By Nicholas Robinson
British farmers could be losing out on a major revenue boost from the Muslim celebration of Qurbani next week.
A halal operator has told MeatInfo.co.uk that much of the lamb consumed as part of the celebration, which requires the animal to be ritually slaughtered to rules different from basic halal, is imported from Pakistan and is a loss to the UK economy.
“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),” said managing director of Janan Meats Naved Syed.
He continued: “No Qurbani can be performed at any slaughterhouses in the UK before Tuesday (15 October) and not before Eid-ul-Azhi (7.50am) prayer has been performed. The main criteria is that the Muslim slaughterman must read his Namaz (prayer) before he can slaughter for Qurbani, and anything before Tuesday and before Namaz time is not a Qurbani – this is what we call Fake Qurbani.”
According to Syed, more than 50% of Qurbani meat in the UK is fake and he urged Trading Standards to protect the Muslim community from this.
Syed added: “With over 2.5m Qurbani being performed every year by the Muslim community here in the UK, and the UK unable assure the Muslim community of genuine Qurbani, over 90% are sent overseas. This is denying the British farming community the revenue.”
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.
Syed explained: “The Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) was asked: ‘What is Qurbani?’ He answered: ‘It is the Sunnah (way of life) of your father, Ibrahim. For every hair of the Qurbani you receive a reward from Allah (SWT)’.”