UK: Is your Qurbani really acceptable?

“With over 2.5m Qurbani being performed every year by the Muslim community here in the UK, the UK lamb carcassunable assure the Muslim community of genuine Qurbani, with over 90% being sent overseas. This is denying the British farming community the revenue from Qurbani,” said Naved Syed. “Also another problem is that the Qurbani that are performed here in UK are not genuine as about 50% of the Qurbani that are performed here are not Shariah compliant.”

“Qurbani is celebrated each year by the thousands of Muslims in the UK and with each Qurbani performed on behalf of a Muslim, they will receive a reward from God”, explained Syed. It is also a time of year when the Muslim community raises money for charities.  “The Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) was asked: ‘What is Qurbani?’ He answered: ‘It is the Sunnah (way of life) of your father, Ibrahim (Abraham). For every hair of the Qurbani you receive a reward from Allah (SWT)’.”

“Performing Qurbani is an act of worship and obligated on every Muslim who can afford to do so once a year to remember the beloved prophet Ibrahim (AS).”

For genuine Qurbani, which are performed at Halal slaughterhouses in the UK, it should only be done on the day of Eid-ul-Adha  and not before Eid-ul-Adha  prayer has been performed. The main criteria is that the Muslim slaughterman must read his Namaz (prayer) before he can start the sacrifice/Zibah for Qurbanis, and anything done before Monday 12 September is not considered genuine Qurbani – this is what we call fake/scam Qurbani.

The time for Qurbani starts from sunrise after the performance of the Eid-ul Adha prayer which falls on the 10th of Zhulhijjah until the sun sets on the 12th of Zhulhijjah. This year it will start on Monday 12 September which is on the day of Eid-ul-Adha immediately after the completion of the Eid-ul-Adha prayers and not before, and finish on the 14 September at sunset.

It was reported that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: The first thing that we do on the day of Eid is to perform the prayers. Then we go home and carry out our Qurbani. Thus whoever does those acts has conformed to our sunnah. And for those who slaughtered before it, then the meat is for the family members and not as an act of Qurbani. (Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 2, Book 15, Number 82)

How to spot a fake/scam qurbani is simple, all you have to do is demand a carcass label for the animal you have purchased from your butcher/wholesaler. Every animal has to have one before it can leave the slaughterhouse as it is a legal requirement for it to be attached to the carcass. What will the carcass tag tell us is:

1) which abattoir performed the Qurbani, it will have it’s ECC number. 2) DATE.  3) TIME. 4) type of animal lamb or sheep 5) where the animal came from, and 6) the true weight of your Qurbani.

All of these important details will allow you to check it’s traceability.

Follow these 6 important points and you will not be scammed or conned on your Qurbani by the butcher, or the wholesaler. They may give you many excuses why they cannot give you a carcass label but don’t accept their reason as they are legally bound to show the label. If they don’t then what have they got to hide. If they refuse then report them to your local Environmental Health Officer or the Trading Standards office.

Once they have shown you the carcass tag (by the way all carcass tag are printed by a computer and never hand written) for your Qurbani, you must take that tag with you so that the carcass tag cannot be used again and again, which is very important for safeguarding Qurbani for your fellow Muslims.

I hope the little knowledge I have from working in a Halal abattoir can help in stopping this type of crime by wholesaler and butchers for the sake of profit. Please accept my apology if I have offended anyone it was not meant to offend.

Naved Syed