Umm-Al-Qura calendar

Qurbani is the act of sacrificing a livestock animal to remember the ultimate sacrifice that Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was prepared to make atop Mount Arafat all those years ago.

It must be carried out during Eid ul-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, and the Qurbani meat distribution rules should be followed in order to ensure the sacrifice is made in accordance with the wishes of Allah (SWT).

When Should Qurbani Be Carried Out?

Qurbani must only be performed on the 10th, 11th and 12th days of Dhul-Hijjah. It is better to make Qurbani on the first day (Eid day), followed by the second day, then lastly the third day.

It is possible to order or arrange your Qurbani before these days, but the sacrifice itself must not be carried out until the 10th-12th days.

Who is Eligible to Offer Qurbani?

Every able Muslim who meets the following criteria must offer Qurbani each year:

  • Is of sound mind
  • Is an adult
  • Is not a Shar’i traveller
  • Possesses total wealth which is equivalent in value to 52.5 tolas of silver or more

Parents/guardians are not required to perform Qurbani on behalf of their children. Similarly, while it is not compulsory, it is possible to offer Qurbani on behalf of the deceased.

What Happens if Qurbani is Missed?

Qurbani is an obligation in Islam, so if an eligible Muslim does not offer Qurbani, the individual becomes liable to pay compensation.

Not only will they be missing out on a chance to seek the rewards and blessings that Qurbani can bring, but they must also make up for the missed sacrifice by giving a charitable donation equal to the value of Qurbani. However, aside from this exception, charity is not a substitution for Qurbani, and it does not fulfil the obligation.

How Should Qurbani Meat Be Distributed?

Once the sacrifice has been carried out, the meat from Qurbani animals must be distributed in three equal parts. These are as follows:

  • One part for the individual performing Qurbani
  • Another for their friends and family
  • The last for those in need

Which Animals are Eligible for Qurbani?

Only specific livestock animals are eligible for Qurbani:

  • Sheep – minimum one-year-old, although a six-month-old sheep may be eligible if the animal is big and healthy enough to equate to a year-old sheep
  • Goats – minimum one-year-old
  • Cows, bulls, and buffalo – a minimum of two years old
  • Camels – a minimum of five years old

If you purchase an animal for Qurbani and the seller tells you that it is of the required age, you may take them at their word if there is no evidence to the contrary.

If you purchase Qurbani animals before the date, it is important to ensure they are well fed and properly looked after in the intervening days before Qurbani takes place. When it comes to the sacrifice, animals must be slaughtered quickly and painlessly to ensure they do not suffer needlessly.

Which Animals are Not Eligible for Qurbani?

In addition to the above requirements, there are further conditions that determine the eligibility of an animal for sacrifice. Qurbani animals should not:

  • Be blind or have lost one or both eyes
  • Be missing more than a third of an ear
  • Be missing more than a third of their tail
  • Have missing or damaged horns
  • Be lame or unable to walk
  • Be excessively thin
  • Be missing the majority of their teeth

Lastly, castrated animals are preferred, though this is not obligatory.

How Many Shares is Each Animal Worth?

Different Qurbani animals contain different shares. Goats and sheep each contain a single share, which means that the animal must be purchased in its entirety in order for it to be offered as Qurbani. Conversely, a cow, bull, buffalo, or camel each contain seven shares. This means that up to seven Muslims can each contribute towards the cost of the animal and will receive their share in accordance with Qurbani meat distribution rules.

Nowadays, many Muslims choose to donate their Qurbani to benefit those in need around the world. This enables the Qurbani meat to be distributed directly to the places where it will do the most good.

Why is Qurbani Important?

Qurbani can teach us about the importance of our faith and strengthening our relationship with Allah (SWT). By following in the footsteps of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and performing Qurbani, we can actively work to learn more about our faith as we seek reward and blessings from our Creator.

You can learn more about Qurbani on our FAQs page.

Donate with UK Islamic Mission this Eid ul-Adha and ensure your Qurbani donation is able to reach your brothers and sisters most in need at this blessed time of year.

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