Alexandria, VA – Finding fresh halal meat in the D.C. Metro area is a relatively easy and convenient endeavor. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for many people around the globe.
Fortunately, Islamic Relief USA’s annual Qurbani program helps to fill some of that void. Qurbani enables people to purchase animals that will be slaughtered according to Islamic principles, in order to produce fresh halal meat. The animals from which the meat is derived from include cows sheep, goats, even buffalo (in countries besides the United States).
Not any cow or sheep will suffice. Guidelines make clear that the animals must be healthy, free from blindness and not have broken teeth or horns, for example. Once slaughtered, the meat is then packaged and distributed to people in need from around the world, including the United States, during the Eid-al-Ada season. This year, Eid-al-Ada will fall in early September.
Qurbani not only helps fulfill an Islamic tradition that honors Prophet Ibrahim’s commitment to God. It also provides meat to many people who don’t get much of it, if any, for much of the year, largely because of inaccessibility or because it’s too cost-prohibitive and families need the money for other essentials. Many subsist on non-meat products, which could put them at risk for inadequate nutrition.
When possible, Qurbani meat is packaged locally. Domestically, Islamic Relief USA is estimated to distribute some 82,000 pounds of meat this year. Internationally, more than 640,000 pounds will be distributed among several countries.
In general, a family of three receives about five pounds of meat. That means more than 16,000 families will benefit from Qurbani. A Qurbani sponsorship of one whole lamb typically costs $200. One lamb produces approximately 50 pounds of meat, which will help feed 10 families.
Islamic Relief works with local organizations, such as food pantries, around the country to help provide quality and flavorful meat that were delivered in refrigerated trucks. While there are no specifications on who receives Qurbani meat, as one doesn’t even have to be Muslim, many of the recipients are poor, elderly, or underprivileged.
Qurbani helps people reflect on all the blessings God has bestowed on them, as well as provide an opportunity to give back to society and help those who’re less fortunate. As a saying often associated with Qurbani goes, “They get the meat, you get the reward.”
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Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Va., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization. Its mission is to alleviate suffering, hunger, illiteracy and disease regardless of color, race, gender or creed, and to provide aid in a compassionate and dignified manner. Islamic Relief USA aims to provide rapid relief in the event of human and natural disasters and to establish sustainable local development projects, allowing communities to better help themselves. Its programs benefit millions of people each year around the world, including in the United States.
Islamic Relief USA meets all of the Standards for Charity Accountability of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a national charity monitoring group affiliated with the Better Business Bureau system. Islamic Relief USA is on the U.S. government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charity list, and it is also a signatory to the code of conduct of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.