“Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.”
What is Qurbani?
Qurbani (sometimes called udhiyah) is the ritual sacrifice of an animal that happens every year at the end of Eid al-Adha – the festival of sacrifice.
Qurbani donations come about because of that sacrifice. The word Qurbani is literally translated from Arabic as “a way or means of approaching someone” or “nearness”.
In the Qu'ran, the word Qurbani is used twice, once very early on in discussing Qabil and Habil specifically to refer to the sacrifice of animals (Qu'ran 5:27), and another in reference to any general act that can potentially bring a person closer to Allah (SWT) (Qu'ran 46:28).
When is Qurbani 2019?
Qurbani 2019 will happen on Eid al-Adha 2019, which falls on Monday the 12th of August this year.
Do I Need to Do Qurbani Every Year?
Bar a few exceptions, every sane, able, adult Muslim is required to perform Qurbani every year.
Why Do Muslims Perform Qurbani?
The meaning of Qurbani comes from the account in the Holy Qu’ran which describes the sacrifice made by the Prophet Ibrahim (S.A) atop Mount Arafat.
The Qu’ran records that the Prophet Ibrahim (S.A) had a deep and vivid dream that could have only come from the lips of Allah (SWT) himself. Following this encounter, Ibrahim (S.A) knew he had been instructed to take the life of his son Hazrat Ishmael (S.A) as a divine and holy sacrifice. Both Hazrat Ishmael (S.A) and Ibrahim (S.A) submitted to the will of Allah (SWT) and went to the top of the mountain. Yet in the most vital last moment, Allah (SWT) performed a miracle, moved Hazrat Ishmael (S.A) to safety, and replaced him with a beast.
Eid al-Adha is the celebration of this supreme act of submission to Allah (SWT), and Qurbani is the remembrance of the specific moment.
What is the Purpose of this Sacrifice?
Donating your Qurbani can provide meat to people living in some of the most disadvantaged and remote regions of the world, where many people are suffering from poverty and starvation. The aim is to provide these people and their communities with enough food so that they, too, can enjoy Eid al-Adha along with millions of their Muslim brothers and sisters.
What Animals are Eligible for Qurbani?
This is a very important question because not all animals are eligible for Qurbani, and even then, there are some restrictions as to whether a particular animal can be sacrificed for Qurbani.
Animals that are eligible for Qurbani are:
- Goats (at least one-year-old)
- Sheep (at least one-year-old)
- Bulls, cows or buffalo (two years old minimum)
- Camels (five years old minimum)
The animals can be either male or female. However, there are some further restrictions. Any animal sacrificed for Qurbani should have no injuries, disabilities, or broken bones, including its horns. In addition, when the animal is sacrificed, the sacrifice must be Halal.
How Many Animals Do I Have to Sacrifice?
There is flexibility when it comes to Qurbani. Qurbani animals have shares, and an individual needs only one share to fulfil their ritual obligation.
A goat or sheep counts as one share - meaning that a single person must buy a goat or sheep in its entirety on their own to perform their Qurbani ritual. All other animals have seven shares, which means that seven people can collectively contribute money, and in return, get their share of the meat.
Who Has to Provide the Qurbani Animal?
Providing an animal for Qurbani is an annual obligation on every Muslim who meets the following criteria:
- They are of sound mind
- They are past the age of puberty
- They have disposable income above and beyond their essential needs
When Does the Qurbani Sacrifice Happen?
Qurbani sacrifices happen every year between the morning of the 10th and the sunset of the 13th day of Dhul-Hijjah, the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar. This is also the time that the end of Hajj is celebrated.
On the day itself, there are special prayers – Eid Salah – to be spoken before the animal is sacrificed.
How is Qurbani Distributed?
The meat of the animal that is sacrificed is distributed among three separate groups:
- The person who provided the animal
- The friends and relatives of the person who provided the animal
- The poor and the needy
The Qurbani donation of giving meat to those in need serves to remind us that everything we have is ultimately a gift from Allah (SWT), and thus we must be prepared to sacrifice it to him upon his request. As part of that sacrifice, we may be asked to do things to further his broader will, and a central component of that will is provision for the poor and needy.
What Does Al Mustafa Welfare Trust Do for Qurbani?
Al Mustafa Welfare Trust makes it possible for disadvantaged Muslims around the world to participate in Qurbani, thanks to the Qurbani donations of their generous brothers and sisters.
These are just a few facts on Qurbani. To find out more about the meaning of Qurbani or to donate with Al Mustafa Welfare Trust, see here.