The days of Dhul Hijjah and the festival of Eid al-Adha is one of the most important periods in the Muslim calendar. Many of us will be organising our Qurbani over the coming weeks, and it is important that we fulfil this obligation in the correct way. We have addressed the most common queries about this important act of worship.
What is Qurbani?
Qurbani is an annual sacrifice of an animal offered to Allah during the days of Eid al-Adha, marking the completion of Hajj. By sacrificing an animal each year, we are confirming that we are willing to sacrifice whatever Allah asks of us and to submit to Him completely.
This sacrifice commemorates the actions of the Prophet Ibrahim (as), read our series on the story of Ibrahim (as).
When do the Qurbani sacrifices take place?
Qurbani takes place after the Eid prayer on Eid-ul-Adha, from 10th to the 12th of Dhul Hijjah. This year, the first day of Eid al-Adha will be on 9th July 2021.
Any sacrifice made before the Eid prayer is counted as a Sadaqah, not as the obligatory Qurbani; if you do this, you must still perform the Qurbani after Eid prayer.
The Prophet (saw) said, “Whoever slaughtered the sacrifice before offering the Eid prayer, should slaughter another sacrifice in its place; and whoever has not slaughtered their sacrifice yet, should slaughter now“. (Bukhari)
ILM takes Qurbani orders up until the third day of Eid and sacrifices the animals over the three days of Eid.
Is Qurbani fard (compulsory)?
The Prophet (saw) said ‘The first thing we will do on this day of ours, is to offer the (Eid) prayer and then return to make the sacrifice. Whoever does so, he acted according to our Sunnah…’ (Bukhari)
According to the Hanafi school of thought, Qurbani is wajib and is considered compulsory. The difference between fard and wajib is that fard actions are compulsory based on definitive evidence, and wajib actions are still very important and, in the Hanafi school of thought, they are considered obligations upon Muslims (i.e. one should not deliberately miss them).
According to the Shafi’i school of thought, Qurbani is Sunnah Mu’akadah. This means that it is highly recommended as a confirmed Sunnah, but it is not compulsory.
The most well-known Maliki and Hanbali opinion is that Qurbani is a Sunnah Mu’akadah; however, in some views they have said it is compulsory.
No matter which school you follow, performing the Qurbani carries a great reward as this is something the Prophet (saw) did personally and encouraged his followers to do too.
Who needs to offer Qurbani?
The Hanafi school states that any adult, sane Muslim who possesses the Nisab value must give a Qurbani. Therefore, if you are eligible to pay Zakat, you need to offer a Qurbani.
The Maliki and Hanbali schools state that the person responsible for the household can make the Qurbani on their behalf.
In many households today, it is not uncommon to have two or more people who pay Zakat. The preferred option is for all those who pay Zakat to offer their own Qurbani.
What should I do if I’ve missed Qurbani?
If you have missed Qurbani in a previous year, you can make it up this year by sacrificing an extra animal. Simply calculate how many years you’ve missed, and you will know how many animals you need to sacrifice.
You can make up for missing the Qurbani by offering the market value of one sheep/goat to the poor.
How many animals do I have to sacrifice?
One Qurbani is either a small animal, such as a goat, or a share in a larger animal, like a cow. Neither is more rewardable (i.e. both fulfil your obligation). If you choose any of our Qurbani options, you have fulfilled your Qurbani.
When should I give my Qurbani?
Most people choose to donate in the days of Dhul Hijjah, but some will give their Qurbani up to a month before Eid. There is always a large demand for animals, and we seek out the best animals on your behalf, so we suggest that you give your Qurbani as early as possible.
The sacrifices will be made after Eid prayer, you can make a Qurbani order right up until the third day of Eid (12th Dhul Hijjah) and we ensure your Qurbani is carried out.
What animals are sacrificed?
Not all animals are suitable for Qurbani and there are rules advised for the health and age of an animal for them to be eligible for sacrifice.
The age of the animal should meet some conditions:
- One year in age for sheep and goats
- Two years in age for cows and buffalo
- Five years in age for camels
Any animal chosen for sacrifice should be in good health and have no illness or disease including:
- Their horns cannot be broken
- They must have at least half their teeth
- They cannot have lost a third or more of their ears or tail
- They cannot be blind or have lost a third or more of their sight
- They must be able to walk without limp or lameness
- They must be well-fed and raised with care, not thin or lean
Can I cut my nails or hair if I’m giving a Qurbani?
It is strongly encouraged that the one who intends to give the Qurbani does not cut their hair or nails, starting from the first day of Dhul Hijjah up until after the sacrifice.
The Prophet (saw) said, ‘When the ten days (of Dhul Hijjah) start, and one of you intends to sacrifice, then let him not cut his hair or his nails’. (Muslim)
When is Qurbani distributed?
ILM works hard to ensure that the meat your Qurbani provides is distributed immediately to those in need during the days of Eid-ul-Adha.
Should I give the names of all the people who are giving this Qurbani?
When performing the Qurbani, the names of the people should be mentioned after mentioning Allah’s name and glorifying Him.
What is a Prophetic Qurbani?
‘The Prophet (saw) sacrificed for the one who could not sacrifice from his Ummah, one who bore witness to the Oneness of Allah and [his] Prophethood’. [Tabarani and Ahmad]
After fulfilling his personal obligation, the Prophet (saw) gave an additional Qurbani in the name of the Muslims who could not afford to do so. We encourage all donors to revive this forgotten Sunnah and help more needy people.