Below is a brief guide to the rules and recommendations of Qurbani.
Qurbani must only be performed on the tenth, eleventh and twelfth days of Dhul-Hijjah. You can order your Qurbani before this time, but the sacrifice must be carried out on the correct day. The first day is always better than the second, whilst the second is better than the last (Muslim Aid ensures sacrifices take place on Eid day).
Qurbani is to be offered by those who can afford it and meet other specific requirements; you must be a Muslim of sound mind, mature (have reached puberty), not aShar'itraveller, and in possession of 52.5 tolas of silver, or the equivalent in wealth. If you are obliged to offer Qurbani but miss the date, you are liable to pay compensation. It is not compulsory for children and the insane to practice Qurbani, nor are their guardians expected to perform Qurbani on their behalf.
During Qurbani, charity does not substitute Qurbani donations, nor does it fulfil the obligation. Donations must comply with the rules and restrictions of those countries receiving them. We make sure donations are practical and adhere to relevant political and cultural guidelines.
Qurbani sacrifices should be shared equally, in three parts; one for the family of the individual offering Qurbani, one for that individual's friends and relatives, and one for the poor and needy. Through Muslim Aid, you can donate Qurbani to those in need in other countries too. It is possible, and admirable, to perform Qurbani on behalf of the deceased.
Goats, sheep, cattle and camels; these are the animals eligible for Qurbani. However, minimum age limits apply. More details can be found on our FAQs page. A brief guide to eligible animals is:
Goat (Minimum age 1 year)
Cow, bull, buffalo (Minimum age 2 years old)
Camel (Minimum age 5 years old)
Sheep (Minimum age 1 year old; a sheep aged 6-12 months is permissible if they are strong, fat and healthy enough to appear one year old)
If an animal seller says the animal you purchase is of the required age, and there is no evidence to the contrary, you can take them at their word
Castrated animals are preferred, but not compulsory
Animals should be purchased a few days before the slaughter, and they must be cared for, fed and nurtured
The following animals are not to be used for Qurbani:
Blind, one-eyed or have lost a third (or more) of their sight
Missing a third (or more) of their ear or tail, either through loss or since birth
Those whose horn(s) have been broken off from their root
Those with one leg lame to such a degree that they are unable to use it to walk on
Excessively thin or lean creatures
Weak animals unable to walk themselves to the site of slaughter
Toothless animals, or those missing most of their teeth
Animals should be slaughtered quickly with a sharp knife, so they do not suffer. The knife is not to be sharpened in front of the animal though, and no animal should be slaughtered in the presence of another animal. Slaughtered animals are not to be skinned until completely cold.
It is best to slaughter the animal yourself, but if you do not know how, you should remain present whilst someone else sacrifices the creature. It is also necessary to say "Bismillahi Allahu Akbar" when slaughtering the animal.
The meat should be distributed to family, friends and the poor (Muslim and Non-Muslim). If you perform Qurbani with a partner(s), the meat should be shared by weight, not by approximation. You cannot pay the butcher with the meat, fat and by-products of the slaughtered animal. The skin can be kept for personal use, but if it is sold, the amount must be given to the poor.
You can find more details about Qurbani and our Qurbani programme on our FAQs page. Alternatively, for more information, get in touch with Muslim Aid.