What is qurban in Islam?
Qurban means sacrifice. Every year during the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah, Muslims around the world slaughter an animal which are goat, sheep, cow or camel.
This is to reflect the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail, for the sake of God.
This festival takes place between the 10th and the 12th of the month of Dhul Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. 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 purchasing or provision of a Qurbani animal is obligatory for every Muslim who is financially able to do so. There are strict rules surrounding which animals can be sacrificed.
This includes the species of the animal, the quality of life it has led, healthy and additional guidelines on how it must be sacrificed.
It should also be noted that the legal age of animals to be sacrificed is camels (5 years), cows (2 years).
As for the buffaloes and goats (2 years) and sheep one year or have lost their front teeth after they are six months old.
However, goats cannot be shared as it is for one person only. While camels, buffaloes and cows can be shared by 7 people despite different intentions.
Why is qurban important?
A remarkable story of this ritual sacrifice is when the Prophet Ibrahim dreamed that God had ordered him to sacrifice his only son, Ismail, and thus began the ritual of Qurbani.
Ibrahim agreed to follow his desire and make the sacrifice out of his devotion to God. But God 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 devotion.
Ibrahim’s continual practice of sacrifice serves as a reminder of his devotion to God.
Is qurban compulsary?
Qurbani is an important component of Islam, but, like Zakat and Ramadan, not everyone will be able to participate.
As a result, the following people are deemed capable of performing Qurbani and are required to do so in order to please Allah (SWT):
- Muslim girls and boys who have reached puberty
- Muslims who are mentally healthy
- Muslims with a wealth comparable to 52.5 tolas (614.25 grammes) of silver (cash and possessions)
- Muslims who are not on the move and are within 45 kilometres of their residence.
Those who do not fall into one of the above categories are exempt from performing Qurbani.
Don’t forget, Qurbani is a spiritual action and a chance to draw closer to Allah!
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