The days of Dhul Hijjah and the festival of Eid-ul-Adha is one of the most important periods in the Muslim calendar. Many of us will be organising our Qurbani over the next few weeks, and it is important that we fulfil this obligation in the correct way. Here we address 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-ul-Adha, marking the completion of Hajj.
This sacrifice commemorates the actions of the Prophet Ibrahim (as), when he was prepared to sacrifice his beloved son Isma'il (as) after seeing in a dream that Allah wanted him to do so. However, the dream was a test from Allah, and He sent down a ram from heaven to be sacrificed in Isma'il's (as) place.
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.
When do the Qurbani sacrifices take place?
Qurbani takes place after the Eid prayer on Eid-ul-Adha, from 10th-13th Dhul Hijjah. 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.
Jundab bin Sufyan Al-Bajali reported, 'I witnessed the Prophet (saw) on the Day of Nahr (or Eid day). He (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)
Muslim Hands takes Qurbani orders up until Eid day and sacrifices the animals over the four days of Eid.
Is Qurbani fard (compulsory)?
The Prophet (saw) said (on the day of Eid), '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, while there is some uncertainty regarding whether or not wajib actions are definitely compulsory. However, wajib actions are still highly recommended 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.
Of course, the best and safest option is to consider Qurbani an obligation if you are eligible for it.
Who needs to offer Qurbani?
The Hanafi school states that every adult who is eligible to pay Zakat should fulfil the obligation of Qurbani.
The Maliki and Hanbali schools state that the person responsible for the household can make the Qurbani on their behalf.
'Ata bin Yasar reported, 'I asked Abu Ayub (Al-Ansari) how the sacrifices (of animals) were done during the time of the Messenger of Allah (saw). He said, "A man would sacrifice a sheep for himself and the people in his household"'. (Tirmidhi)
However, in many households today, it is not uncommon to have two or more people who pay Zakat. The best and safest 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. Muslim Hands is happy to facilitate this.
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.
You can also choose to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet who used to perform an extra sacrifice on behalf of his Ummah.
'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])
By following the Sunnah and doubling your Qurbani, you can double your reward and feed more needy families.
When should I give my Qurbani?
The sacrifices will be made after Eid prayer, over the four days of Eid. We advise that you give your Qurbani as early as possible.
However, you can make a Qurbani order right up until Maghrib time on the fourth day of Eid (13th Dhul Hijjah), as Muslim Hands has already sacrificed the animals in time for Eid distribution, with the intention that some donors will give their money on the fourth day.
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?
Muslim Hands works hard to ensure that the meat your Qurbani provides is distributed to those in need during the days of Eid-ul-Adha.
What animals do Muslim Hands sacrifice for Qurbani?
We choose the best value animal for each location. This can be either cows, sheep or goats. Whether you give one small animal or a share in a large animal, the reward will be the same, meaning your sacrifice will amount to one Qurbani.
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.
For example, one should say 'Bismillah, Allahu Akbar. Oh Allah, this is from you and for you on behalf of so and so'. After the sacrifice they should say, 'Oh Allah accept this from so and so'.
Muslim Hands will take the names of those offering Qurbani if you so desire. Our teams on the ground will then utter them before the Qurbani is offered.
Does Muslim Hands distribute tinned or frozen meat?
No, we do not. Muslim Hands only distributes freshly slaughtered meat on the days of Eid.
How does Muslim Hands select who to distribute Qurbani meat to?
Our local experts on the ground come from the communities we help. This makes them best-placed to find those most in need. Before Eid-ul-Adha, they are out in their local communities looking for the families that will benefit most from your sacrifice.
Where should I give my Qurbani to?
If you can't decide where to send your Qurbani, why not choose our 'Where Most Needed' option, and let our experts distribute your sacrifice to the people who need it most?
Don't forget, Qurbani is a spiritual action and a chance to draw closer to Allah! You can read more about the history of Qurbani and why we make this annual sacrifice on our blog.
We hope to have answered all your queries, in sha’ Allah, but don’t forget – if you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Call us on 0115 911 7222 and a member of our dedicated team will be able to assist you.