sacrifices in public areas can cause distress and discomfort to people who witness it
  • Hanging and parading animals before slaughter is unnecessary and can result in meat absorbing pollution

Background Information: What is Qurbani?

Ethical Animal Slaughter for Eid al-Adha: Guidelines

Qurbani is an annual tradition observed by Muslims worldwide, involving the sacrificial offering of an animal as an act of devotion and obedience to Allah (SWT).  Every year during the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah, Muslims around the world slaughter an animal – a goat, sheep, cow or camel – to reflect the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail, for the sake of God.

What does “Qurbani” Means?

Ethical Animal Slaughter for Eid al-Adha: Guidelines

The term "Qurbani," derived from the Arabic word "qurb," signifies drawing nearer to Allah. Muslims engage in Qurbani to express their gratitude, seek spiritual closeness to Allah, and also contribute to the well-being of impoverished communities by distributing the meat from the sacrifice. At least one-third of the meat from the animal must go to poor or vulnerable people. Traditionally, a Muslim would keep one-third of the meat for their family and give the final third to their neighbors.

How Many Animals Do You Have to Sacrifice?

Ethical Animal Slaughter for Eid al-Adha: Guidelines

To fulfill your Qurbani obligation, you can either sacrifice a small animal like a goat or take a share in a larger animal such as a cow. Both options are equally rewarding. By choosing any of Qurbani's options, you will have fulfilled your obligation. You may also choose to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet by performing an additional sacrifice on behalf of the Ummah.

What to do If You Missed Qurbani?

Ethical Animal Slaughter for Eid al-Adha: Guidelines

If you have missed performing Qurbani in a previous year, you can make up for it by sacrificing an additional animal in the current year. Calculate the number of years you have missed and sacrifice the corresponding number of animals. Muslim Hands can help each other in fulfilling this obligation.

This article was previously published on UAE Moments.To see the original article, click here

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