To understand the fiqh that underpins EQL’s practices please read the Fiqh guide here.
1. Can you explain the issues in performing Aqiqah?
Aqiqah is ultimately an act of worship that offers protection for the child so it is important that safeguards are taken to ensure that those you bestow with this Amanah (Trust) are performing it to the best of their ability. Beyond establishing basic Aqiqah validity one should strive to ensure that this act of worship is performed with the highest possible religious status with a full embrace of Sunnah principles as much as possible. It is a unique ibadah and should be carried out by trustworthy professionals with utmost transparency and sincerity.
The first problem is an ineligible Aqiqah animal. Similar to Qurbani criteria lambs need to be above 6 months old at the time of Aqiqah. In the UK, because lamb is predominately grass-fed, there is a seasonal issue of lack of supply between July and September in particular (see below FAQ addressing this point).
The second problem is Aqiqah being performed, per the sunnah, on the correct day. This should be the seventh day of the baby’s birth (or fourteenth or twenty-first etc.), with the first day being the day of birth. So a Friday born baby should have its Aqiqah the following Thursday. There are practical issues such as slaughterhouses not operating on weekends or bank holidays so cannot cater for those days in particular. However most butchers don’t specify the Aiqah date. We print the date on each Aqiqah label so you get the assurance it was done on the day requested.
The third problem is having confidence that you receive the animal on which the baby and parent names have been read. At EQL all animals are processed in sequence and we provide individually named Aqiqah labels with the Aqiqah carcass so you can be assured the Aqiqah was performed on behalf of the right person and at the right time insha’Allah.
Another problem is Aqiqah being sold without size or weight indications. Thus religious consumers comparing UK Aqiqah prices compare a small lamb aqiqah with a large lamb aqiqah. The Prophet (sas) said that there is reward for every fibre of wool on the animal (analagous with Qurbani). Thus the bigger the animal the more the reward insha’allah.
2. How many Aqiqahs do you perform?
We perform Aqiqahs when there is an order. Most Aqiqahs are performed through butchers and wholesalers but more-and-more are performed directly with consumers who are passionate about getting the Aqiqah done directly from the source. We typically do one Aqiqah at a time (and they are usually done on separate days). This is because it involves some careful co-ordination on our production line to ensure that each Aqiqah is preformed accurately and in accordance to the sunnah at all times.
3. What are your Shariah credentials?
We are a Muslim owned abattoir that aims to operate in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Shariah. Since we’ve been operating we have conducted much scientific and shariah research and compiled a list of all Qur’anic ayat and all hadith we have come across in relation to Halal, Qurbani and Aqiqah. Read our Aqiqah fiqh page for a summary of Aqiqah fiqh criteria. We have our own internal Shariah advisors employed within the business who can be contacted at email@example.com.
We believe that implementing the Shariah properly is at the heart of everything we do. We have a mosque onsite for employees and the wider public. We are a riba-free organisation and operate our own foundation, Euro Quality Foundation, through which we pay our business Zakah.
Customers can rest assured that not only will their Aqiqah be performed with the highest possible religious status insha’Allah but no riba will be paid from their money and part of their money will go towards Zakah – a truly holistic approach to the Islamic Economy.
4. How can I order my Aqiqah with EQL?
You have two options if you would like to order your Aqiqah through Euro Quality Lambs.
(1) Order online, then collect or have it couriered to you. If you choose to collect it, then we will put your Aqiqah directly into your vehicle whilst you stay in the vehicle. Please note that, due to Covid, there will be no access to inside the abattoir at all so you will not be able to witness the process.
(2) Collect your Aqiqah from a local butcher we supply. You can submit your email and post-code via our sign-up page & select the ‘Qurbani & Aqiqah’ option under Interests. We will then send you a follow-on email with the nearest butcher to you that is offering Aqiqah performed by us.
5. How do you calculate the baby hair value?
Based on previous experience with babies in our family we have estimated the weight of the hair and multiplied it by the gold price.
6. When is the last order time for Aqiqah?
You can order anytime but please place your Aqiqah order early to allow us to plan the Aqiqah day accordingly.
We will process the next available Aqiqah day and you can collect the carcass the following day onwards after it has been chilled. If you have selected cutting then your Aqiqah carcass will be hung and matured (for free) until we cut it up the following Tuesday or Wednesday. As we are an abattoir and not a cutting operation we only cut on those days. It will be collected by the courier the same day for you to receive the following day (latest within 48 hours).
7. What type of animal should be slaughtered for Aqiqah?
Prophet Mohammad (sas) performed Aqiqah for his grandchildren Hasan and Husayn with rams, so sheep in particular have a special resonance for Aqiqah. You should slaughter the best quality animal and the heaviest animal you can afford. Lamb is more expensive than mutton due to its tenderness and quality. Such lambs must be at least 6 months old and mature (look like an adult lamb in weight i.e. over 17kg carcass weight) to be eligible for Aqiqah.
