Mount Arafat is believed to be the setting of the first Qurbani, as well as various other Islamic events. With this being said, Mount Arafat is the mountain upon which a miracle was performed by Allah (SWT) as a reward for the fervour that was displayed by Ibrahim (AS) and his son, Ismail (AS). Consequently, Mount Arafat is considered a space of pure sacrifice and obedience, whereby all of humanity can learn what it means to fully submit oneself to Allah (SWT).
In order to fully appreciate the significance of Qurbani, it’s vital to discover its roots and understand the Qurbani story in full. So, Qurbani – what is it?
What is Qurbani in Islam?
Before delving into the history, the question of “What is Qurbani Eid?” must first be answered. Quite simply, Qurbani refers to the sacrifice of an animal by word of Allah (SWT), which occurs from the 10th to the 13th Dhul Hijjah. This sacrifice takes place to signify the end of Hajj and also mirrors the ultimate sacrifice that Ibrahim (AS) was willing to make.
Despite this, Qurbani can’t be perceived in simple terms, as it has a much deeper purpose. The goal of being a Muslim is to build an unbreakable bond with Allah (SWT), and the Qurbani sacrifice facilitates one in achieving this. Amongst the bustle of daily life, it can be easy to lose sight of one’s true purpose, which is to give one’s entire being to Allah (SWT). Ultimately, Qurbani plays a huge role in reminding oneself of one’s reason for living.
The Story of Qurbani
The Qurbani story refers to the sacrifice that Ibrahim (AS) was willing to make under Allah’s (SWT) command. In the Qur’an, Allah (SWT) addressed Ibrahim (AS) in a dream in order to tell him that he must sacrifice the most precious thing in his life. Ibrahim’s (AS) most prized possession was his son, Ismail (AS), and he knew he had to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Upon explaining his dream to Ismail (AS), both parties agreed without question that this was a command they had to obey. Therefore, the pair made their way to the top of Mount Arafat in order to make the sacrifice; however, Ismail (AS) requested to be bound by ropes to inhibit him from struggling. Meanwhile, Ibrahim (AS) wore a blindfold to prevent him from seeing his son suffering.
To Ibrahim’s (AS) knowledge, he sacrificed his son, yet he removed his blindfold to find Ismail (AS) alive and well whilst a slaughtered ram lay in front of him. As a reward for the pair’s unwavering loyalty to Him, Allah (SWT) saved Ismail (AS) by replacing him with a ram. It’s clear that those who are willing to give everything to Allah (SWT) will be gifted by Him in return.
Mount Arafat can be found just 20 kilometres to the right of Mecca and peaks at roughly 70 metres above sea level. This is the highest point in the centre of the Plain of Arafat.
As previously mentioned, the first Qurbani isn’t the only notable event to have occurred at Mount Arafat. For instance, it’s believed that Allah (SWT) forgave Adam’s (AS) first sin that led to his expulsion from heaven atop this mountain. Additionally, it’s thought that Mount Arafat is the location of Adam (AS) and Hawa’s reunion after they fell from heaven. It’s due to this that Mount Arafat is often regarded as the perfect site to pray for a marital life partner.
Finally, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is said to have spoken his farewell sermon to his fellow pilgrims on Mount Arafat. As a result, this is a site of huge importance in the Qur’an that can be learnt from by Muslims across the globe.
The Day of Arafat
During the month of Dhul Hijjah, the Day of Arafat is celebrated in order to commemorate Ibrahim’s (AS) ultimate sacrifice. In the spirit of the Day of Arafat, some Muslims will travel to the location and participate in Wuquf. This is otherwise described as standing before Allah (SWT) until dusk, which is followed by Zuhr and Asr (noon and afternoon) prayers. Similarly, pilgrims will take this as an opportunity to repent for their sins and ask Allah (SWT) for mercy.
The staggering height of the mountain has meant that it has seen so much that can be learnt from. The wisdom of the mountain can influence the way in which we lead our lives as good Muslims and inspire us to better ourselves and deepen our connection with the Creator.
Donate to UKIM this Qurbani Eid 2023
Since a physical Qurbani donation isn’t always possible in the UK, we accept Qurbani donations via our website. We use your donations to fund the slaughtering of an animal and the distribution of its meat under Islamic practice. Donate today to fulfil your duty to Allah (SWT).