MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, YOGYAKARTA – Muslims worldwide commemorate Eid al-Hijjah on 10 Dhul-Hijjah. For financially capable Muslims, qurban is an obligatory act that must be performed. They commonly perform qurban by slaughtering animals such as goats, sheep, cows, buffaloes, and camels. Besides, many Muslims perform Hajj in Dhul-Hijjah.
On the other hand, poverty and inequality rates in Indonesia remain alarmingly high, with 9.5% of the population living in poverty and 21.6% of children suffering from malnutrition. Ironically, Muslims, the majority in Indonesia, cannot implement Islam as rahmatan lil alamin (mercy to the whole world) yet. Thus, there is a need to improve Muslims’ understanding, articulation, and implementation of noble Islamic teachings to avoid the situation where, as the renowned scholar Muhammad Abduh stated, “Muslims hide Islam” (al Islamu mahjubun bil muslimin).
The rituals of sacrifice and Hajj should be grasped as spiritual practices and definite answers to social issues such as poverty and malnutrition. If both are managed systematically and collaboratively, they can serve as alternative responses to the challenges of poverty and malnutrition for several reasons.
First, qurban and Hajj are reflections of an individual’s social righteousness. They have the spirit of mutual assistance, which becomes a robust foundation and social asset for combating poverty and reducing inequality.
Second, the economic value of qurban and Hajj is a primary catalyst for driving a massive grassroots economy. For instance, the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia estimated the need for sacrificial animals in 2023 reached 1,743,501 (Antara: June 26, 2023). There is also an increasing need in the feed sector, consumption, kitchen ingredients, sacrificial equipment, transportation, and labor. Additionally, the necessity of Hajj and Hajj damm animals will elevate the economic value of qurban and Hajj, reaching tens or even hundreds of trillions. The amount will stimulate the grassroots economy and foster a comprehensive ecosystem for qurban and Hajj.
Third, qurban and Hajj create jobs. The establishment of numerous derivative businesses in the field of qurban and Hajj will generate a significant number of positions, particularly in agriculture, livestock, and small-scale enterprises. The condition will reduce unemployment rates and expand the labor market.
Last, those Islamic rituals foster a socio-religious entrepreneurial ethos. Qurban and Hajj can create socio-religious entrepreneurs promoting socio-religious entrepreneurship.