With prices of sacrificial animals going through the roof this Eid, more people seem to be opting for collective sacrifice, instead of buying a sacrificial animal all by themselves.
“It’s extremely difficult for the salaried class to afford to buy a sacrificial animal anymore,” Zubair Talha, a technician and resident of G-6/1, said.
He added that his family used to purchase their own sacrificial animal, but he and some of his friends and neighbours decided to share the cost this time round. “You have to keep in mind a hundred other expenditures before allocating money for sacrifice, “ he remarked.
Talha is taking care of two bulls this Eid — that is 14 shares, since there are seven equal shares of meat in each bull.
He said this is a convenient deal for people who used to sacrifice goats in the past, since the current average price of goats at the Islamabad animal market ranges from Rs25,000 to Rs35,000. “One share in a decent-sized bull provides around 25 to 30 kilogrammes of meat, the same amount of meat you get from a goat.”
At local mosques and religious foundations, the rate for collective sacrifice is lower. Markazi Jamia Masjid Ahle Hadith in G-6 is giving people the choice of a Rs8,500 or a Rs10,000 share.
Two days before Eid, the mosque administrator Shahnawaz Hassan, said they had already received money for 38 bulls, compared to 32 bulls last year. Hassan said more people were expected to register for collective sacrifice.
At the Jamia Masjid Diwan Umar Farooq in F-10, Naib Khateeb Faisal Mehmood Qasmi said the number of animals for collective sacrifice has doubled.
“There’s a major shift in the trend for offering sacrifice this year,” Qasmi said. “People who used to sacrifice goats and lambs have shifted to collective sacrifice.”
Qasmi said there should be some kind of government regulation for fixing prices of sacrificial animals. Ghufranullah, who works at a fast food place in I-8 Markaz, said he and his brother had given up hope after searching for a decent priced goat at the Islamabad animal market for two days without success.
“My brother and I had decided we wouldn’t offer a sacrifice at all,” he said. Fortunately, a friend found Ghufranullah a goat for Rs15,000, much less than the average rate at the animal market.
Maulana Abdul Hameed Sabri of Maaz Ibn-e-Jabal mosque in I-8/3, said he had noticed a decrease in the number of people offering a sacrifice this year. “People are struggling to put bread on the table, how can you even think about sacrificing animals?”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2012.
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