Umm-Al-Qura calendar

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 Sunna of Ibrahim and is referenced as such in many texts.

What Does Qurbani Mean?

‘Qurbani’ is an Arabic word literally meaning ‘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, 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 Ibrahim

It is narrated 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 the 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 (A.S) did as Allah (SWT) had requested, yet when he removed his blindfold, he found that a divine miracle had occurred. Ismail (A.S) was standing next to his father, completely unharmed, while the dead body of a ram instead lay in his place.

Initially, Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) could not understand what had happened; he worried 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 (A.S) had been tested and passed this test with flying colours.

Why Do We Perform Qurbani Today?

“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.”

(Quran 22:36)

Today, Muslims around the world perform Qurbani every year to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) sacrifice and honour his utter devotion to Allah (SWT) and seek nearness with Allah (SWT).

Qurbani must be performed during the festival of Eid ul-Adha, following Hajj, in Dhul Hijjah, the final month of the Islamic calendar. It involves the practice of slaughtering a livestock animal then sharing its meat into three equal parts – one for the individual performing Qurbani, one for their family and friends, and a third for the poor. It is obligatory for every eligible Muslim to 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 use 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 Shahadah, offering Salat, paying Zakat, performing Sawm, and completing Hajj, in addition to 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.

Donating Qurbani with UK Islamic Mission

Qurbani is a lesson in devotion and obedience, yet we must also take the opportunity to 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 with 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 2019 a rewarding, blessed time for all.

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