What is Qurban?
Qurban translates to “sacrifice.” Every year during the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah (i.e. 10 – 13 Dhul Hijjah) Muslims all across the world slaughter an animal — a goat, sheep, cow, or camel – to commemorate the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail for the cause of Allah ﷻ.
At least one-third of the animal’s flesh must be distributed to the needy or disadvantaged. A Muslim would traditionally keep a third of the meat for their family and distribute the remaining third to their neighbors.
Story Behind Qurban
The Prophet Ibrahim dreamed that Allah ﷻ had ordered him to sacrifice his only son, Ismail alaihi salam, and thus began the ritual of Qurbani. Ibrahim alaihi salam agreed to follow his dream and make the sacrifice out of his devotion to Allah ﷻ. But Allah ﷻ intervened and sent a ram in Ismail’s place to be sacrificed.
Ibrahim was saved because he demonstrated that despite the loss, he would sacrifice his son as a gesture of piety. Ibrahim’s continual practice of sacrifice serves as a reminder of his devotion to Allah ﷻ.
- It was narrated that Zaid bin Arqam said: “The Companions of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, what are these sacrifices?’ He said: ‘The Sunnah of your father Ibrahim.’ They said: ‘What is there for us in them, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said: ‘For every hair, one merit.’ They said: ‘What about wool, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said: ‘For every hair of wool, one merit.’” – Narrated by Ibnu Majah
- Narrated ‘Aishah: That the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “A human does no action from the actions on the day of Nahr more beloved to Allah then spilling blood (of sacrificial animals). On the Day of Judgement, it will appear with its horns, and hair, and hooves, and indeed the blood will be accepted by Allah from where it is received before it even falls upon earth, so let your heart delight in it.” – Narrated by Imam Tirmidzi
- Qurban is the syiar of the Prophets, peace be upon them.
- It is a sunnah.
- Care & love for each other can be shown through qurban.
- Qurban strengthens relationships.
- Qurban purifies oneself from reprehensible traits such as riak and ujub.
- لَن يَنَالَ ٱللَّهَ لُحُومُهَا وَلَا دِمَآؤُهَا وَلَـٰكِن يَنَالُهُ ٱلتَّقْوَىٰ مِنكُمْ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ سَخَّرَهَا لَكُمْ لِتُكَبِّرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَىٰكُمْ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلْمُحْسِنِينَ
Neither their meat nor blood reaches Allah. Rather, it is your piety (taqwa) that reaches Him. This is how He has subjected them to you so that you may proclaim the greatness of Allah for what He has guided you to, and give good news to the good-doers. (Al-Haj : 37)
- Qurban is a sign of gratitude for the favours that Allah ﷻ has bestowed.
How the Prophet perform the Qurban
In the name of Allah,” O Allah, accept [this sacrifice] on behalf of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and the Umma of Muhammad” – Sahih Muslim
Recommendations for those wishing to perform Qurban
One of many sunnah for those who wish to perform the practice of udhiyah is to abstain from shaving any bodily hair including facial, underarms, pubic and all other bodily hair and also it is sunnah to refrain from clipping the nails. These abstinence begins from the beginning of the month of Zulhijjah till the udhiyah is performed. Rasulullah ﷺ said:
إِذَا رَأَيْتُمْ هِلاَلَ ذِي الْحِجَّةِ وَأَرَادَ أَحَدُكُمْ أَنْ يُضَحِّيَ فَلْيُمْسِكْ عَنْ شَعْرِهِ وَأَظْفَارِهِ
If anyone has in his possession a sacrificial animal to offer as a sacrifice (on ‘Id al-Adha), he should not get his hair cut and nails trimmed after he has entered the first days of Dhu’l Hijja. – Narration from Sahih Muslim
Perform the Qurban this year.
“So pray and sacrifice to your Lord ˹alone˺.” [Surah Al-Kawtsar : 2]