Pandemic changes animal sacrifice ritual in 2020

Pandemic changes animal sacrifice ritual in 2020
Some Saudis are donating their udhiyyah or its cost to those who need it more. (SPA)
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Updated 01 August 2020

Pandemic changes animal sacrifice ritual in 2020

Pandemic changes animal sacrifice ritual in 2020
  • Saudis and expats using technology or remittances to observe annual Islamic rite

RIYADH/JEDDAH: Udhiyyah, the ritual of animal sacrifice during Eid Al-Adha, has changed this year because of the coronavirus pandemic as Saudis and expats opt to stay away from cattle markets.

People living in the Kingdom are instead finding other ways to observe this practice including the use of technology for online ordering or sending money back to their home country.
“This year Eid Al-Adha will be different for expatriates in Saudi Arabia as they will be offering the sacrifice while sitting at home to follow the medical advisory of staying away from gatherings amid the pandemic,” Riyadh resident Zakir Azmi told Arab News. “Instead of swarming the cattle market and slaughterhouse, they are outsourcing it (udhiyyah) to authorized meat traders and other groups, including hypermarkets, to perform the ritual by making online payments and collecting the meat at a given time.”
Javed Hussain, who works at Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah, said that the coronavirus pandemic meant he had decided to stay away from gatherings and instead planned this year’s animal sacrifice in India.
“I am doing this to avoid the crowds at the cattle market and slaughter center and this is my little contribution in fighting or breaking the chain of the virus,” he told Arab News.

HIGHLIGHT

More Saudis are showing interest in switching to online services for the annual sacrifice ritual, and an increasing number of slaughterhouses have invested in online services so that customers can choose their preferred animal and the time of delivery through a mobile app.

Pakistani expatriate Raja Ahmed Khan said that he used to perform the animal sacrifice every year in Riyadh but that this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, he had to avoid public gatherings at cattle markets. “I have decided to perform udhiyyah back home in Pakistan,” he told Arab News. “A little effort from my side.”
More Saudis are showing interest in switching to online services for the annual sacrifice ritual, and an increasing number of slaughterhouses have invested in online services so that customers can choose their preferred animal and the time of delivery through a mobile app.
“I decided to try ordering my udhiyyah through an online service to avoid the hustle of moving from one trader to another looking for the right animal, and worrying about how to slaughter it on the day of Eid,” Saudi national Abdullah Adel told Arab News. “I saw someone advertising for that service online and it seemed reassuring to me. The animals are well taken care of and they deliver it to my doorstep with decent packaging, and I thought it is worth a try.”
But other Saudis prefer the traditional way. Asma Saleh, from Riyadh, said the crisis had not changed her family’s Eid much. They still gathered at her parents’ house to perform the udhiyyah ritual themselves, with the men slaughtering and preparing the animals and the women dealing with the division of the meat whether it was for cooking or for distribution among neighbors or the needy.
Other Saudis are donating their udhiyyah or its cost to those who need it more, with this gesture fulfilled through local organizations or international charitable organizations like the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Decoder

Udhiyyah

Udhiyyah is the Muslim ritual of animal sacrifice during Eid Al-Adha, which marks the end of Hajj. Every year Muslims around the world slaughter an animal – a goat, a sheep, a cow or a camel – to reflect Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail for the sake of God.


Cabinet reaffirms Saudi commitment to Yemen security, development

Updated 02 December 2020

Cabinet reaffirms Saudi commitment to Yemen security, development

Cabinet reaffirms Saudi commitment to Yemen security, development

NEOM: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday reaffirmed its keenness on achieving security and development for the people of Yemen.
The Cabinet urged moving forward to implement the Riyadh Agreement to promote peace and stability, through a a comprehensive political solution.
The Cabinet also addressed the recently announced Digital Cooperation Organization, which sees Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait and Pakistan participating in the initiative.
The agreement aims to strengthen cooperation across all innovation-driven areas and accelerate the growth of the digital economy.
The ministers also reviewed efforts to uproot corruption in the Kingdom, highlighting an agreement co-signed by the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime to carry out the Riyadh Initiative, aiming at consolidating international cooperation among law-enforcing agencies relating to fighting corruption.
At the session, which was chaired virtually by King Salman because of the pandemic, the Kingdom reiterated its denunciation of the terrorist attack that targeted civilians in Nigeria. The attack, near Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, left over 40 people dead over the weekend.
The Cabinet reaffirmed the Kingdom’s stand along the side of Nigeria against such heinous acts which target lives of the innocents and destabilize security and stability, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.
The government also authorized the interior minister to sign a MoU with the UK’s Home Office on cooperation in the field of civil defense and civil protection.
The Cabinet also authorized the Board of Directors of the Communications and Information Technology Commission to hold public auctions for the frequency spectrum for commercial purposes.
The ministers also approved the Juvenile Law and the Chambers of Commerce Law.