Umm-Al-Qura calendar

With the time to perform Qurbani fast approaching, the team at UK Islamic Mission have compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Eid ul-Adha and Qurbani in the UK.

What is Qurbani?

Qurbani means sacrifice. Qurbani is the act of sacrificing a livestock animal during the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah each year, remembering and reflecting upon the Prophet Ibrahim’s (A.S) ultimate sacrifice all those years ago.

Why Do Muslims Give Qurbani?

The act of Qurbani that we carry out today is a direct reflection of the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibrahim (AS).

It is narrated that Prophet Ibrahim (AS) had a recurring dream where he was required to climb Mount Arafat and sacrifice his beloved son, Ismail (AS), in accordance with the wishes of Allah (SWT). The two journeyed to Mount Arafat, where Prophet Ibrahim (AS) told Ismail (AS) about his dreams. Ismail (AS) immediately recognised the importance of following Allah’s (SWT) request and told Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to blindfold himself so he wouldn’t have to see his son suffer.

Without further ado, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) tied the blindfold over his eyes and carried out the deed. However, upon removing his blindfold, it was clear that a divine miracle had occurred. Ismail (AS) was standing unharmed next to his father, while the dead body of a ram was lying in the place of Ismail (AS).

Because Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was prepared to commit the ultimate sacrifice of his beloved son in the name of his Creator, Allah (SWT) spared Ismail’s (AS) life as Prophet Ibrahim (AS) passed the test laid out before him.

Every year since then, Muslims around the world have performed Qurbani to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) sacrifice. Performing Qurbani teaches us about the importance of devotion and obedience to our Creator while reminding us that Eid ul-Adha is much more than just a simple celebration.

Who Must Perform Qurbani?

Qurbani is obligatory for those who meet the following criteria:

  • The individual is past the age of puberty
  • They are sane and of sound mind
  • Their disposable income exceeds their essential needs

Can I Give Qurbani on Behalf of Someone Else?

Yes! It is permissible to give Qurbani on behalf of family members and loved ones. Although it is not obligatory, it is also possible to give Qurbani on behalf of someone who has passed away.

Many Muslims choose to record names if they are giving Qurbani on someone else’s behalf, however, this is not obligatory. Simply making the intention that you are giving the Qurbani on that person’s behalf will suffice.

When Should Qurbani Be Performed?

Qurbani is an annual obligation which must be performed at the end of the festival of Eid ul-Adha during Dhul Hijjah, the final month of the Islamic calendar. Eid Salah (prayers) should be performed before the act of Qurbani is completed.

This year, Qurbani in the UK will happen on Eid ul-Adha 2020, which is expected to fall on Monday 12th August, depending on the sighting of the moon.

What Animals Are Eligible to Be Sacrificed?

Livestock animals that are eligible for Qurbani are as follows:

  • Goats (a minimum of one year old)
  • Sheep (a minimum of one year old)
  • Bulls, cows and buffalo (a minimum of two years old)

  • Camels (a minimum of five years old)

Animals for Qurbani must also be well cared for, healthy, and must not:

  • Be blind or missing an eye
  • Be missing a third or more of their tail
  • Be missing a third or more of either ear
  • Have broken or damaged horns
  • Be lame or weak
  • Be missing the majority of their teeth
  • Have any broken bones

Qurbani animals can be either male or female but all sacrifices must be Halal.

How Many Shares Does Each Animal Have?

Each different Qurbani animal has a set number of shares; each Muslim only needs one share in order to fulfil their obligation.

The shares are as follows:

  • Sheep and goats (one share)
  • Bulls, cows, buffalo and camels (seven shares)

This means that a single goat or sheep counts as one Muslim’s Qurbani share. However, as each of the other Qurbani animals contains seven shares, this means that up to seven Muslims can collectively contribute money to purchase the animal and receive their share of the meat.

What Qurbani Prices Should I Expect to Pay?

Qurbani prices will fluctuate between different countries and parts of the world as the costs for each animal varies. Please contact us for more information.

How Should Qurbani Meat Be Distributed?

Qurbani meat must be distributed in three equal parts, as outlined below:

  • One part for the Muslim performing Qurbani
  • A second part for their loved ones (family, close friends and neighbours)
  • The third and final part for those in need.

It is also permitted for a Muslim to give the full Qurbani meat as charity to the people who need it most.

What Time is Qurbani Performed?

The time for Qurbani to be completed is only limited by days, rather than by time. As long as the animal is sacrificed during the 10th, 11th or 12th day of Dhul Hijjah, it is considered valid and acceptable. 

How Can I Donate Qurbani in the UK?

Many Muslims in the UK choose to give their Qurbani online, allowing them to ensure that their donation reaches those who need it most. When you donate your Qurbani with UK Islamic Mission, you are making it possible for your brothers and sisters around the world to enjoy a nutritious meal and join in with the Eid ul-Adha celebrations alongside the global Ummah. Learn more about how you can donate your Qurbani online here.

Can You Remove Your Hair Before Qurbani?

It has been decreed that anyone looking to offer a Qurbani sacrifice should not cut their hair or nails if the month of Dhul Hijjah has begun.

“When the ten days (of Dhul Hijjah) commence and a person has a sacrificial animal, which he intends to slaughter, then let him not cut his hair or pare his nails.” (Muslim)

What is Eid ul-Adha?

Eid ul-Adha (also known as the Festival of Sacrifice) is the celebration which marks the conclusion of the Hajj pilgrimage.

The festival is a time not just for celebration, but also for thankfulness, remembrance, and worship. Through the act of Qurbani, it is also a time to think of those in need and support our brothers and sisters around the world.

When is Eid ul-Adha 2020?

Eid ul-Adha 2020 is expected to fall on or around Thursday 30th July and end on Monday 3rd August. Please be aware that these dates are dependent on the moon sighting and may be subject to change. Ask your local Imam if you are unsure.

Are There Varying Celebrations of Qurbani and Eid ul-Adha in Different Countries?

Different countries approach Eid ul-Adha and Qurbani celebrations differently. Most commonly, and in the UK, Eid ul-Adha is usually a three-day event filled with festivities, prayer and worship. After morning prayers and Qurbani donations, friends and family wish each other Eid Mubarak and exchange gifts. Some cities even host dedicated fairs and events for the occasion.

On the flip side, other countries can continue celebrating for up to two weeks after the 10th Day of Dhul Hijjah, the day when Eid ul-Adha traditionally begins. These festivities may include national holidays, continued gift-giving, markets and well-wishes. Additionally, Muslims in some countries dress differently, with some choosing smart attire whilst others simply opt for new clothing and don’t specify how formal it must be.

Additionally, it is important to note that many Muslims perform Hajj, the annual pilgrimage which is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, just before Eid ul-Adha. As Hajj concludes in Mecca, celebrations in the city can take a greater role than in most other locations.

To summarise, regardless of where you are, Eid ul-Adha celebrations and Qurbani may differ slightly but will generally follow the same basic structure.

While these are just a few of the most commonly asked questions that you might encounter about Qurbani and Eid ul-Adha, there is much more to learn about this blessed time of year.

You can find out more about Qurbani here and donate your Qurbani with UKIM to help provide vital food to your brothers and sisters across the world this Eid.

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