Qurbani means sacrifice. Every year during the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah, Muslims around the world slaughter a goat, sheep, cow or camel, echoing the Prophet Ibrahim’s (pbuh) willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael (pbuh), for the sake of God.
At least one third of the meat must go to poor or vulnerable people who struggle to feed themselves. Traditionally, a Muslim would keep one third of the meat for his 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 (pbuh) who dreamt that God ordered him to sacrifice his only son, Ismail (pbuh). 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 2010, Eid is taking place on the 16th November.
Most of Islamic Relief’s Qurbani distributions consist of fresh meat, which is purchased from local suppliers in order to benefit the local economy.
Islamic Relief and Qurbani
IR has been carrying out Qurbani projects since 1986. In 2009 over 70,000 IR Qurbani’s were performed, benefitting over 2 million people in more than 25 countries.
The meat is distributed fresh, frozen or canned, depending on factors such as cost and availability, though the majority of countries receive fresh meat.
Those who receive the Qurbani include people who are widowed, orphaned, poor, elderly, disabled and refugees, as well as those who have affected by disasters. For the majority of these people, meat is not part of their regular diet. The IR Qurbani pack enables 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 paying for your Qurbani today.