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 (AS), in the name of Allah (SWT). At the last second, Allah (SWT) swapped Ibrahim’s (AS) son for a ram and revealed it had been a test.
Following Ibrahim’s (AS) 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. Muslims live far and wide around the world, and it is not possible for everyone to give Qurbani in the traditional way.
As a result, charities like Orphans in Need accept Qurbani donations online and use them to purchase and sacrifice animals on the donor's behalf. Whilst the donor will not see their share and their friends will not see the second share, they will still reap the rewards of making the donation, and those in need will be able to enjoy a nutritious and filling meal.
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.
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?
With strict controls and regulations governing the slaughter of animals in the developed world, it has become increasingly difficult for those for whom Qurbani is compulsory to perform the ritual themselves.
To fulfil their mandatory Qurbani requirements, many Muslims choose to 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 Muslims’ Qurbani donations
- Camels: seven shares = enough for seven eligible Muslims’ 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.
When is Qurbani 2023?
Qurbani and Eid al-Adha 2023 take place over the three-day period of Wednesday, 28 June, to Saturday, 1 July, though this may change slightly according to the moon.
Pay Your Qurbani
Please Allah (SWT) and reap the rewards by donating your Qurbani through Orphans in Need today. For more information and to donate now, please click here or contact us.