The sacrifice of qurbani (also known as udhiyah) is considered by Muslims to be a vital expression of our faith, demonstrating how we regularly strive to make the greatest of sacrifices for God.
But what is qurbani and when is the proper time for it to be given?
Qurbani in Islam refers to the animal sacrifice offered to commemorate the completion of the yearly Hajj pilgrimage.
The practice of qurbani (or udhiyah) commemorates the act of sacrifice made by the Prophet Abraham. In the Quranic story, Abraham is commanded by God to sacrifice his first son, Ishmael, but instead is rewarded with a ram to sacrifice in Ishmael’s place.
This act of devotion is recreated yearly by Muslims to reaffirm their commitment to continually sacrifice what’s most dear to them (whether that be time, money, etc.) to God.
When the sacrifice of qurbani is performed, the meat from this sacrifice is taken and given to the needy on the day of Eid al-Adha.
Let one who has offered sacrifice before the [Eid] Prayer offer another sacrifice in its place. And one who has not offered sacrifice, let him do so in the name of Allah” (Muslim).
Qurbani is given either locally or internationally through a charitable organization.
Once the order for qurbani slaughter is given, humanely-raised animals are slaughtered and the meat is packaged immediately for fresh delivery to the needy. This fresh meat is then hand-distributed to the poor and the sacrifice of Qurbani is considered complete as an act of worship.
While collection for the performance of Qurbani is gathered by organizations like Zakat Foundation of America prior to the day of Eid al-Adha, the act of slaughtering itself must be performed after Eid prayer on the day of Eid al-Adha.
If need be, it is acceptable to have the sacrifice performed prior to the Eid khutbah, but it is preferable to have the sacrifice performed after it is given. Qurbani will continue to be an important act of worship for Muslims around the world, and its annual practice enables us to give nutrition and hope to those who need it most.
Zakat Foundation of America slaughters and hand-delivers qurbani meat yearly in countries around the world like India, El Salvador, Rwanda and more.
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In 2022, 91¢ from each dollar donated went directly toward programs serving those in need. 4¢ went to administrative costs & 5¢ went to fundraising costs.