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The essence of Qurbani (sacrificial meat)

Nov 10, 2010, 12:19 PM | Article By: essence, meat, slaughter, sacrifice, Islam

As Muslims all over the world prepare for the feast of Eid-ul-Adha, locally known as Tobaski, we take this opportunity to remind you of one important thing, that is, the animal people normally slaughter, called Qurbani, during Eid-ul Adha.

The sacrificial meat is an act to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s sacrifice as mentioned in the Quran, that is, when his son was old enough to walk with him, and he told him that he had a dream of slaughtering him, thus offer him in sacrifice to Allah.

The son also accepted this and, then, when they had both submitted themselves to the Will of Allah, and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead, God decided to ransom him with a great sacrifice, that is, a ram.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught Muslims the way of remembering this act of Ibrahim.

Qurbani in Islamic terms means the slaughtering of an animal with the intention of getting close to Allah (SWT) by giving some or all of the meat to the poor and destitute. Animals that can be sacrificed are rams, goats, cows and camels.

By giving charity to the poor and destitute, by distributing the meat to them, it is believed that would spread happiness among them, especially during the festival of Eid-ul-Adha, when Muslims are in the spirit of festivities.  

Islam told us that the person who possesses zakatable assets should give Qurbani.  It is not obligatory, but it is highly recommended. The animals to be slaughtered must be a sheep, goat, cattle or camel. Sheep and goats have to be at least one-year old. For cows, the age must be at least two years, and camels must be at least five years old. 

They must be free from any form of handicap such as being blind, sick, limp and undernourished. The animal must also be free of any defects such as a cut-off ear, tail, or a broken teeth or horn.

The animals must be slaughtered in the appropriate humane way. It has to be done by a Muslim adhering to the Islamic way of slaughtering the animal.  The best time to perform the acts of Qurbani is immediately after the completion of the Eid-ul-Adha prayers.

  It was reported that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: The first thing that we do on the day of Eid is to perform the prayers. Then we go home and carry out our Qurbani. Thus whoever does these acts has conformed to our Sunnah. And for those who slaughter before it, then the meat is for the family members and not as an act of Qurbani.

  It is preferable that the meat from Qurbani be divided into three equal parts: one for the home, one for relatives and friends, and one for the poor and needy.

The meat from Qurbani can be distributed to the poor, the rich, Muslims or non-Muslims but should not be sold.

  In The Gambia, Qurbani is performed in most Muslim households, but some do go without it due to the fact that they cannot afford it.

We, therefore, call on all those who are well-off to help the less-privileged and the needy in the society with an animal for Qurbani.

“All things belong to God; all places belong to God. I am forever a sacrifice to God.”

Atharva Veda