Qurbani is an obligation that we are commanded to perform by Allah (SWT). Therefore, it is vital that we follow the Qurbani meat distribution rules and regulations. Below is a brief guide to the rules and recommendations of Qurbani;
- Qurbani must be given on 10th, 11th and 12th days of Dhul-Hijjah
- Sacrifices can only be made after the Eid prayer (sacrifices made before do not count as Qurbani)
- Any able Muslim should give Qurbani, especially those that have reached the age of puberty and hold wealth above the threshold of 52.5 tolas of silver
- Animals for sacrifice must meet minimum age and health requirements
- Qurbani sacrifices must be given in three shares – one for you, one for family or friends and one for an impoverished family.
Qurbani is an annual tradition for Muslims across the world and involves an animal sacrifice in recognition of the Prophet Ibrahim’s own willingness to sacrifice his son for the will of Allah (SWT). At the last moment, Allah (SWT) replaced Ibrahim’s son with a ram, saving his life and rewarding Ibrahim’s devotion. That is why Muslims pay Qurbani and in doing so, we also help impoverished families and communities receive their share.
Every Muslim must perform Qurbani. The only exceptions are as follows:
- Those who do not possess 52.5 tolas of silver, or the wealth equivalent
- Those not of sound mind
- Those who have not yet reached and passed puberty
- Those who are travelling and are more than the Shar’i distance from home (approximately 40-45 kilometres)
You are permitted to donate Qurbani on behalf of other people, including those who have passed away. However, you are not expected to provide Qurbani animals on behalf of your adult children who can pay their own share.
Whether Qurbani is compulsory differs between different schools of thought, however, for the greater good of those less fortunate, Qurbani should be considered Farz for anyone who has reached the age of puberty and who poses wealth above the threshold amount of 52.5 tolas of silver.
Meat from Qurbani animals should be distributed equally in three parts. It should be given to the family, friends and the poor (both Muslim and non-Muslim alike). If you perform Qurbani with a partner/partners, the meat should be shared by weight, not by approximation. You cannot pay the butcher with the meat, fat and by-products of the slaughtered animal. The skin can be kept for personal use, but if it is sold, the amount must be given to the poor.
Every able Muslim should be able to give at least one Qurbani which is then divided into three shares, an example of one Qurbani is a small animal such as a sheep or goat. Larger animals such as camels, cows and buffalo can count for up to seven people’s Qurbani.
When Must Qurbani Be Performed?
Qurbani must be performed on the 10th, 11th and 12th days of Dhul-Hijjah, the time of the festival of Eid ul-Adha. Eid ul-Adha, also known as the Greater Eid, Bakra Eid and Qurbani Eid changes in the Gregorian calendar each year. Eid ul-Adha 2020 and Qurbani preparations are anticipated to start in the evening of Thursday 30th July, ending on Monday 3rd August 2020, depending on the sighting of the moon. The time for Qurbani must be performed as close to the completion of Eid Salah as possible and not before, any sacrifice carried out before Eid Salah is considered Sadaqah.
When Must Qurbani Animals Be Purchased?
Qurbani animals should be purchased a few days before the sacrifice. They must be properly fed and well cared for in the intervening days.
Which Animals Can Be Sacrificed?
The animals which are eligible should meet minimum requirements, such as the age of the animal for Qurbani and their condition, including:
- Sheep and goats at least one year in age (enough for one person’s Qurbani)
- Cows or buffalo at least two years in age (enough for seven people’s Qurbani)
- Camels of at least five years in age (enough for seven people’s Qurbani)
In addition, all animals must be healthy and free of disease, including the following conditions:
- They must not be blind, one-eyed or have lost a third (or more) of their sight
- They cannot be missing a third (or more) of their ear or tail, either through loss or since birth
- Their horn(s) cannot be broken off from their root
- They must not have a lame leg that is sufficiently weak that they are unable to walk on it
- They cannot be excessively thin or lean
- They must be able to walk themselves to the site of the slaughter
- They cannot be toothless, or missing over half their teeth
- There is no preference between male or female Qurbani animals. It is preferable that male Qurbani animals are castrated, but this is not compulsory.
How Should Qurbani Animals Be Sacrificed?
- To fulfil the rules of the Qurbani festival, slaughterers and slaughter-houses should abide by the following regulations:
- The animal should be slaughtered with a sharp knife to avoid causing undue suffering
- The knife should not be sharpened in front of the animal
- No animal should be slaughtered in the presence of another
- It is best to slaughter the animal yourself, but if you do not know how, you should remain present whilst someone else sacrifices the creature. It is also necessary to say “Bismillahi Allahu Akbar” when slaughtering the animal. Slaughtered animals are not to be skinned until completely cold.
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