"We meet almost 40 percent of our annual expenses by selling hides of sacrificial animals," Dr. Tabassum Jafri, Secretary Al-Khidmat Foundation charity, told IslamOnline.net.
Al-Khidmat, a sister organization of the country's most powerful religious party, the Jammat-e-Islami (JI), runs four charity hospitals, 16 basic health units, nine coffin carriage centers, one diagnostic center and a charity dental hospital in Karachi.
"The total annual expenses of these projects are Rs 100 million, of which Rs 40 million we get through hides of sacrificial animals," said Jafri.
Jammat-ul-Dawa'h, a new face of the outlawed Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LT), equally depends on udhiyah skin.
"We cope with our major expenditures through cash donations and hides of sacrificial animals," Abu Hamza, a spokesmen for Jammat-ul-Dawa'h, told IOL.
"We have received around 120,000 hides this year in all over the country on `Eid, which is likely to generate over Rs 120 million."
He said the amount shares 30 percent of the total expenses of ongoing relief projects.
Jammat-ul-Dawa'h came in limelight for its extra-ordinary relief efforts in earthquake-stricken areas.
It has been running several charity hospitals, dispensaries and educational institutions in different parts of the country.
A financially-able Muslim sacrifices a single sheep or goat or shares six others in sacrificing a camel or a cow as an act of worship during `Eid Al-Adha, one of the two main festivals in the Islamic calendar.
The well-off and those who have the Nisab (payable amount) of Zakah should offer a sacrifice. The time for offering a sacrifice begins after the `Eid Al-Adha prayer.
The ritual reminds Muslims of the great act of sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim and his son Isma`eel were willing to make for the sake of God.
A hide of cow or bull was sold at Rs 1500 to Rs 2000 (20 to 30 dollars) in the skin market. (IOL photo)
Al-Khidmat has been donated 40,000 hides by the people of Karachi, the most populous city of Pakistan, this year, Jafri said.
"Our income through hides of sacrificial animals have registered 40 percent increase during the last four-five years," he added.
"Before that, we used to receive 25,000 to 30,000 hides annually, but after 9/11 the trend has been increased in favor of religious relief organizations, including Al-Khidmat."
Hides of sacrificial animals have been the prime financial source for relief organizations, religious seminaries, charity hospitals and community-based organizations in Pakistan for decades.
Especially after 9/11, Islamic relief organizations and religious seminaries have been heavily dependent on hide collection in view of global restrictions on funding to such organizations.
According to an estimate by Pakistan Skin and Hide Merchant Association (PSHMA), some 7 million animals of different kinds and hues, worth Rs 80 to 90 billion (1.5 billion dollars), were slaughtered on `Eid Al-Adha, celebrated on January 1.
A hide of cow or bull was sold at Rs 1500 to Rs 2000 (20 to 30 dollars) in the skin market, while the skin of goat/sheep was sold at a cost of Rs 300 to Rs 500 (6 to 9 dollars) this year.
Shaikh Arshad, PSHMA president, said skin merchants had bought around 200,000 hides across the country from Al-Khidmat and 100,000 from Jammat-ul-Dawa'h.
Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital in Lahore, run by cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan and named after his mother, appealed for people to donate hides of sacrificial animals for the hospital.
"We receive thousands of hides every year throughout the country, which help us run the hospital," Imran Ismaeel, a hospital spokesman, told IOL.
"This year too, we have got very positive response in Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, and other cities.
"We have not so far gathered the data for this year, but I can safely say that we will surpass our target," he said.
The charity hospital has been providing treatment for poor and needy cancer patients at much cheaper rates for the past 13 years.
Edhi Foundation, led by renowned social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi, claims to have been running Asia's largest charity ambulance service.
Prior to 9/11, it had been one of the major collector of hides.
However, the number of hides donated to the foundation had been declining for last five years as people now prefer to donate to religious organizations, a spokesman told IOL, requesting anonymity.
Shortly after the September 11 attacks, Pakistan abandoned its support for the Taliban, which was sheltering Al-Qaeda leaders, and became a front-line ally in the US-led "war on terror."
Pakistan has since arrested several senior Al-Qaeda members including Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the alleged mastermind of the 2001 attacks.
The South Asian country has also banned dozens on charity organizations on the grounds of links to terrorist groups.Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16