We offer Aqiqah Lamb & Sheep. Occasionally we can also offer Aqiqah Organic Lamb, Organic Sheep and Goat however we can only do them when we have a batch of them available and we cannot guarantee the Aqiqah day as they must all be processed together. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register any interest.
8. Can I bond with my animal before Aqiqah?
Normally we can facilitate you to see the animal selected for Aqiqah however this year due to Covid we do not allow anyone onsite.
9. How do you ensure Aqiqah lambs are over 6 months old?
The UK lamb industry is seasonal and lambing (when lambs are born) normally occurs between February-April. This means lambs are 6 months of age from roughly September onwards (depending on what the season was like when lambs were born). Those same lambs are available until around June time the following year, when the new crop of new spring lambs start to increase substantially (but which are underage at that time).
We have engaged with the sheep farming industry so they understand better the Aqiqah & Qurbani market requirements. We have engaged with sheep farming representatives such as the Livestock Auctioneers Association, Sheep Breeders, National Farmers Union and National Sheep Association as well as directly with farmers at Welshpool and Ruthin livestock markets. See here for an article in the Farmers Guardian of the presentation given to Ruthin farmers.
10. What affects the price of lamb?
Lamb price follows a typical seasonal pattern based on supply and demand. The UK sheep industry is inherently tayyib (pure, wholesome) as it’s a grass-based system so most sheep will only eat grass and forage during its life. Weather patterns and grass growth in parts of the country affect the supply of lambs. You can see the typical seasonal price variation and production variation in the graph below.
Lamb is typically at its highest price in May and at its lowest in September. As the Qurbani date moves back 10-11 days each year the base price of lamb will rise due to less availability of livestock.
11. What affects the price of Aqiqah lamb?
Supply of Aqiqah-age-eligible lamb at the time of year of Aqiqah will affect its price. There is more work to do with one Aqiqah than there is with Qurbani. During Qurbani we are dealing in large volumes so processing costs remain similar (as long as the day does not fall on a weekend). For Aqiqah we are typically dealing with one animal at a time and we have to manage our production line with precision, so there is no potential for mixing and it is tagged correctly. Hence multiple colleagues are involved, which will increase its cost of processing.
12. Which day do you perform Aqiqah?
We will perform Aqiqah on the nearest working day to the seventh day of the baby’s birth, provided we have been told this information. If no information is provided we will slaughter on any day of the week. We have our own masjid onsite (Craven Arms Islamic Centre).
13. How do you slaughter the animals for Aqiqah?
There are different ways of slaughtering Halal which can be seen from the educational sheep slaughter video here. We slaughter per the customer’s requirements. Our aim is to facilitate the Sunnah and customer’s requirements as far as practical.
14. Is your slaughterman a Muslim?
Yes! The business is Muslim owned and operated. From a fiqh perspective, a practising Christian or Jew can perform normal Halal slaughter with some extra rules but as Aqiqah is an act of Ibadah (worship) only a Muslim can perform this type of slaughter. We have plenty of qualified Muslim employees with Certificates of Competence so there is no shortage of slaughtermen!
15. Do the slaughtermen read Salah?
We have our own masjid onsite and a dedicated prayer facility inside the abattoir for Muslim abattoir operatives. Our main slaughtermen all read Salah.
16. Can I perform my Aqiqah myself?
Slaughter is a regulated activity and all slaughtermen must hold a licence known as a Certificate of Competence to allow them to slaughter legally. It is also better for the animal to be slaughtered by an experienced slaughterman rather than someone with little or no practice. We, therefore, do not allow anyone to perform Aqiqah themselves.
17. Can I witness my Aqiqah myself?
Normally we allow consumers to witness their Aqiqah if requested. However, due to Covid we will not be allowing anyone inside the premises this year, unfortunately.
18. Do you mention the name of the baby and the parents at the time of slaughter?
Yes. One of our colleagues will read out the baby and parents names just before slaughter.
From a fiqh perspective, your Aqiqah is performed even if no name is mentioned. However, our objective is to facilitate the Sunnah by mentioning the name just before slaughter.
For Qurbani our slaughtermen make the intention and recite the Qurbani dua at the start and end of each Qurbani batch. This can be done for Aiqah as well is requested but there is no precendet for this. As per Halal requirements they recite the tasmiya on every slaughter.
