Registration for modified korban ritual opens at 51 Singapore mosques

Volunteers collecting packets of korban meat for distribution at Block 182 Rivervale Crescent on Aug 15, 2020. PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN

SINGAPORE - Registration for the annual Hari Raya Haji ritual of korban opened on Tuesday (June 8), with distribution to be carried out until mid-August.

The ritual involves the slaughtering of livestock and distributing the meat to worshippers and the needy.

For the second year running, mosques will arrange for sheep to be sacrificed in Australia and their meat to be transported here. This is due to the ongoing community transmission of Covid-19.

A total of 51 mosques - up from 42 last year - will offer their services to facilitate the modified ritual, said the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) in a statement on Tuesday.

Each mosque will provide up to 120 sheep, which are priced between $320 and $370 each. This is up from 100 sheep last year.

Registration closes on July 13. Slots for participants are subject to availability and will be given on a first-come first-served basis.

Those who wish to perform korban may register at the websites of participating mosques and make payment directly.

To comply with safe management measures, walk-in registrations are only available by appointment.

Successful applicants will receive their chilled and pre-packed meat from July 24.

Mosques and appointed vendors participating in this year's ritual must comply with Singapore Food Agency requirements for importation, storage and distribution of meat products, said Muis.

The meat will first be chilled in Australia and then transported to Singapore. High hygiene standards will be observed and there will be staggered distribution and collection slots.

A portion of the meat will also be distributed to Muis' zakat, or alms-giving, beneficiaries.

For distribution to the poor and needy, mosques will facilitate contactless deliveries.

"Korban is an act of compassionate giving by sharing meat with the less fortunate, especially in view of the current economic challenges," said Muis.

This year, Muis will extend distribution to mid-August to "keep the korban spirit alive and to connect with families affected economically by the Covid-19 pandemic", it said.

The Singapore Mosque Korban Committee will mobilise mosque befrienders and volunteers to distribute korban meat in accordance with safe management guidelines.

On Aug 15 last year, more than 100 homes received korban meat from about 2,940 sheep sacrificed in Australia.

The full list of mosques offering modified korban this year can be accessed at this website.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.