Qurbani means sacrifice. Every year during the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah, Muslims around the world slaughter an animal - a goat, sheep, cow or camel - to reflect the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail, for the sake of God.
At least one third of the meat from the animal must go to poor or vulnerable people. Traditionally, a Muslim would keep one third of the meat for their family and give the final third to their neighbours.
The significance of Qurbani
The practice of Qurbani can be traced back to the Prophet Ibrahim who dreamt that God ordered him to sacrifice his only son, Ismail. In his devotion to God, Ibrahim agreed to follow his dream and perform the sacrifice, but God intervened at the last minute and sent a ram in Ismail’s place. The continued practice of sacrifice acts as a reminder of Ibrahim’s obedience to God.
Eid-ul-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, is celebrated during the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar, known as Dhul Hijjah, which translates as ‘Lord of the Pilgrimage’. It is during this month that pilgrims travel to Mecca in order to visit the Kaaba. Hajj is performed on the eighth, ninth and tenth days of the month. Eid ul-Adha begins on the tenth and ends on the 13th. In 2012, Eid is taking place around 26th October.
Islamic Relief and Qurbani
Islamic Relief has been carrying out Qurbani projects since 1986, when we carried out 670 Qurbanis. In 2011, over 130,000 Qurbanis were performed benefitting nearly four million people in 29 countries.
The meat is distributed fresh, frozen or canned, depending on factors such as cost, availability and access, though the majority of countries receive fresh meat. The meat is purchased from local suppliers in order to benefit the local economy. Each meat packet contains on average of 5kg of meat which will last a family of four up to a week.
Those who receive the Qurbani meat include widows, orphans, the poor, the elderly, the disabled and refugees, as well as those who have been affected by disasters. For the majority of these people, meat is not part of their regular diet. The Qurbani meat allows some families to eat meat after a whole year. When families receive Qurbani meat, it fosters a real sense of hope for them and allows them to celebrate this important occasion along with millions of other Muslims across the world.
Help some of the world’s poorest people celebrate Eid-ul-Adha by making your Qurbani with Islamic Relief today.