Sri Wahyuni, Yogyakarta – Mosques have been urged to implement the COVID-19 health protocols if they decided to hold the qurban sacrificial ceremony to mark Idul Adha (Day of Sacrifice)
The holiday derives from obedience to God Ibrahim (Abraham) demonstrates in his willingness to sacrifice his only son, Ishaq (Isaac). The qurban involves the ritual sacrifice of livestock, primarily of goats and cattle in Indonesia, with the meat apportioned among the congregation, as well as shared with the poor and other disadvantaged families in the area around the mosque.
The call comes from the Center for Halal Studies at the Gadjah Mada University (UGM) animal husbandry school ahead of Idul Adha, which falls on July 31 this year.
The center's director, Nanung Danar Dono, said that the ceremony should be conducted by minimizing the number of people gathering at the event to prevent possible transmission of COVID-19.
"The objective is to protect the [organizing] committee and [attendees] from the disease while allowing them to perform the qurban," Nanung said in a statement made available to The Jakarta Post on Friday.
He emphasized that the ritual animal sacrifice should be performed only in those areas deemed safe by the government, or "green zones".
Mosque management were also advised to study and review the latest conditions in their region by taking into account edicts from ulema, the views of health experts and government regulations.
Nanung stressed that mosques should not hold the qurban if the region had even one confirmed case.
He also suggested that it would be better to have a licensed abattoir perform the qurban to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Otherwise, he urged mosques to hire a team of butchers that could perform the slaughter in compliance with both sharia and the COVID-19 protocols.
He advised mosque management to set up a special team for organizing and monitoring the ceremony, as well as to ensure that all members on the team were healthy.
"No sick person may be present at the site of the [ritual] slaughter," said Nanung, underlining that the team should have limited membership and that the designated site be disinfected in advance.
Mosque management should also be equipped with hand sanitizers, water, hand soap, masks and face shields to make sure that all team members and others involved in the qurban followed the COVID-19 health protocols.
Meanwhile, UGM animal husbandry dean Ali Agus expressed the hope that its recommendations would help people better understand the necessity for maintaining the health protocols during the ritual sacrifice.
"That way Muslims will be able to perform the qurban in a calm, orderly and comfortable manner," he said.