Deep in sleep one night, the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was paid a visit by Allah (SWT), who requested that he sacrifice the thing that is most precious to him. Upon waking, the Prophet (AS) was saddened to realise that the thing most precious to him was his son, Ismail (AS). Knowing that Allah (SWT) would not make this request of him without reason, the Prophet (AS) discussed the request with his son, and they made plans to ascend to the top of Mount Arafat and carry out Allah’s (SWT) wish.
When they reached the summit, Ismail (AS) asked his father to bind his arms and legs so that he would not struggle during the sacrifice. He also requested that his father cover his own eyes with a blindfold to spare him from the pain of having to witness the sacrifice of his son.
When the deed was completed, the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) removed his blindfold and found that in the place of his son was a ram. The story of Qurbani explains how, at the last moment, Allah (SWT) recognised the great sacrifice that the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) had agreed to make in his honour and decided to spare Ismail’s (AS) life by swapping him for a ram, as a sign of his deepest gratitude.
Demonstrating A Deep Faith in Allah (SWT)
This story is told to Muslims throughout the world to explain what Qurbani is and why we do Qurbani. The word itself means ‘offering’ and is the ritual of sacrificing an animal – usually a goat, sheep, cow, or camel, during the month of Dhul Hijjah, the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar. The sacrifice of Ismail (AS) by his father, the Prophet Ibrahim (AS), is illustrative of his deep faith and commitment to Allah (SWT). This deep faith is, in turn, recognised by Allah (SWT) who rewards the Prophet (AS) by sparing his son and placing a ram in his place.
As a result, the significance of Qurbani has become an essential ritual in the Islamic calendar. It takes place as one of the obligatory acts of Hajj – the Fifth Pillar of Islam.
Every non-disabled Muslim is expected to perform Qurbani every year. The meat is then shared in three equal portions – to help feed those in poverty, to feed friends and family, and to keep for themselves.
Help Feed Hundreds and Thousands of Needy Orphans
Many countries these days have strict controls and regulations around the slaughter of animals. However, the importance of Qurbani has evolved with the progress of these regulations, and it is now common for Muslims in wealthier countries to make Qurbani donations online to help feed and nurture the hundreds and thousands of Muslims living in under-developed nations, where hunger and poverty are rife.
Sharing the Joy
The festival of Eid al-Adha is such an important and joyful celebration in the Islamic world that it is vital that everyone has the chance to enjoy it. Through charities such as Orphans in Need, you can ensure that your Qurbani donation is used directly to help those who need it the most.
Orphans in Need is a UK-based organisation working across 14 poverty-stricken countries, including Somalia, Mali, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, and Palestine. First established in 2005, we are dedicated to supporting orphans, working towards a world where everyone gets the help and respect they deserve. Part of this is to provide relief from hunger, and the Qurbani Eid story gives us the opportunity to help these orphans celebrate the joy of Eid al-Adha.
Promoting Self Sufficiency
The wider aim is also to help local communities become more self-sufficient, adding to the importance of Qurbani to these different populations. When you make your Qurbani donation, Orphans in Need works in advance with local farmers and suppliers, bringing in much-needed investment and money to the area. This investment is a vital source of income for a struggling economy and feeds back into the community, generating increased demand for jobs. So, your Qurbani donation is not just a one-off gift but a vital source of long-term investment and commitment to reducing poverty and building lives.
This is very much in line with the philosophy of Orphans in Need and the creation of a world in which everyone lives a happier and healthier life.
Naim lives in one of the poorest areas of Bangladesh, where floods and cyclones leave families devastated. Naim’s father committed suicide when Naim was just six years old, leaving Naim and his family with no means of support or income. Although his mother started work, her meagre earnings barely covered enough to put food on the table. By being fortunate enough to receive a Qurbani donation, Naim and his family were finally able to eat a proper, nourishing meal.
Naim’s story is one in thousands illustrating the importance of Qurbani to similar communities across the globe.
Never forget that the importance of your Qurbani is not short-lived – its benefits will be felt for generations to come. Donate your Qurbani to change lives today.