Qurbani means sacrifice.
A sacrifice that each of us needs to make every year, during the month of Dhul Hijjah, the last month of our holy calendar, as The Prophet Ibrahim (as) did long ago. And which we celebrate in Eid al-Adha, our four-day celebration of Ibrahim’s sacrifice.
For he had a dream. A dream that Allah (SWT) demanded Ibrahim (as) demonstrate the strength of his faith – and prove it. A proof that demanded he showed his faith was greater even than his love for his son Ismael – by killing him. Could he make this ultimate and sacrifice? But Ibrahim (as), while desperately torn, was prepared to prove his faith to Allah, and to make that sacrifice. A sacrifice that even his son Ismail (as) argued he should do. So Ibrahim (as) climbed with his son, to the top of Mount Arafat, and tied the boy’s hands, ready to sacrifice him.
But knowing the memory of what he was about to do would haunt him forever, Ibrahim (as) blindfolded himself, before drawing his knife, and preparing to cut the boy’s throat. Thankfully, with seconds to spare, Allah, convinced of Ibrahim’s faith, by his terrible act of sacrifice, took pity on him and spared his son – substituting a ram in the boy’s place, so that Ibrahim (as) could sacrifice the ram instead.
Since then, every year, ten days into the month of Dhul Hijjah, following the morning prayers of Eid al-Adha, and over the following four days, Muslims around the world perform Qurbani - sacrificing an animal, preferably a goat, cow or camel, to remember what Ibrahim did long ago. In this way, annually, we celebrate and echo Ibrahim’s (as) deed, to demonstrate our own devotion, obedience, and submission to Allah (SWT).
And our Eid al-Adha celebration is a time of sharing – distributing portions of our sacrificed Qurbani animal among poor, hungry, and vulnerable families, who, in their daily diet, may rarely, or never, enjoy the special nutrition of good quality meat.
What is Dhul Hijjah?
The month of Dhul Hijjah, the 12th month in our holy calendar, and in which Qurbani falls, is one of the holiest periods of the Islamic year, and encompasses two major events - Hajj and Eid ul Adha.
The first ten days of Dhul Hijjah, this year from the 11th July, are extra special. These are the days of Hajj – the annual pilgrimage to Makkah, for those who can make it, and, even more than the holy days of Ramadan, an opportunity to gain immense spiritual rewards, have our sins forgiven, and reach greater levels of piety.
Prophet Muhammad (saw) said: “There are no days on which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days” (Bukhari).
For those unable to make Hajj, there are still many ways to reap the blessings of the month – by completing even more righteous deeds than usual: giving charity, honouring our parents, upholding the ties of kinship, encouraging what is good, and resisting evil.
Eid ul Adha is celebrated on the tenth day thereafter, when Qurbani can begin, right after morning prayers, and any time over the following four days.
And SKT Welfare’s teams, always committed to helping the poor and vulnerable, will spread your Eid goodwill with the meat of your Qurbani sacrifice, in a Covid-safe and responsible way.
So as we remember the personal struggle of Prophet Ibrahim (as) to sacrifice his blessed son for the sake of Allah, know that by giving Qurbani, your donation brings relief to the hungry, and a better Eid ul Adha for them.