At a time of record-breaking human suffering from conflict and climate change, one American Muslim charity has harnessed the annual Hajj season among Muslims to revive the Prophet’s practice of hand-delivering meat from their freshly slaughtered, wholesome Eid sacrifices to hundreds of thousands facing famine and hardship around the world.
“We do it just like Abraham did the first Eid Sacrifice and as our Prophet after him taught us,” says Halil Demir, Zakat Foundation of America’s Turkish-born executive director and a founder of the global Muslim charity.
“We gather local livestock before Hajj comes – in 44 very needy countries – and do live slaughter after the communal Eid Al-Adha prayers, then hand distribute the fresh meat as udhiya/qurbanithat same day to hungry families so elders and children, orphans and widows, can celebrate the joy of the greatest day of the Islamic year.”
The last two years, Zakat Foundation donors, mostly from America, have provided more than 10 million kilos of freshly slaughtered, goat, sheep, and cow meat to nearly half a million people. This year, Zakat Foundation workers and volunteers – on location in 7 Middle Eastern, 13 African, 13 Asian, 4 European, and 7 North, Central, and South American countries – hope to feed more than 225,000 hunger-stricken from the nutritious Eid offerings.
Zakat Foundation relief specialists like volunteer Aden Abdl Awie in Garissa, Kenya have finely honed the meticulous Udhiya/Qurbani project over years.
“We mobilize local community elders and sheikhs and sensitize them to the strict udhiya requirements of Zakat Foundation,” says Abdl Awie. “We get price quotes from reputable goat and sheep suppliers, for example for the refugees of the Kambioos/Dadaab camp, who pledge healthy animals at lowest prices.”
Quality control staff then inspect the animals, certifying they meet udhiya conditions of health, non-deformity, age, and size.”
Zakat Foundation’s annual Udhiya-Qurbani campaign does much more than provide hungry families with nourishing meat. Its locally knowledgeable directors see to it that community economies get an equitable financial lift from it.
“We ensure a balance between suppliers and recipients of the clans of every area,” says Abdl Awie, “not just to maintain harmony but also to boost the local economies with cash injections instead of bringing in animals from other regions.”
Zakat Foundation’s global Udhiya-Qurbani project this year will feed some of the hardest hit widows, orphans, and wounded in the world, including refugee Syrians in Turkey and Burmese Rohingya in Bangladesh; the destitute of Haiti, Somalia, and Bosnia; and innocent war victims in places like Yemen, Palestine, and Mali. Nor does it leave behind the forgotten poor of far-flung lands such as Guatemala, Nepal, and Senegal – among the desperately needy of 33 other countries.
Visit Zakat.org for more on Zakat Foundation’s Udhiya/Qurbani 2019 food charity campaign.