Friday Jul 16, 2021
Eidul Adha is not only a holy occasion for Muslims around the world, it can also be a fun, exciting time for both foodies and animal lovers alike.
Every year, we rush to cattle markets as soon as the month of Zil Hajj begins to purchase sacrificial animals of our choice. And, as Eid approaches, neighbourhoods across the country suddenly come alive with the presence of cows, goats, lambs and camels of all colours and sizes.
But Eidul Adha is not all about midnight walks with your animals, frantic trips to purchase fodder, or hunting for the flashiest accessories to deck up your animals for the big day — one of the most important tasks is also finding a suitable butcher (qasai) to perform the ritual sacrifice, better known as the qurbani, to fulfill a key requirement of the 'Bari Eid'.
While some forward-thinking citizens book their butchers a few weeks before the qurbani, others go to look for one during the three days of Eid. While it sounds like a hassle-free process, finding a suitable yet affordable butcher can be a daunting task.
In a bid to help our readers get an idea of what butchers are charging this year for their services in different areas of the city, Geo.tv reached out to several of them from across Karachi to compile a rate list.
The butchers we spoke to also shared a list of helpful tips and things to keep in mind for the big day. More on those below.
Amir, who runs a meat shop in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, told Geo.tv that in order to make some extra bucks, several people become 'seasonal butchers' during Eid.
He regrets that the trend sidelines professional butchers who slaughter animals throughout the year.
"I slaughter cows for Rs12,000 to Rs18,000, depending on their size, but you will find seasonal butchers who do the job for Rs8,000 or even Rs7,000," he said. "But they can never achieve the finesse of a professional."
Muhammad Asif, who has his shop set up on a pushcart in the Gulistan-e-Jauhar neighbourhood, said seasonal butchers often cause trouble as they have "no idea" how to slaughter animals.
Advising potential customers on how to avoid falling prey to 'anaarhi' (non professional) butchers, Asif said everyone should go straight to a butcher in their locality they already know. He noted that most Pakistanis tend to book the same butcher every year for this reason alone.
"When you know your neighbourhood butcher, approach them instead of seeking the services of those seasonal butchers. They [the non professional ones] might charge you a lot less than professional butchers, but they could end up causing a lot of problems," he said.
Asif said that he usually earns nearly Rs100K over the three days of Eid. Another butcher in the city's Federal B Area said he is able to make Rs100-120K for his services.
Sacrificing animals on the occasion of Eidul Adha is not only about buying an expensive animal and slaughtering it for meat: there are certain ethics that all Muslims must adhere to when performing the ritual.
This is because qurbani is a spiritual deed that is meant to draw a person closer to God.
Moreover, as per Islamic teachings, Muslims have to take care not to inflict pain on the animal when slaughtering it. For this reason, it is extremely important to book a professional butcher who knows how to perform the ritual properly.
The following pointers should be considered when performing the sacrificial ritual:
According to the Sahih Muslim, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “Cleanliness is half the faith."
In keeping with religious teachings as well as the environmental aspect in mind, note the following pointers and communicate them to the butcher too.