Friday, 21 December 2007
Sacrifice for Id goes online
December 21, 2007
Focus | Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Id-ul-Zuha or the feast of sacrifice is known for its qurbani or sacrificial sheep. Traditionally Muslims go shopping for sheep on the eve of Bakrid, as the Id-ul-Zuha is popularly known in Indian sub-continent, select the animal personally and take it home for sacrifice.
But with little time available on hand, many Muslims are preferring qurbani online. Just click one of the several websites on qurbani, fill up the form, pay the cost of the sheep through credit card and lo! the animal is sacrificed on your behalf.
The meat is distributed among the poor and the deserving within India and outside. The skin is donated to a charitable organisation on behalf of the person booking the sheep.
Islamic religious institutions including the Jamia-al-Azhar (Al- Azhar University of Cairo, Egypt) have permitted online qurbani saying that it is a lawful practice.
"The online sacrifice is quite convenient. It saves at least half a day. With pictures put on the internet, it becomes quite easier to select the animal. The payment is through credit card. It is hassle free and is more convenient for those living single. Many non-resident Hyderabadi Muslims are opting for online sacrifice," says senior leader Syed Fazil Hussain Parvez.
The cost of sheep varies between Rs 4,000 and Rs 5,000 from place to place. In Chennai online qurbani organisers charge Rs 5000 per sheep while in Hyderabad it is Rs 4,000. Those living abroad pay $130 for the sacrificial animal.
According to an estimate, about a million Muslims in the sub-continent have opted for online sacrifice. One of the websites, OnlineQurbani.com, based in Chennai, is managed by young Muslim professionals from various parts of the world.
The Hyderabad Zakat and Charitable Organisation also accepts online qurbani from non-resident Hyderabadis. Payment can be made through credit card or through drafts drawn on ICICI Bank, Citi Bank and HDFC Bank.
Those who book online sacrifice may also collect the meat of the sacrificed animal from the trust office concerned or issue instructions for distribution among the poor.
The US-based group Islamicity and Life for Relief and Development also offers online sacrificial services. There’s also www.qurbanionline.com which offers sacrificial animals by weight. Other online agencies charge a fixed price per sheep.
Islamic scholar Moulana Abdul Kareem says online booking for sacrifice is halal. Even payment through credit card is permitted. "One has to clear the credit card dues before the due date to avoid interest. Payment or collection of interest is haram (prohibited) in Islam. So the best way to purchase through credit card is to clear the dues within the due date without opting for the credit roll over facility which involves interest payment," he says.
Moulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani is of the view that one should not select the animal by going through its weight. "Importance should not be given to the weight of the animal. It is not permitted in Islam," he says.
The thousands of tonnes of meat generated from the sacrificial animals is processed and packed hygienically for distribution among the poor all over the world. Some of the organisations dehydrate the meat and dry it for long- time preservation. Many African countries benefit from the sacrificial meat.
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