Giving Qurbani (a sacrifice) is a sacred duty ordered by Allah (SWT). Every year during the holy month of Dhul Hijjah, Muslims all over the world slaughter an animal – a goat, sheep, cow or camel – to reflect the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail, for the sake of God. There are many Qurbani rules that must be adhered to for the slaughter of the animal to be counted as a Qurbani.
What are the Qurbani rules?
Who needs to give Qurbani? When do we offer our sacrifice? Are there any other things we need to take into consideration?
Worry not! We’ve put together everything you need to know about this sacred sacrifice.
Who must perform Qurbani?
According to most Muslims, giving Qurbani is obligatory for every sane adult Muslim who has wealth in excess to their needs (i.e. who meet the nisab threshold).
Normally those who are eligible to pay Zakat are obliged to give Qurbani.
The Hanafi school of thought states that it is obligatory for:
- Every sane Muslim of mature age (who has reached puberty)
- Non-travelling persons
- Those who additionally own wealth which is beyond their needs, equal to (or more than) the current level of nisab (87.48 grams of gold or 612.35 grams of silver)
At What Age is Qurbani Fardh?
The opinion on whether Qurbani is compulsory or not differs between the different schools of thought. However, for the benefit of those less fortunate, the sacred act of Qurbani should be considered a Fardh for anyone who is of a mature age (has reached the age of puberty), and possesses wealth above the nisab threshold.
When must the sacrifice be given?
You must aim to give your Qurbani donation in a timely manner. Islamic Relief aims to implement all Qurbanis over three days (10th to 12th Dhul Hijjah).
The time for sacrifice ends when the sun sets on the fourth day. Therefore, you can make payments right up until the end of the third day after Eid (13th of Dhul-Hijjah) before Maghrib salah. However, we advise giving your Qurbani as early as possible.
Note: There is a difference of opinion amongst the scholars as to whether Qurbani can be done over three or four days. To respect this difference of opinion, Islamic Relief strives to perform Qurbani in three days. We only extend into the fourth day in localities where this is religiously accepted by the local Muslim population. – and if there is an operational need for this extra day.
We purchase the animals to be slaughtered in advance based on forecasted quotas. Hence if you give a Qurbani on any of these days, the Qurbani will be carried out in time.
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/Goats: should be at least one year in age (this is equivalent to one person’s Qurbani)
- Cows/Buffalo: should be at least two years in age (this is equivalent to seven people’s Qurbani)
- Camels: should be 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 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
- They must not be blind or one-eyed
- They must not have a lame leg that is sufficiently weak that they are unable to walk on it
How to slaughter a Qurbani animal
For a slaughter of an animal to be counted as Qurbani, it is essential that the slaughter is carried out humanely following Qurbani rules. Below are some of the rules that should be followed:
- A sharp knife must be used to carry out the Qurbani – dull knives may inflict unnecessary pain and suffering
- Knives must not be sharpened in front of the sacrificial animal
- No animal can be slaughtered in front of another animal
- When the sacrifice is being made, the words “Bismillahi Allahu Akbar” must be recited
- The animal can not to be skinned until the body is entirely cold
Qurbani Rules: Offering a sacrifice comes with restrictions
For those who want to offer a sacrifice, it’s recommended that once the new moon of Dhul Hijjah appears (i.e. on the 1st of Dhul Hijjah), that he does not remove anything from his hair, nails or skin until he has offered the sacrifice.
Reap the rewards of the blessed days of Dhul Hijjah, give Qurbani now.