Eid Al-adha is arriving soon, and the faithful masses will soon be congregating at mosques to perform prayers and annual sacrifices. Not everyone is required to contribute a sacrifice or qurban, but many do to help feed the poorer members of the community. If you’re wondering how much you can expect to contribute to this holy celebration, read on.
What is Eid Al-adha?
The day itself is known by several different names here in Malaysia. Often called Hari Raya Haji, Hari Raya Qurban, Hari Raya Aidiladha, or Eid Al-adha, it depends on your generation and where you happen to be at the time.
Regardless of the name, the celebration commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son to God when asked. The child wasn’t harmed, as God replaced him with a goat instead. Since then, Eid Al-adha has been celebrated on 10 Zulhijjah (in the Islamic calendar).
On the day, a variety of animals are slaughtered after morning prayers. These are then butchered and distributed among those who live in the surrounding area. With priority given to those who may need it the most.
Generally, there are two kinds of sacrifices: one that is made by a person who vowed to make a qurban (qurban Nazar) and one that is voluntary. Meat Nazar sacrifices must be distributed to the poor and needy; while voluntary sacrifices are divided among family, friends, neighbours, and the poor.
Where do I find the animals?
Despite scripture referring to a goat, the actual sacrifice can be made from any living land animal. In Malaysia, this is more commonly a cow. However, smaller budgets also allow for goats and chickens. Sacrificing camels are not unheard of, but are excessively rare outside out the Arab Peninsula.
There are two ways of going about obtaining the animals. The simplest would be to contact your closest mosque and ask about it. Most mosques will post notices about contributions to buying animals, and will even allow for partial contributions for those who cannot afford a whole animal. In this case, cows will be the most common sacrifice.
On the other hand, there is the option of slaughtering your own animal. Which is a bit more complicated, seeing that you won’t have a mosque full of people to help out. In this case, the internet is generally the easiest way to get an animal; with many suppliers now setting up websites to sell their livestock. Curiously, there are also listing on Lelong.my. But your mileage may vary in this case.
How much will it cost?
As stated before, cows are the most common animal for sacrifice. These run between RM2100 – RM4000, depending on the quality of the meat. There are more expensive examples of beef, but chances are that nobody is going to be importing Wagyu cows for Eid Al-adha.
Suppliers may also allow individuals to pay for a portion of the total cost of the cow; with each portion costing between RM300 – RM400. This is to allow lower income individuals to also contribute to the annual sacrifice without having to break the bank.
Goats are also sometimes sacrificed, usually costing between RM800 – RM900 depending on the breed. It should be noted that goats are more commonly sacrificed during an Aqiqah ceremony, which is held by families when a child reaches 7 days old.
Camels are occasionally available here in Malaysia through importers. These are often brought over from Australia, and cost starting at RM6000 each. However, actually getting a camel may require more time and planning than for a cow or goat. The main drawback of camels is not necessarily the price, but rather that the buyer cannot inspect the animal beforehand. Not unless one is able to travel all the way to a farm in the Middle East or Australia.
These costs don’t take into account the amount of effort needed to slaughter and butcher the animals. Something that is often arranged by the supplier, but is often also supported by the local Muslim community. Eid Al-adha packages are often advertised with optional costs (somewhere between RM200 and RM300) for someone to handle the procedure.
Should you make a sacrifice?
Contributing towards a sacrifice during Eid Al-adha is not absolutely necessary for Muslims. It’s only expected that those who can afford it will try to help out and make the donation.
The key words in this case being “those who can afford it”. There’s no sense in trying to outright buy a cow without having the financial stability to do it.