19. How can I be confident that I will receive my Aqiqah carcass?
You can see our abattoir in the Halal farm-to fork video. Everything works on a sequential production line. Once the slaughtered animal is hooked onto the production line it stays in sequence until it arrives at the weighing station at the end of the production line. At this point, the pre-loaded Aqiqah carcass label is attached to the carcass with your Aqiqah name on it. Baring any unforeseen circumstances, you can rest assured that all efforts have been made for you to receive and enjoy your Aqiqah carcass.
20. Do you offer Aqiqah certification?
Most customers don’t ask for certification because of our credentials, transparency, and reputation. However, we can offer HMC certification for those customers that want it but they only come on certain days so we will have to check in advance first.
21. What happens with the Aqiqah skins?
We thought you’d never ask! Unfortunately, the vast majority of Aqiqahs (and indeed Qurbanis) performed in the UK do not factor in the money from the Aqiqah skin and offal. Consumers forget that for Aqiqah they are buying an animal and not just the carcass. Normally the abattoir would reduce the price of selling the carcass with the amount received from selling the skin and offal. However, during Aqiqah this means that the poor are missing out because in effect they are deprived of the money from the skins whilst consumers get a discount!
We educate our customers on what the value of the skin, offal, casing and tripe is and provide the option on whether they just want to pay for the Aqiqah carcass only whilst taking responsibility of paying the skin value to the poor themselves or whether they want us to make the donation on their behalf.
The latest prices are on our order page but as of Oct 2021 the combined price for lambskin, casing and tripe is £4 and for sheep/mutton it’s £2. All skin & offal money donations we receive will be given to our Aqiqah charity partner Islamic Relief.
Note: The skin cannot be taken away as it must be ‘tanned’ i.e. processed at an authorised site – hence it is sold and the money donated to charity.
22. Can I donate a third or all of my Aqiqah meat to charity?
Yes! You can donate the whole Aqiqah to charity or you can donate a third as per the sunnah. When you donate a third the Aqiqah carcass is cut into 6 primals – 2 shoulders, 2 loins and 2 legs. Two of these six pieces are set-aside for charity with the remaining 4 pieces given back to you the Aqiqah owner in a box to take to a butcher for final cutting. There is a charge for primal cutting and cutting the meat into pieces for the end beneficiary to use immediately for cooking.
23. Who do you give the donated Aqiqah meat to?
See our blog for how we distribute Qurbani meat.
We have requests from many of the 22 Syrian refugee families settled in the local area of Shropshire & Mid-Wales, up from the 9 families previously. We also have requests from UK food-banks and other charities from the wider public so will be working with them as well. We highlight Aqiqah & Qurbani as The Muslim ThanksGiving – but instead of turkeys we do lamb! We explain the origin of the Qurbani practice through the story of Prophet Abraham (pbuh) to remind the many commonalities between the Abrahamic faiths. It’s a great opportunity to discuss what we have in common and to share the blessings of Aqiqah and Qurbani with the local community.
24. Can part of the Aqiqah carcass be condemned by meat inspectors?
Yes. On occasion, if there is an abscess in the leg or some other pathology the inspector may condemn part of the carcass so that part will be cut off and disposed of. This is rare and cannot always be easily detected in the live animal. If that occurs we will provide you with additional meat to make up for the part that was condemned. This does not affect the validity and status of your Aqiqah. Condemnations are part of the normal hygiene process and occur in meat plants every day.
25. What is maturation? How long can my Aqiqah carcass stay in your chillers?
You may have seen beef marketed in supermarkets as 28 day matured on the bone. Lamb carcasses can be matured for up to 10 days and longer in our commercial refrigeration chillers. During maturation, the lamb meat tenderises and develops more flavour. There is some natural weight loss with some extra trimming required when the carcass is cut but maturation adds to the flavour and experience when consuming the meat.
When Aqiqah is performed on certain days and we have to wait until Tuesday or Wednesday for cutting the carcass is held hanging in maturation for free.
26. How can I take my Aqiqah carcass away?
Ideally, you will need a cool hygienic vehicle. We will provide the Aqiqah carcass with name-tag in a blue-liner (or Aqiqah box if the cutting option is chosen) that can be placed in the vehicle if it is in a hygienic condition. The carcass will have been chilled to 7C core temperature before despatch. You should arrange to take it to your butcher as soon as possible so it can be cut for you.
27. Can I take away the red offal (heart, liver, lungs) or the green offal (head, feet, tripe, casing)?
Yes for red offal. We will put the red offal in a bag and into your Aqiqah carcass. Please note some offal may be condemned by meat inspectors so you will be offered offal from the general batch instead. Condemnations can occur for a number of reasons, such as liver fluke, which are not identifiable in the live animal.
For green offal such as head, feet, tripe & casing these are processed (washed to remove hair and contamination) on a batch basis so it is not possible to trace these to your Aqiqah. However, you may take them from a general batch but a further processing charge will be applicable.
