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"It is the Sunnah of your father Ibrahim (AS). For every hair of the Qurbani you receive a reward from Allah (SWT)."
The Prophet (PBUH) - (Hadith - Trimidhi)
Qurbani, meaning sacrifice, is an integral part of the festival of Eid ul-Adha for Muslims around the world. In addition, this act is also known as the Sunnah of Ibrahim.
During this time, Muslims remember the sacrifice that the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was prepared to make in the name of Allah (SWT) and the mercy shown by his Creator, replacing his son, Ismail (AS), with a goat before the sacrificial slaughter. To commemorate this, the annual Qurbani festival sacrifices animals between the 10th and 12th days of Dhul Hijjah.
For some families, the Qurbani meat donation they receive could be the only nutritious meal they eat until the following year’s Qurbani meat distribution. This is one important reason why the act of Qurbani is so important in Islam, as we do all that we can to look after our brothers and sisters who are living in poverty.
‘Qurbani’ is an Arabic word that literally translates to ‘nearness’ – something which Prophet Ibrahim (AS) achieved when he followed the wishes of Allah (SWT) and dedicated himself completely to his Creator. Today, we also perform Qurbani to remember the ultimate sacrifice that Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was prepared to make and to attain closeness with Allah (SWT) ourselves.
The story of Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) sacrifice tells of his complete devotion and commitment to Allah (SWT), serving as an inspirational and educational example to us all. We can all learn from this ultimate act of sacrifice and apply the loyalty and dedication that he showed to our own lives.
The story of Qurbani narrates that the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) experienced a series of recurring dreams where Allah (SWT) appeared to him and told him that he must sacrifice his beloved son, Ismail (AS). After a few nights of experiencing this dream, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) realised that this was no trick, and despite how much he loved his son, he knew he had to follow the message that Allah (SWT) had bestowed upon him.
Prophet Ibrahim (AS) took his son to Mount Arafat where he told him about his dreams. Ismail (AS) immediately recognised the importance of the dream and knew that he must oblige the wishes of his father and his Creator. Thus, he asked Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to bind his arms and legs so he could not struggle, and he also requested that his father place a blindfold over his own eyes, so he did not have to witness his suffering.
Once blindfolded, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) did as Allah (SWT) had requested, yet when he removed his blindfold, he found that a divine miracle had occurred. Ismail (AS) was standing next to his father, completely unharmed, while the dead body of a ram instead lay in his place.
Initially, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) could not understand what had happened; he worried that he had disobeyed the wishes of Allah (SWT). However, at this point, he heard his Creator’s voice and was reassured. Allah (SWT) cares for and rewards his followers – Prophet Ibrahim (AS) had been tested and passed this test with flying colours.
The Qurbani Eid story in the Qur’an is one of the most important passages and teaches us the meaning of sacrifice.
“And the camels and cattle We have appointed for you as among the symbols of Allah; for you therein is good. So mention the name of Allah upon them when lined up [for sacrifice]; and when they are [lifeless] on their sides, then eat from them and feed the needy and the beggar. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may be grateful.”
Muslims around the world perform Qurbani every year to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) sacrifice, honour his utter devotion to Allah (SWT), and seek nearness with Allah (SWT).
Qurbani must be performed following Hajj during the festival of Eid ul-Adha in Dhul Hijjah, the final month of the Islamic calendar. It involves the practice of slaughtering a livestock animal and then sharing its meat in three equal parts – one for the individual performing Qurbani, one for their family and friends, and a third for the poor. Every eligible Muslim must perform Qurbani, although the head of the household may perform Qurbani on behalf of each individual within the household.
Performing Qurbani enables us to remember the sacrifices that Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and Ismail (AS) made atop Mount Arafat all those years ago, encouraging us to learn from their selfless deed to inspire obedience and dedication in our own lives.
We must always remember to obey Allah’s (SWT) wishes without pause or question. We must always submit to Him and keep the Five Pillars of Islam in mind throughout our daily lives, reciting the Shahadah, offering Salat, paying Zakat, performing Sawm, and completing Hajj, as well as all the additional acts of kindness, generosity, and compassion that we carry out in the name of Allah (SWT).
You can find out more about Qurbani here or, alternatively, discover the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions around Qurbani.
As a UK Islamic charity, Qurbani is a lesson in devotion and obedience, whereby we must remember the important message that the story of Ibrahim (AS) can teach us. As a result, Eid ul-Adha is far more than just a celebratory festival – it is a time to learn from this sacrifice and apply the lesson to our own lives.
As we remember Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) sacrifice, we must also consider what we can do to honour the obligation of Qurbani. Many of us are blessed with enough wealth and good fortune that we choose to donate Qurbani, allowing the meat to reach those who are most in need.
When you choose to donate your Qurbani to UK Islamic Mission, not only will you be fulfilling your obligation, but you will also be helping to support those in need around the world. Remember the true meaning of Qurbani; join our generous donors and work with us to make Qurbani 2022 a rewarding and blessed time for all.
Please consider giving your Qurbani meat donations to UK Islamic Mission and support our efforts to help those most in need both here and around the world.
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