Qurbān (Arabic: قربان) or uḍḥiyah (Arabic: أضحية, lit. ‘sacrificial animal’) as referred to in Islamic law, is a ritual animal sacrifice of a livestock animal during Eid al-Adha. It commemorates the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his son Ismail (AS) to Allah swt as an act of obedience and faith. It is performed during the four-day celebration of Eid al-Adha, which takes place on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The festival begins after the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, known as the Hajj, is completed.
Qurban involves the sacrifice of a domesticated animal, typically a sheep, goat, cow, or camel, to symbolize the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim and his son to sacrifice their most precious possession for the sake of Allah. Muslims who are financially capable are required to perform the ritual once in their lifetime, either individually or collectively as a community.
After the sacrifice, the animal is divided into three parts: one-third is kept for the person who performed the sacrifice, one-third is distributed to family, friends, and neighbors, and one-third is donated to the poor and needy. This act of generosity and sharing reinforces the values of compassion, brotherhood, and charity in Islam.
The Qurban ritual is not just about sacrificing an animal, but it also signifies the willingness to submit to the will of Allah, to show gratitude for His blessings, and to reaffirm the commitment to Islam. It is a reminder of the importance of sacrifice, obedience, and faith in the lives of Muslims.