Modified Korban Ritual to Be Organised by Mosques This Year

8 June 2020

1. Korban is an annual ritual that Muslims practise during Hari Raya Aidiladha. Traditionally the ritual is held in mosques, in strict compliance with animal welfare standards and accordance with guidelines by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).

2. The current situation in light of COVID-19 makes the process of importing livestock into Singapore and organising the Korban ritual at the mosques challenging this year. This is especially considering that the situation may remain fluid over the next two months, and the process of importing livestock, distributing the livestock to the mosques and organising the ritual slaughter at the mosques requires careful and advanced planning and execution.

3. Given the circumstances, for Hari Raya Aidiladha this year, mosques in Singapore will offer arrangements to ensure the community can still perform the ritual safely. While no livestock will be imported to Singapore for the purpose of Korban ritual this year, mosques will facilitate arrangements for Muslims who wish to perform the Korban in Australia, with the meat chilled and shipped to Singapore subsequently. Mosques will appoint and partner individual vendors who must ensure full compliance to all regulatory requirements for the importation of meat products set by SFA. Mosques will continue with the practice of distributing a portion of the meat to low-income families within the community.

4. These arrangements will enable our Muslim community to still fulfil this important ritual, which is a key part of Aidiladha. Commenting on this modified Korban, Ustaz Mohd Murat Md Aris, Deputy Mufti, said that what is important behind the practice of Korban (udhiyyah) is its essence, where Muslims make sacrifices as a demonstration of complete submission and obedience to God’s will and command in sacrificing everything for His pleasure. Protecting the larger community from harm, in the current context, is one of the greatest responsibilities and sacrifices a Muslim may make. Singaporean Muslims have been stepping out of their comfort zones by sacrificing the traditional aspects of many religious practices throughout Ramadan, Syawal and even in the month of Zulhijjah. We choose to delay sending pilgrims for Haj, the fifth pillar of Islam. It is only fitting and in line with the spirit of Korban itself that this modification of practice, is also done for the Korban ritual this year, without sacrificing its essence.

5. The mosque sector will continue to take necessary steps to ensure a safe Korban, including the subsequent distribution of the Korban meat after the tasyrik period. More details for Korban registration will be released at the end of June 2020.