Internet makes sacrificing easier

JAKARTA - Thanks to technology, Muslims all over the country can now perform their religious obligations on the Islamic Day of Sacrifice, or Idul Adha, in much simpler ways.

One does not need to go anywhere. Just fill in an online form at home and transfer the money via cell phone or Internet banking, and livestock under your name can be slaughtered and distributed to the needy on the day, which this year falls on Oct. 15.

Among several institutions providing that kind of service is the charity organisation, Dompet Dhuafa.

Yuli Pujihardi, executive director of the Tebar Hewan Kurban (Scatter Sacrificed Animals) programme, said people's interest in joining the programme increased each year. He added that the essence of this programme was not only to make sacrifice easier, but also to ensure that meat went to those who needed it the most.

"We started the programme in 1994. It was based on our concern that sacrificial activities were only concentrated in certain areas, and in most cases, they only distributed meat around those areas, despite there being too much meat for the people living there," he told The Jakarta Post in a recent interview.

Yuli explained that the system saw Dompet Dhuafa receive money from customers and buy livestock from the organisation's partner breeders located across the nation. Six months before Idul Adha, he continued, the breeders had been given some money to ensure the livestock met the sacrificial requirements.

"We then hold sacrifices in selected locations that need the meat the most. With that system, the breeders get the money twice. We also want to empower their businesses. This year, our target is to sacrifice 30,000 animals. Last year, the number was 25,120," he said.

According to Dompet Dhuafa's official website, this year, 1,463 Muslims, mostly from Greater Jakarta, had joined the sacrifice programme as of Saturday. As many as 1,830 goats and 108 cows have been bought with accumulated funds reaching Rp 3.93 billion (S$432,000).

Nurmahliana Hasibuan, 51, a Jakarta resident, said she first joined Dompet Dhuafa's sacrifice programme four years ago.

She claimed it was simpler as besides doing it online, she could just go to one of the organisation's outlets in the city and pay for the livestock.

Dompet Dhuafa has opened many outlets in Jakarta, teaming up with giant retailers like Lotte Mart and Carrefour.

"The transparency is also very good. Our sacrifices are also spread to rural areas so we can be sure that those who get [the meat] are the most in need," Nurmahliana said.

In addition to Dompet Dhuafa, another organisation providing an integrated sacrifice service is Lazismu.

Run by the second-largest Muslim organisation in the country, Muhammadiyah, Lazismu delivers a programme called Kurban Pak Kumis (Mr. Moustache Sacrifice).