28. Do you offer cutting for Aqiqah?
We can offer 6-way primal cutting for a charge – the Aqiqah carcass is cut into 2 shoulders, 2 loins and 2 legs and put into a box for next day collection.
For full cuts into English or Desi or requested cuts we can only do so on the following Tuesday or Wednesday following your Aqiqah performance. We have limited capacity so cutting can be delayed by up to 7 days with the carcasses undertaking maturation until it can be processed. There is a charge for cutting.
29. What do I need to consider in terms of the shelf-life of the product?
Shelf-life depends on a number of factors – how cold the product is, how has it been kept, how large the meat pieces are (bacteria is on the surface of the meat not internal), how exposed to air it is etc. As a general rule larger primals have a longer shelf-life than small bite-size meat pieces which itself has a longer shelf-life than ground mince. The smaller the pieces the smaller the shelf-life.
Products that are vacuum-packed have longer shelf-life than products simply put in a bag or liner. A product that is chilled has a longer shelf-life than a product that is warm.
You should aim to keep your Aqiqah chilled and cook it properly as soon as possible. Take the carcass straight to the butcher for immediate cutting. Once cut you should portion the into freezer bags, chill/freeze the cut pieces immediately and/or cook/distribute as soon as possible. Keep the meat away from contaminated surfaces, avoid double-handling raw meat and use disposable gloves if possible. It is good hygenic practice to wash your hands before and after touching meat.
30. Where can I find cooking tips & advice for my Aqiqah meat?
Lamb is diverse and flavourful meat that enhances all types of cuisines. Visit the #LoveLamb recipe section of our website where you can discover an abundance of mouth-watering recipes and cooking tips, so you can take your taste buds on a delicious journey around the world. Many customers organise an Aqiqah party to invite friends and neighbours round to take part in the joy and blessings.
We wish you a joyous celebration and a happy Aqiqah party!
31. What facilities do you have for prayer?
We have our own masjid onsite, Craven Arms Islamic Centre. We are operating Covid precautions, such as bringing your own prayer mats and wearing a face-mask. Please check the website for further details. We have facilities for brothers and sisters.
32. If I bring my family what is there for them to do?
Being in the countryside there are lots of Covid-secure activities and attractions nearby. Please see our Halal Shropshire Hills page for ideas.
33. When can I collect my Aiqah?
You can collect the day after it is performed for carcass or 6-way cut collection. For cut Aqiqah you can collect the Wednedsay evening following the Aqiqah performance day. Please get in touch to arrange collection time.
34. I’m fascinated by the halal lamb farm-to-fork supply chain. Where do the lambs come from?
With pleasure! We believe it’s crucial for consumers to know where their food comes from. Sa’ad ibn Abi Waqqa, a famous Companion, was asked ‘Why is it that your prayers are responded to the most?’. He replied ‘I do not raise to my mouth a morsel except that I know where it came from and what it came out of.’ [reported in Sharh Al-Arba].
Watch this Islam Channel produced halal lamb farm-to-fork documentary where you can see our local farmer, livestock market and abattoir in operation. Subtitles in English, French, German and Arabic are available in the text-box.
35. Is there any farm or livestock event in the area I can attend?
Acton Scott Historic Working Farm is only a few miles down the road. Burwarton Show is close to us and takes place on the first Thursday of every August.
We appreciate that some customers cannot make the journey and are happy to wait for their Aqiqah to be cut and delivered by courier. We thus provide a courier option. You still have the option of donating a third to charity as explained above.
36. What is the courier cost?
The courier cost is £20 for up to 20kg meat delivery. You will receive a dispatch confirmation email and a tracking code when your Aqiqah box is collected. Whilst in transit you have options to manage the delivery by asking the box to be left in a specified safe place, or left with a neighbour or be available to collect from the courier’s nearest depot at your convenience.
37. Does the courier ship to my address?
Delivery is available across the UK excluding Highlands and Islands. Unfortunately, we do not deliver orders made through our online store outside of the UK.
38. How do I receive the Aqiqah? Insulated meat-box with ice.
You receive the meat in a wool-insulated box with ice-gel packs. This keeps the meat cool for 48 hours. The meat is in its own packaging. As soon as you receive it please put it into your fridge for immediate preparation or into the freezer for later consumption.
39. When can I receive the Aqiqah? Courier delivery dates.
The Aqiqah will be performed on your selected day, the Aqiqah performance day. The carcass will be matured from the Aqiqah performance day to the cutting day. We will cut the Aqiqah carcass the Tuesday or Wednesday after the Aqiqah performance day. It will be collected the same day for delivery the next or following day. 97% receive the delivery the following day with the remainder the day after. So you should receive delivery on Wednesday or Thursday (latest Friday) insha’Allah.