بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم (bismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm)
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
What is Qurbani?
Qurbani is an Urdu and Persian word derived from the Arabic word ‘Qurban’ which means an act performed to seek Allah’s pleasure. The term Udhiya is also commonly used and is an Arabic word meaning ‘blood sacrifice’. Qurbani is the act of offering a sacrifice during the days of Eid ul-Adha (10th, 11th or 12th of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah). It commemorates the supreme sacrifice offered by Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (Peace be upon him) to show his total submission and gratitude towards Allah. It is also one of the compulsory acts of Hajj. Once Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) was asked what is Qurbani? The Prophet answered, ‘It is the Sunnah of your father Ibrahim (Abraham) (Peace be upon him). For every hair of the Qurbani you receive a reward from Allah’ (Hadith: Tirmidhi).
Is Qurbani obligatory?
Qurbani is a confirmed Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him). There is no certain measure in terms of wealth to offer a Qurbani. The only thing which is mentioned by the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) is that a person should be financially capable to afford it.
Why do we sacrifice an animal?
The holy Qur’an informs us that in a vision, Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham)(Peace be upon him) saw that he offered his son Ismail (Ishmael) (Peace be upon him) in sacrifice to Allah. When he shared this vision with his son, Ismail (Ishmael) (Peace be upon him) said: ‘O my father! Do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah so wills, one practising patience and constancy’ (Qur’an 37:102). However, when Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham)(Peace be upon him) carried out the commandment, Allah replaced him with a ram. In the Holy Qur’an, Allah mentions the firm faith and obedience of both father and son as follows: ‘You have already fulfilled the vision, thus indeed do We reward those who do right’ (Qur’an 37:105).
What happens to the meat of Qurbani sacrifice?
It is recommended that the meat of the Qurbani sacrifice is shared equally in three parts:
1) The family members of the person performing Qurbani.
2) His/her relatives and friends.
3) Poor people.
In developed countries many people choose to perform Qurbani on one’s behalf in a different country. This is permitted and in this case the whole Qurbani is distributed among the poor.