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The final month of the Islamic calendar – known as Dhul Hijjah – is one of the most religious times of the year for Muslims because it is when Qurbani and Eid al-Adha are observed and celebrated. Qurbani, sometimes called Udhiya, is the slaughter of an animal. It is done to acknowledge the devotion to Islam Ibrahim (AS) demonstrated when he was asked by Allah (SWT) if he was willing to sacrifice the thing closest to him to prove his dedication. Ibrahim (AS) was prepared to sacrifice his son, Ismail, in the name of Allah (SWT). At the last second, Allah (SWT) swapped Ibrahim’s son for a ram and revealed it had been a test. 

Following Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Muslims are required to commemorate his dedication through Qurbani whereby they sacrifice an animal and divide it into three parts: a part for themselves and their family, a part for their extended family and friends, and a part for those in need. 

The sacrifice takes place after the Eid Salaah (Eid prayers) and spans the 10th, 11th and 12th days of Dhul Hijjah. After the three days of sacrifice are complete, Eid al-Adha begins which is a time of great celebration, prayers, food and gifts. 

Qurbani is a considerably holy time of the Islamic year, but it is somewhat lesser-known to those outside of the Muslim community. If you’re a friend of the community and are looking to find out more about this event, or if you’re new to Islam or without the guidance of a local Imam and want to know if Qurbani is compulsory and if so, who to, Orphans in Need is here to help. 

Is Qurbani Compulsory?

Qurbani is an obligatory act for every eligible Muslim. 

Who is Qurbani Compulsory On?

Qurbani is a key part of Islam, but like Zakat and Ramadan, not everyone will be in a position to observe it. As such, the following people are deemed in a position to undertake Qurbani and must do so in order to please Allah (SWT):

  • Muslims who have reached the age of puberty
  • Muslims who are of sound mind
  • Muslims who have 52.5 tolas (614.25 grams) of silver or the wealth equivalent (cash and possessions)
  • Muslims who are not travelling and who are within 27 miles (45km) of their home

Those who do not fit into the above categories are not required to do Qurbani. 

How is Qurbani Paid?

Traditionally, Qurbani was such that the people for whom it was compulsory would sacrifice an animal or, at the very least, be present when their sacrifice was being made. Due to the distribution of Muslims around the world and the demands of modern life, a lot of Muslims make a monetary Qurbani donation to a charity like Orphans in Need. We use the money to purchase animals and slaughter them in accordance with the Qurbani sacrificial rules. We then distribute the meat amongst the neediest, though it is important to note that even though the donor may not see their share of the meat, they are still attributed one share for their household and one share for their friends. 

How Much is Qurbani?

The price of Qurbani is dependent on a range of factors. Whether you donate to a Qurbani charity or partake in the sacrifice yourself, you will need to pay for at least one animal. Different animals have different values. Every eligible Muslim must pay for at least one share for themselves, but it is possible for a person to pay for other people’s shares as well as their own. For example, a couple might choose to combine their Qurbani and purchase a larger animal that is worth more than one share, and parents might choose to donate one share for each of them and one share on behalf of their children who are not yet eligible to pay Qurbani as a gesture of goodwill. 

Different animals are worth different shares due to their size. Commonly sacrificed animals and their share worth are listed below:

  • Goats and sheep: one share = enough for one eligible Muslim’s Qurbani donation
  • Cows (buffalo in India): seven shares = enough for seven eligible Muslim’s Qurbani donations
  • Camels: seven shares = enough for seven eligible Muslim’s Qurbani donations

It is common for households to donate a camel, cow or buffalo as part of a family donation. 

The price of each animal changes every year

Who Receives Qurbani?

Charity in Islam is a big factor and as such, Zakat and Fitrana donations are also made throughout the year. 

“A person is not a believer who fills his stomach while his neighbour goes hungry.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) (Bukhari)

Qurbani donations are split into three shares, with one of those shares going to people in need, such as orphans or widows and those who are living in poverty. Here at Orphans in Need, we work across several countries and will prioritise the neediest communities to receive your Qurbani donations. 

Pay Your Qurbani

Please Allah (SWT) and reap the rewards by donating your Qurbani through Orphans in Need today. For more information, please contact us.


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