As the time to give our Qurbani approaches, we’ve created a simple guide to this blessed act of sacrifice to answer any questions you may have.
What is Qurbani?
Qurbani (or ‘Udhiya’, an Arabic word meaning ‘blood sacrifice’) is the sacrifice of an animal for the glorification of Allah. The word Qurbani comes from ‘Qurban’, an Arabic term that means an act performed to seek God’s pleasure.
A minimum of one third of the meat must go to poor or vulnerable people and, traditionally, the remaining two thirds are split between the donor’s family and neighbourhood. In the UK, many people choose to perform their Qurbani in poorer countries, where their donation can have the greatest impact.
Why do we give Qurbani?
Each year, Muslims reflect the obedience of the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) by making an animal sacrifice to the glory of God. In a dream, Allah commanded Ibrahim to sacrifice his only son Ismail (AS).
Although Ibrahim loved Ismail very much, he was willing to give him up in devotion to Allah. At the last minute, Allah spared the life of Ismail and sent a ram to be sacrificed instead.
Qurbani is an act of worship and charity that was continued by the Messenger (PBUH) who said, “It is the Sunnah of your father Ibrahim. For every hair of the Qurbani you receive a reward from Allah.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
To this day, Qurbani is performed in honour of the Prophet Ibrahim’s surrender to the will of Allah. When we offer our Qurbani, we prove that we too are completely obedient to God and His commands.
Who should perform Qurbani?
Qurbani is incumbent upon all sane adults who have wealth in excess of their needs, according to most schools of thought. This usually means that anyone who is eligible to pay Zakat, must also perform Qurbani.
When is the deadline for Qurbani?
For your Qurbani to be accepted, it must be performed between the first and fourth days of Eid al-Adha.
When should I make my Qurbani payment?
You can make your Qurbani payment anytime from the start of the month of Dhul Hijjah – which will likely begin on 2nd August (depending on the sighting of the moon) – until
maghrib on the second day of Eid al-Adha. But the sooner we receive your donation, the better chance we have of ensuring that vulnerable families will have their meat in time to celebrate Eid al-Adha.
According to certain sources, the act of Qurbani is best performed directly once Eid prayers are over.
Which animals are eligible for Qurbani?
The animals commonly used for Qurbani are sheep, cows, goats and camels. They can be male or female but must be in good health and free from any injuries. The goats and sheep must be at least one year old, cattle, two years, and camels, five years old.
What type of Qurbani meat do we provide?
In Palestine, we will be freezing your Qurbanis to ensure they remain fresh for distribution in a country where transportation is restricted. In all other countries we will be providing fresh meat. We will be performing Qurbani on cows in all countries, except in Syria, where sheep will be used.
How is Qurbani volume decided?
One person must provide one Qurbani, or one share. Each Qurbani animal makes up a certain number of shares. A small animal such as a sheep or goat counts as one Qurbani share, while larger animals like camels and cattle count as seven Qurbani shares each.
Can I buy more than one Qurbani?
Only adults of means are required to give Qurbani, but you can buy as many shares as you like – perhaps one for each family member, and even for loved ones who have passed on.
Are all costs included in the Qurbani?
Yes, all the costs needed to complete your Qurbani donation are included in the amount you give.
Where will my Qurbani be distributed?
This year, we’re distributing Qurbani parcels to families in eight countries: Bangladesh, India, Iraq, Pakistan, Palestine, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. You can also choose to donate to Where Most Needed and we’ll ensure that your Qurbani is delivered to those who need it most in one of these eight countries.
Who does my Qurbani help?
In the midst of a global food crisis, Qurbani parcels are more important than ever. Yemen is on the brink of the worst famine in a century, and 85,000 young Yemeni children have starved to death.
The continuing blockade in Gaza, coupled with consistent airstrikes and high levels of unemployment have made it all but impossible for Palestinians to make a reliable living.
Today, 1.3 million people in Gaza do not have enough food to eat.
In Syria, food is unaffordable for many families; the agricultural industry was devastated by the war, and, last year, the country experienced the worst drought for 30 years which killed livestock and decimated crop yields, the effects of which are still felt today. The result is a nation in which 6.5 million people face life-threatening food insecurity.
According to Unicef, this year there are almost 820 million people going hungry around the world. Your Qurbani donations will provide relief to those who are struggling to feed their families this Eid.
How are recipients of Qurbani selected?
Our field staff survey and assess the needs of local families ahead of Qurbani to work out where help is most needed. We complete needs assessments, often focusing on female-headed households and families that live below the poverty line. Often, Qurbani is the only time in the year that some people will have the chance to eat meat.
Some families will already be benefiting from our help in other ways – through orphan sponsorship, Ramadan distribution or by attending a school or hospital we’re supporting – but for others, this will be the first time they receive help.
Follow in the footsteps of the prophets. Give your Qurbani today.