Qurbani is an obligation every financially able Muslim must fulfil for himself and his household. Muslims perform the Udhiya for the sake of Allah’s pleasure but is that the only reason why Muslims all around the world slaughter countless animals? Of course not. Allah (SWT) has not imposed obligation on mankind that doesn't benefit the people.
Qurbani is one of the more complicated topics to explain to children. Explaining Ramadan and the concept of fasting (Sawm) is easy and explaining Salat (prayer) is even easier. But how do you explain the concept of Qurbani to the young minds of tomorrow! How do you explain the sacrificing of the animal that children get so attached to so quickly? Truth be told, there is no easy way out around it. It is just one of those things that needs to be stated as it is. However, there are a few things parents can do to make this passage of information a smooth transition.
Break Things Up in Small Subjects
Never give the complete picture on the first go. This applies to virtually everything including religion. Instead, break things up into smaller subjects. Talk about Hajj which precedes the Qurbani to set things in motion. Talk about Mina and Arafat in general terms. Explain the importance of Jamarats in another sit down. Once that is done, lead them into the discussion of Qurbani.
Always Tell the Story of Abraham and Ismail
Qurbani is essentially performing the Sunnah of Ibrahim. Every parent should tell their children this story. It’s interesting, compelling and many great lessons can be derived from it. The story goes that Allah SWT gave Ibrahim an order to sacrifice the one he loves most; his son. Ibrahim didn't flinch for a second and proceeded to do as instructed. Allah SWT, being the All Merciful, replaced Ismail with a lamb leaving Ismail unharmed and unscathed. It was a test of obedience; one that Ibrahim passed graciously. It was at this point that Allah SWT made Qurbani or Udhiya, as it is more commonly known as, compulsory for all Muslims. Millions of people today perform this sacred ritual to honour that day and that deed.
Qurbani Is Practicing the Sunnah of Ibrahim
Once they understand this story, things will become much clearer. Muslims perform Qurbani because it is the Sunnah of Ibrahim, and just as Ibrahim sacrificed a lamb, to please Allah SWT, we intend to do the same to gain Allah’s will.
At Muslim Aid, we are proud to announce that we will be carrying out our Qurbani projects this year in full swing. Last year, your Qurbani donations reached some of the most isolated, poverty-stricken places in the world. We urge all Muslims to donate generously and perform the Qurbani festivities this Eid. May Allah SWT accept our Qurbani this year as well as the Hall of millions of pilgrims who will head to Mecca in the coming weeks. Ameen!