As Eid-al-Adha is nearing, most Pakistanis would be trying to buy a sacrificial animal that normally includes a goat, cow, or camel. Some buy the animal from different merchants in the bazaar and some use online Qurbani services. Many organizations in Pakistan have started to allow customers to fulfill this religious responsibility easily from their homes.
Different people have different opinions about the service due to its multidimensional nature. For some, it is about purchasing an animal from online vendors and sacrificing it home. While others hand over all of the processes to an organization that performs the ritual themselves and send the meat back to the customers.
Two processes are very different and there has been a lot of debate on the latter one. Not many organizations in Pakistan have goodwill because of rampant corruption. Citizens fear that if that plague has hit this sacred ritual as well.
Online Qurbani Services through Different Platforms
Many websites in Pakistan offer online Qurbani by letting users choose an animal from the catalog and get it delivered after paying for it. It is a rather safe option than searching cattle markets in the COVID situation. Moreover, the scorching weather is also not a good motivator for Pakistanis to go out and look for a healthy animal.
They can just sit at home and keep browsing on the internet for animal ads. Of course, users have to be aware of the scammers, who display fake ads to siphon money from vulnerable users. Sometimes the user ends up paying but the animal doesn’t arrive.
Many people have shared their views and experiences on social media regarding these services. Some even questioned the dignity of those service providers who preferred to hide the price from the website and encouraged customers to contact them and learn the price individually. So, some customers have done some encouraging of their own and warn other people about the fraud that can happen.
Many viral videos show various scams related to this service. A huge media group in Pakistan set up camp last year but received heavy backlash from customers for providing low-quality meat. Several brands and private websites turn up just days before Eid-ul-Adha claiming to provide Qurbani service online.
Outsourcing the Ritual
Where purchasing an animal online eases 50% of the task, some organizations claim to cover the whole process for customers. It is a complete online Qurbani where a person doesn’t need to do anything except pay for the service.
Each organization may have a different way of handling the process. Some send the meat to the customer while others like Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital (SKMH) claim to distribute it among the poor. SKMH also claims to use the money generated from selling hides, in the free treatment of poor cancer patients.
Some private butchers also offer the same for a smaller amount of money. This type of Qurbani relieves the customer of taking care of animals and going through the pain of the sacrificial process. Another charm about online Qurbani is that it can be done from anywhere in the world which makes it easy for overseas Pakistanis to take part in Qurbani.
No matter how helpful it may be, there have been a lot of criticism and trust issues related to online sacrifice. As per some beliefs in Pakistan, a person must sacrifice the animal with his own hand to complete the ritual. Another one is that it’s enough to only touch a knife and let an expert slay the animal afterward.
However, customers can do none of it when outsourcing the whole process to someone else. It begs the question if it is halal for Muslims or not. There are no studies as of yet but debates have grown intense recently because the online sacrifice system in Pakistan is already going very bad.
There are only a handful of organizations that prioritize the welfare of people rather than profit on the occasion of Eid-al-Adha. A lot of users have found certain NGOs to be a bit more honorable than most famous organizations.
There were massive management problems in last year’s online Qurbani due to a surge in orders. The organizations were unable to deliver meat on time. Hundreds of customers waited in the queues for hours and many received their order on the second day. The social media and internet posts were filled with complaints against the companies providing this service. Many said that they received rotten meat, less meat, or no meat at all.
Buying an animal online to sacrifice at home seemed like a much safer choice but it is also not guaranteed if a person would receive a well-maintained animal.