The Significance of Eid al-Adha and Qurbani for Muslims

:: Mohammad Abdullah ::
প্রকাশ: ১২ মাস আগে

In the religion of Islam, the 12th and final month of the Islamic (lunar) year is Dhul Hijjah, which is an incredibly holy and sacred time. It is the month in which two significant events are observed: Qurbani and Eid al-Adha (sometimes called ‘big Eid’ or ‘greater Eid’). The two events are closely linked due to their consecutive timing.

Eid al-Adha is a three-day celebration that is not too dissimilar to Eid al-Fitr. It is a time for families and friends to come together, exchange gifts, eat food and pray together. Like Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha is a celebration for completing a religious duty. In the case of Eid al-Fitr, the religious duty is Ramadan, and with Eid al-Adha, it is Qurbani.

Qurbani or sacrifice is an important act of worship. There were sacrifices in all ages since Adam (AS.). However, the method of obtaining it was not the same. Qurbani of Mohammadi in Shariah is Sunnah of Ibrahimi in Milla. This sacrifice came from there.

It is included in Shay’re Islam i.e. the symbolic precepts of Islam. Apart from this, arrangements are made to entertain the poor and the poor and the neighbours. Qurbani teaches unconditional obedience to Allah and His Messenger. In addition, there is a picture of sacrifice and abandonment for the sake of Allah Ta’ala.

Allah Ta’ala says, ‘So pray to your Lord Allah, and sacrifice (to Him Alone). .’ (Surah Kawsar, verse 2)

In another verse, “(O Messenger!) you say, My prayer, my sacrifice, my life, my death (i.e. my everything) are dedicated to Allah Rabbul Alamin, the Cherisher of the Worlds .” (Surah An’am, verse: 162)

There is wisdom and teaching in the slaughtering of animals for the sake of the love of Allah and the sacrifice and abandonment of all one’s illegitimate needs and animality. So from the sacrifice one should take the spirit and passion of suppressing evil instincts. Therefore, sacrifice includes the essence of worship, as well as the practice of piety.

Allah Ta’ala has said,  Neither their flesh reaches Allah nor their blood; it is your piety that reaches Him. He has subjected these animals (to you) that you may magnify Allah for the guidance He has bestowed upon you. Give glad tidings, (O Prophet), to those who do good‘ (Surah Hajj, verse: 37) (

The main teaching of sacrifice is the acquisition of piety and reformation of the soul. Externally this state of mind of the sacrificer cannot be perceived. It is a personal matter. If a person’s heart is pure, then the whole body becomes pure.

Allah will judge the servant by looking at his heart. Qurbani is the perfect time to test how pure and beautiful one’s heart is to Allah. Sacrifices come and go; But what is the result of this in our personal and social life? Many times in my life I have celebrated the Eid of Sacrifice by sacrificing animals; But my sacrifice has been accepted? Have you thought about why not? What lessons have been learned from this?

Another lesson of Qurbani Eid is not to enjoy Eid alone. Eid means joy. Share your happiness with the poor. Trying hard to put a smile of happiness on their face as much as possible.

We should sacrifice our animal nature along with the animal sacrifice and vow that even after life we do not forget the lesson of sacrifice. Besides making life beautiful and happy by using the education of sacrifice. May Allah bless us. Amen.

The History of Qurbani

Qurbani is, as mentioned, a highly religious time. The story of Qurbani begins with the Prophet Ibrahim (AS).

The Qurbani Eid story recounts that Prophet Ibrahim (AS) had a dream, not once, but repeatedly where he was being asked by Allah (SWT) to sacrifice his son Ismail (AS). This was a test of love and submission towards Allah. He surrendered to Allah’s (SWT) command without hesitating and prepared himself and his son for sacrifice.

It is said that Prophet Ibrahim (AS) took his son to Mount Arafat to perform the sacrifice. He described his dream to his son upon reaching the mountain, to which his son obliged and echoed the same beliefs that this was an act of obedience towards Allah (SWT).

However, as he tied his son with a rope and was about to slaughter him, Allah (SWT) replaced Ismail (AS) with a ram, and Prophet Ibrahim (AS) slaughtered the animal instead. His son Ismail (AS) was standing perfectly fine right next to him, much to his disbelief.

How Muslims Give Qurbani

On the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah, Muslims all over the world perform the act of Qurbani where they slaughter an animal and celebrate the wonderful occasion of Eid al-Adha. They celebrate this devotion and belief of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and Ismail (AS).

Every Muslim who is of age and who has the means to do so must give Qurbani, and when they sacrifice the animal, they must) do so in adherence to the following rules: (

  • Sheep and goats must be at least one year old
  • Cows and buffalos must be at least two years old
  • Camels must be at least five years old

In addition, all Qurbani animals must be in good health and must not:

  • Be blind (missing a third of their sight or more), or missing an eye
  • Be missing half or more of their teeth
  • Be underweight/thin/lean
  • Be lame/limping (they need to be able to walk to the place of sacrifice themselves)
  • Have horns that are broken at the root

As well as the above rules, there are rules about how a Muslim should sacrifice an animal in order to give Qurbani. They must ensure:

  • The slaughter knife is sharp so that unnecessary pain and suffering is avoided (it cannot be sharpened in front of the animal)
  • No animal is slaughtered in front of another Qurbani animal
  • They are at least present for the sacrifice if they do not have the knowhow to do it themselves
  • They say the words “Bismillah, wa Allahu Akbar” at the time of the slaughter
  • The animal is not skinned until it is entirely cold

Why Do Muslims Have to Give Qurbani?

The Qurbani story is a remarkable illustration of unconditional love and commitment. It speaks volumes of faith and devotion towards the Almighty, in every sense. It represents Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) and Ismail’s unmatched loyalty and fervour towards their religion and their Creator.

The significance of Qurbani in Islam holds great value and is an act of devotion towards Allah (SWT), but it is also an act of giving to others in their time of need. Traditionally, an animal that is slaughtered for Qurbani is divided into three shares: one share for the donor and their family, one share for the donor’s friends, and one share for someone in need.


Author: Mohammad Abdullah; Researcher and Columnist.