Qurbani (also known as Udhiya) is the important Islamic practice of sacrificing a livestock animal during the festival of Eid ul-Adha. This festival takes place between the 10th and the 12th of the month of Dhul Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar.
Eid ul-Adha is a celebration of the resolute and unflinching will of the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) who was commanded by Allah (SWT) to sacrifice his only son. Yet, at the final moment, a miracle happened and his beloved son was saved.
After the livestock animal has been sacrificed, its meat is divided into three equal portions - one for the individual performing Qurbani, one for the family of the Muslim who provided the animal, and one for the poor and needy.
The purchasing or provision of a Qurbani animal, otherwise known as paying the Qurbani price, is obligatory for every Muslim who is financially able to do so. There are strict Qurbani rules surrounding which animals can be sacrificed including the species of the animal, the quality of the life it has led, its health status and additional guidelines on how it must be sacrificed.
Literally translated, Qurbani means sacrifice. Today, this refers to the sacrifice of animals to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) dedication to Allah (SWT) and his willingness to give up what was most important to him in the name of faith.
Qurbani instils the same devotion and dedication within Muslims towards Allah (SWT) as the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) showed. Even though the act of Qurbani itself is to bring death to the animal, the actual meaning is about life. It is meant to teach Muslims restraint, obedience to Allah (SWT), devotion to righteousness, and Taqwa.
Furthermore, Qurbani serves as an important means to both remember and provide for the most vulnerable in our communities, ensuring they are not left excluded from community-wide celebrations. By sacrificing an animal during the Eid ul-Adha festivities, Qurbani brings the entire Ummah together.
This year, Eid ul-Adha is expected to begin on the evening of Thursday 30th July, though this is subject to the sighting of the moon and can vary depending on location. Qurbani sacrifices will need to be completed within three days of Eid ul-Adha officially beginning, between the 10th and 12th days of Dhul Hijjah.
Qurbani in the UK often does not mean sacrificing an animal locally. Instead, Muslims in the UK will often provide an animal for a family or community elsewhere in the Ummah, forgoing the portions normally given to you and your neighbours, and instead provide more shares for those most in need.
At Muslim Aid, we are proud to announce that we will be carrying out extensive Qurbani projects in 2020. Last year, your Qurbani donations reached some of the most isolated and poverty-stricken places around the world. With your support, we can continue to make a difference this year, too.
We urge you to donate generously so that the positive influence of Qurbani can be felt around the world this Eid ul-Adha, Inshallah.