Social and economic lockdowns during Ramadan exacerbated the difficulties already facing poverty-stricken and vulnerable communities but, with the support of our donors, our teams continued to deliver food, water, medicines and other aid to ease their burdens.
Delivering that support – while obeying local restrictions – will continue during the days of Eid-ul-Adha with the fulfilment of Qurbani orders on behalf of our donors and the distribution of sacrificial meat to thousands of families across. For many of them it will be the only time of year they can enjoy meat dishes.
The importance of Qurbani in Islam cannot be understated on many levels – it is acknowledgment that we are the beneficiaries of Allah’s blessings; that sacrifice to the Almighty is unconditional and brings us closer to Him; it is the Sunnah of the Prophet Ibrahim (alaihis salaam) and our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wassalam), and an obligation to assist our brothers and sisters who are in need.
THE FIRST SACRIFICE
The act of sacrifice for Allah can be traced to the beginning of humankind and the sons of Adam (alaihis salaam), Habil and Qabil. The Qur’anic verses relating to this indicate the importance of intention and the willingness we should demonstrate to give up our earthly goods for the blessings of our Creator.
And recite to them the story of Adam’s two sons, in truth, when they both offered a sacrifice [to Allah], and it was accepted from one of them but was not accepted from the other. Said [the latter], “I will surely kill you.” Said [the former], “Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him]. (Qur’an 5:27 Surah Al Maidah)
To resolve a dispute between them, Adam (as) asked them to make a sacrifice and whichever one was accepted by Allah would be deemed to have prevailed in the argument.
Habil was a shepherd and offered a healthy ram. Qabil, a farmer, offered crops but they were not from his best produce. When Habil’s sacrifice was accepted and Qabil’s rejected by Allah, the latter became jealous of his brother and killed him, the first killing of man.
THE SACRIFICE OF THE PROPHET IBRAHIM (as)
Qurbani, or Udiyah as it is known in Arabic, means sacrifice and is an obligation. It commemorates the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim (as) to sacrifice his son, Hazrat Ismail (as) for the sake of Allah.
Having experienced a recurring dream that Allah was instructing him to sacrifice his beloved son, Ibrahim (as) realised it be a commandment from his Lord. He discussed it with Ismail (as) who agreed with his father that this act should be carried out immediately in accordance with Allah’s wishes.
‘He (Ismail) said, “O my father! Do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast”’. (Qur’an 37:102 Surah As-Saffat)
At Mount Arafat, Ismail (as) had his hands and feet bound at his own request, and Ibrahim (as) blindfold himself so as not to see his son suffer. Having carried out what he thought was the sacrifice of his beloved son, Ibrahim (as) removed the blindfold and was shocked to see a dead ram lying there in place of his son. As he looked to his side, he saw his son standing there, unharmed.
The Qur’an states that Allah said to Ibrahim (as):
‘“O Ibrahim, You have fulfilled the vision.” Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.’
(37:104 Surah As-Saffat)
It is narrated that Allah (SWT) had replaced Ismail (as) with a ram in recognition of the loyalty and commitment displayed by Ibrahim (as) to his Creator. There are also numerous narrations that before the intended sacrifice, Shaytan appeared to Ibrahim (as) to dissuade him and the Prophet (as) threw stones to fend him off.
These actions, to ward off Shaytan in favour of carrying out Allah’s wishes, are part of the Hajj pilgrimage that every Muslim should intend to perform at least once in their lifetime, and to this day Ibrahim’s (as) act of devotion and obedience is commemorated through the act of Qurbani each and every year.
THE PROPHETIC QURBANI
The willingness of Ibrahim (as) to sacrifice that which was most precious to him was so beloved to Allah that he made it part of the obligation of the Ummah of our Prophet Muhammad (saw).
‘Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love. And whatever you spend – indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.’ (Qur’an 3:92 Al Imran)
When the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) of the Prophet (saw) asked about the origins of Qurbani, he (saw) replied that it was the Sunnah of their father, Ibrahim (as). Asked what the reward was, the Prophet (saw) said that for every hair on the animal, a good deed is written in one’s book of good deeds. (Hadith Ahmad and Ibn Majah)
Our beloved Prophet (saw) used to look for white, horned rams similar to the one Habil and Ibrahim (as) sacrificed, to offer as Qurbani at Eid-ul-Adha. It was also his (saw) practice to sacrifice a second animal on behalf of those who could not afford it, an act that has come to be known as the Prophetic Qurbani.
‘The Prophet (saw) sacrificed for the one who could not sacrifice from his Ummah, one who bore witness to the Oneness of Allah and [his] Prophethood’. (Hadith Tabarani and Ahmad)
GIVE QURBANI TODAY
(Please note: our cut off point to give Qurbani has now passed)
Qurbani is performed across the world on Eid-ul-Adha. The Qurbani meat must then be divided into three equal portions and distributed between the individual, their neighbours and family, and those in need.
Many of us here in the UK are fortunate enough to have meat readily available to us throughout the year so choose to donate our Qurbani through a Muslim charity such as Islamic Help.
This ensures that those in less fortunate circumstances also have the opportunity to celebrate the joyous occasion of Eid as comfortably as the rest of us.
The giving of Qurbani also serves and acts as a reminder of the importance of equality in Islam.
Ensure your Qurbani contribution is distributed amongst those who need it most this Eid-ul-Adha by donating with Islamic Help. Alternatively, feel free to give our team a call on 0121 446 5682 for more information.