Qurbani is a very holy time of the year for Muslims and followers of Islam. It falls across the 10th, 11th and 12th days of the last month of the Islamic (lunar) year, known as Dhul Hijjah. It is followed by Eid al-Adha, or Big Eid as it is sometimes called. For those outside of the Islamic community, Qurbani is little known compared to other events like Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr. For the benefit of friends of the Islamic community and those who are new to the community or who don’t have the guidance of a local Imam, we have put together this guide as to why Muslims give Qurbani.
The Origins of Qurbani
Qurbani can be traced back to the Prophet Ibrahim (AS). He was commanded by Allah (SWT) to sacrifice the person who was closest to him – his son, Ismail. Ibrahim (AS) loved his son dearly, but in order to demonstrate his devotion to Allah (SWT), he was prepared to sacrifice his son. Ibrahim (AS) explained to Ismail what was commanded of him by Allah (SWT) and, in obedience to his father and acceptance of what was required by Allah (SWT), agreed, but he requested two things.
First, he requested that his legs and arms be tied so that he would not struggle, and he also asked that his father wear a blindfold so that he didn’t have to see him suffer. Ismail accepted the sacrifice because he was aware of how much his father loved him, and he knew that Ibrahim needed to do this to prove his devotion to Allah (SWT).
At the last second before the sacrifice, Allah (SWT) swapped Ismail for a ram, saving Ismail. The process was a test by Allah (SWT) to determine how devoted and submissive Ibrahim (AS) was, and after showcasing his dedication, Ibrahim (AS) passed the test.
Qurbani is observed by Muslims in order to honour the sacrifice that Ibrahim (AS) was prepared to make as he demonstrated the level of devotion and submission Allah (SWT) expects. As well as being an act of obedience, Qurbani is also an act of charity which is very important and is echoed throughout the religion of Islam.
“A person is not a believer who fills his stomach while his neighbour goes hungry.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) (Bukhari)
Through Qurbani, Muslims are able to express wahda (unity) as they help those who need it most. They also learn patience and are made aware of the mercy Allah (SWT) chooses to impart, as well as showing mercy to brothers and sisters who are experiencing trying times and do not have the means to support themselves.
How Muslims Observe Qurbani
Traditionally, every able Muslim should give one share of Qurbani in the form of sacrificing one small animal (a sheep or a goat). The animal is sacrificed in the name of Allah (SWT) in accordance with the Qurbani sacrifice rules. It is then divided into three parts: one part is to be eaten and enjoyed by the donor and their family, one part is to be gifted and eaten by the donor’s friends, and one part is to be given to someone who is in need and hungry.
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 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.
“For every hair of the Qurbani you will receive a reward from Allah, and for every strand of its wool you will receive a reward.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
Fulfil your obligation as a Muslim and show your devotion to pleasing Allah (SWT) by giving your Qurbani through Orphans in Need. We greatly appreciate your donations and will use your Qurbani to fulfil your Islamic duties and feed those who are most in need around the world.
For more information on the work we do or how we distribute your Qurbani, please get in touch.