Qurban: How an Islamic Legacy Empowers Societies

, / 2 years ago
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We live in the age of empowering. Humans want to empower one another and for everyone in the world to have fair access to basic rights and opportunity to education, employment, food and health. Qurban is an opportunity to empower societies in poverty.

Empowerment is when someone is given the power, ability and skills to do things. They strengthen their skillset, become more learned and know how to apply their knowledge.

Every year Islamic Relief’s popular Udhiya/Qurban campaign receives international recognition for its ability to create employment opportunities for societies in poverty and for distributing fresh meat to millions of the worlds most vulnerable.

The Sacrifice, known as Udhiya in Arabic and Qurban in Persian is an Islamic tradition which takes place annually. On the days of Eid al-Adha, Muslims slaughter an animal (either a goat, sheep, cow, bull, buffalo or camel). The animal flesh is cut, cleaned and distributed to those in need in commemoration of the sacrifice of the Prophet Ibrahim.

Although food insecurity has decreased in the last few decades, a large number of the world’s population are food insecure. The problem of food insecurity isn’t a result of humans not being able to produce enough food for the world increasing population.  Rather, the problem is the unequal distribution of food. Australians throw away nearly 10 billion dollars in food waste each year.

Since the Qurban campaign began in 1986, Islamic Relief Worldwide has  distributed meat to the worlds most vulnerable families.

However, immediate aid isn’t enough to relieve poverty-struck societies. In the long term, aid agencies should empower and develop communities so that they are no longer dependent on direct aid.

The value of Qurban should not be limited to its nutritional and short-term impact towards families. The value of Qurban is in how it is implementing and creating a positive cycle within society.

The meat product is just a part of a more significant process. Qurban gathers and empowers local livelihoods. Farmers and locals prepare and grow the animals in advance for the Islamic tradition Slaughterhouses will sacrifice the animals. Local butchers will assist in cleaning and package the meat. Transporters will distribute the meat to families in need.

Islamic Relief looks at Qurban as a way of supporting a local community by empowering local livelihoods by employment. At the same time it strengthens local economies and feeds its most vulnerable.

So yes, it may be cheaper to purchase or outsource your Qurban in Australia – but this misses the whole point of why we even hold Qurban.

Bosnian farmer standing with his herd behind him

The annual Udhiya/Qurbani Project provides an opportunity for those people who cannot afford to purchase meat products to receive the nutritional benefit of an Islamic Relief Meat Packet. The project involves the distribution of fresh packets to the most vulnerable people – women, children, the elderly and refugees.

Each meat packet distributed contains a sufficient amount of meat (4 kg on average), for a family of four for one week. Each meat packet is designed to consist of fresh meat that is appropriate and acceptable for the dietary culture of the region.

In 2018, Islamic Relief aims to distribute meat to over 3  million people in over 34 countries.

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In 2018, Islamic Relief aims to distribute meat to over 3 million people in over 34 countries during their annual Qurban campaign.

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