Since 2005 our organisation has been running a Unique Qurbani project whereby we perform Qurbani in India on behalf of Muslims from Mauritius and then we send the Qurbani meat to Mauritius which is distributed to all those on whose behalf we have performed the Qurbani.
The project has touched almost every corner of the country and people from different mazhabs, masajids are involved including some local scholars. This year the amount of participants are approximately 7000.
The Qurbani is performed in one of India’s most modern slaughterhouse and is supervised by Jammat Ulema Hind. After the Qurbani, the meat is packed in boxes and shipped in refrigerated containers to Mauritius.
The Qurbani meat reaches Mauritius approx. 4 weeks after Eid ul Adha.
When the meat arrive in Mauritius we deliver the boxes to whoever has taken part in the Qurbani.
We have received a few fatwa regarding the permissibility of the project. The fatwa are from Dar-Ul-Ifta and Jami’a Binoria of Karachi. These can be seen on our website www.qurbaniservices.com.
The reason why we initiated this project was to give an opportunity to everyone to perform their Qurbani at an affordable price. Nowadays a cattle cost approximately £1200 in Mauritius. Years after years the price has been increasing without control due to market exploitation by a group of people who practically have monopoly over the imports of cattle. Due to this, Qurbani is becoming a luxury to many people with a Qurbani share costing about £180. As an alternative many people were paying a small sum of money to various local organisations to get their Qurbani perform abroad as Sadaqa (costing Approx £10-11 per share).
Our organisation has come up with a middle solution to the issue. We encourage people to do their Qurbani in Mauritius if they have the mean as this is the best practice. However, for those who are finding it difficult, we perform their Qurbani in India where the cattle is cheaper and then we send the Qurbani meat back to them. This allows them at least a minimum participation in the Qurbani whereby they can take possession of the Qurbani meat, taste it and distribute it to local people in Mauritius also.
The Qurbani cost approx. £36 a share which includes a service fee charged by our organisation.
The main issue on which we require a Fatwa is about the way the qurbani meat is packed and the permissibility of eating the same.
At the time of Qurbani every single cattle is labelled so that we know exactly whose Qurbani is being performed in each cattle – i.e. Cattle No 1 is for Mr A, Mr B, Mr C etc…
However, when it comes to the packing of the meat, for various reasons we are unable to keep track of whose meat goes in which box. So we cannot say that Box 1 is for Mr A.
This is mainly due to the volume of the project. We now slaughter approx 900 cattles and pack about 90 Tonnes of meat and it is very difficult to keep track of the specific meat
The second reason is that labelling each box creates difficulties at the time of the distribution. Boxes comes in 40 ft refrigerated containers. Each container has about 1800 boxes. Hence if Mr A comes to collect his Qurbani it is difficult to find his box among all the containers.
For the above reason, after the Qurbani, all the meat is grouped together and then separated into equal portions. Each participant in the Qurbani receives a portion (box).
The amount of meat obtained from each cattle varries and the participants are aware of this. However, for export purposes we need to do standard boxes. Hence, we do standard boxes of 14-15kg. Normally the amount of meat obtained from the Qurbani are lesser but we perform additional Udhiyyah and top up if necessary to ensure that every meat boxes are standard.
The participants in the Qurbani project are fully informed of the above and are happy to collect the Qurbani meat in this way, hence impliedly agrees that their Qurbani meat may be given to someone and that they might receive someone else's meat.
The main questions are:
1)Is the Qurbani is valid in this instance, i.e. if someone cannot indentify which box contains the Qurbani meat of the animal which was slaughtered on his behalf.
2)Are the participants in the project allow to eat the meat they have collected since they cannot say for sure if the box they have collected contain the meat of the actual cattle which was slaughtered on their behalf. (note that the participants are aware before the Qurbani that they will not get the exact meat and are prepare to give their meat to another participan)
3)If the answer to question 2 is in the negative, if ever, at the time of paying for the Qurbani, each participant make the intention that he will gift his Qurbani meat to any of the other participants, will this make it permissible for the participant to eat from the Qurbani meat they have collected.
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
Any person who has in his ownership wealth equivalent to 612.36g of silver or 87.48g of gold on the Day of Eid is compelled to give Sadaqatul Fitr for Eidul Fitr or sacrifice an animal for Eidul Adha. (Raddul Muhtar p.171 v.3)
Big animals like cows, bulls and camels have seven shares. The qurbani of seven people can be made by slaughtering one of these animals whether it is for seven people of one household or from different households. The only condition is that the intention in each share should be for qurbani or aqeeqah. If these animals are divided into less than seven shares i.e. six shares, five shares etc. then this will be permissible. However, if the animal is divided into eight or more shares to be divided to eight different people then no ones qurbani will be accepted. (Fatawa Hindiyyah p.207 v.5)
For small animals such as sheep and goats, there is only one share. Qurbani of only one person can be made from these animals. (Kifayatul Mufti p.189 v.8)
The owner of the animal has the choice of either keeping all the meat or giving it all away to his family, friends or the poor. It is preferable to divide the meat into three parts: one for personal use, one for family and friends and one part to be distributed to the poor. (Hidayah p.436 v.4)
If a big animal like a camel is being slaughtered by seven people, care should be taken that the meat is distributed equally. It should not be distributed by mere estimation but instead by weighing. If one partner receives less, the excess received by the others will be regarded as interest. To avoid such a situation, together with the distribution of the meat, if the head, feet and skin are also included then exact distribution will not be necessary. If all partners do not wish to take their shares, rather they desire to collectively distribute the meat amongst the poor or their friend’s then equal distribution between the partners will not be necessary. (Raddul Muhtar p.460 v.9)
With regards to your situation the boxes of meat should be clearly identified so that each participant gets the share of meat which he purchased. However, if that is not possible then the participants should gift their share to the other.
It is stated in Raddul Muhtar that extra in gift (hibah) is not considered as interest (riba). (p.170 v.5)
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham