The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) announced recently that processing qurban (sacrificial cattle) meat prior to distribution is allowed due to health concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a written statement received by The Jakarta Post on Wednesday, MUI fatwa commission secretary Asrorun Niam Sholeh said meat sacrificed on Idul Adha (Day of Sacrifice) could be processed into canned food, or cooked into rendang (slow-cooked meat in coconut milk and spices).
He explained that the cattle meat was traditionally distributed immediately after the animal was slaughtered so that people in need could receive it as soon as possible.
But given the current situation, he said processing the meat before distributing it was safer, especially for people affected by COVID-19.
“Since it may be difficult for these people to cook it themselves, it is permissible to distribute the meat through cooked food or other processed foods,” he said.
If there is an abundance of meat during Idul Adha, the meat can also be preserved and distributed at a later time as stipulated in MUI Fatwa No. 37/2019.
The Religious Affairs Ministry recently banned the public celebration of Idul Adha in areas considered “unsafe from COVID-19” by their respective regional administrations.
Indonesia’s second-largest Muslim group, Muhammadiyah, also encouraged Muslims to convert their qurban to sadaqah (alms) to help those who had been hit hard by the pandemic, or to do both if they could afford it, as Muhammadiyah acknowledged that the health crisis had caused social and economic problems that had forced many into poverty.