Eid-ul-Adha is around the corner and Muslims all across the world celebrate this festival with joy and enthusiasm. It is also the end of the annual pilgrimage of Hajj in Mecca.  Pilgrims remember and commemorate the trials and triumphs of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) while performing the rituals of Hajj. About Ibrahim (AS) Allah says in the Quran,

“Surely Abraham was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He was grateful for Our bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in this world, and in the next, he will most surely be among the righteous.”

(Qur’an 16:120-122)

Ibrahim (AS) was commanded by the Almighty to sacrifice his only son Ismail (AS). Upon hearing the command, he submitted to Allah’s will and prepared to set out to sacrifice his son. After witnessing the devotion and willingness of Ibrahim (AS), Allah gave him a lamb to sacrifice in place of his son. His sacrifice had already been fulfilled and he had shown that his love for Allah (SWT) superseded everything.

[Read Also: Maqam-e-Ibrahim and its Historical Significance]

Why to do Animal Sacrifice (Qurbani)?

Allah says in the Quran,

“And for every nation, We have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the Name of Allah over the beast of cattle that He has given them for food. And your God is One God (Allah), so you must submit to Him Alone. And give glad tidings to the Mukhbitin (those who obey Allâh with humility and are humble from among the true believers).”

[Al-Hajj 22:34]

While celebrating Eid and offering the sacrifice of Eid Al Adha, Muslims remember Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) trials and slaughter animals such as goats, cows, camels or sheep. This act is often misunderstood by people of other faith. Allah (SWT) has permitted us to eat from the animals that are Halaal as prescribed in Shariah. The meat from the sacrifice is mostly given to others. The act symbolizes our willingness to sacrifice and give away our own bounties in order to submit to the will of Allah and follow His commands.  We recognize the fact that all blessings come from the Almighty and it is important to open up one’s heart and share with others.  It not only strengthens the ties of friendship but also helps those who are in need.

One must understand that the Sacrifice of Eid Al Adha as practiced by Muslims has nothing to do with atoning to one’s sins or washing the sins with the blood of an animal. It is a common misunderstanding amongst people of other faith regarding Qurbani on Eid-ul-Adha. Quran says,

“It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him”

(Qur’an 22:37)


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Rules for Animal Sacrifice (Qurbani) on Eid-Al-Adha

Types of Animals for Qurbani
Types of Animals for Qurbani

There are certain important Rules and Guidelines regarding Qurbani and those who intend to slaughter an animal on Eid Al Adha have to follow these rules which can be summarised in the following categories:

Rules concerning the Animal for sacrifice:

The animal should be approved by Shari’ah. Allah says in Surah Al Anaam:

“Eight are the pairs: of the sheep two (male and female), and of the goats two (male and female).”


“And of the camels two (male and female), and of oxen two (male and female).”


A sheep or goat is used as a single offering and is sufficient for one household whereas a cow or camel can be shared by seven people in the light of the following hadiths:

“At the time of the Messenger of Allaah (PBUH), a man would sacrifice a sheep on behalf of himself and the members of his household, and they would eat from it and give some to others.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah and al-Tirmidhi)

As narrated by Jaabir (RA) who said:

“We sacrificed at al-Hudaybiyah with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), a camel for seven and a cow for seven.”

(Saheeh Muslim)

The animal must have reached the required adult age and be free from any obvious defect. Only the best kinds of animals are allowed in Qurbani.  The adult age for an animal is:

  • 1 year for a goat or a sheep
  • 2 years for a cow
  • 5 years for a camel

Also, a person should be in full possession of the animal and it should not be a stolen or taken by force. Once selected for Qurbani, the animal cannot be sold or given to someone else.

The Prophet (PBUH) said:

“Do not sacrifice anything but an adult animal, unless it is difficult for you, in which case you may slaughter a six-month-old lamb (jadh’ah).”

(Saheeh Muslim)

The Prophet (PBUH) said:

“There are four that will not do for sacrifice: a one-eyed animal whose defect is obvious, a sick animal whose sickness is obvious, a lame animal whose limp is obvious and an emaciated animal that has no marrow in its bones.”

(Saheeh al-Jaami’, no. 886)

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Rules regarding Who can offer the Qurbani:

The sacrifice on Eid is an act of Ibadah and the rules regarding who can do Qurbani includes that the person has to be Muslim and can afford its expenses. One who intends to perform the sacrifice must not remove any hair or nails for the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. As reported by Umm-Salamah (RA), the Prophet (PBUH) said:

“When you see the new moon of Dhul-Hijjah, and if anyone of you intends to offer a sacrifice, let him not remove anything from his hair or nails until he has offered his sacrifice.”

(Saheeh Muslim)

It is sunnah to slaughter the animal with one’s own hands by making the intention of offering a sacrifice (udhiyah) but if one is unable to do so, he/she can witness the sacrifice if possible. Also one must take the name of Allah at the time of slaughter by saying Bismillaah and Allaahu Akbar.

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Rules & Hadith regarding Qurbani and its Timing:

The time of Qurbani begins after the dawn of the 10th Dhul-Hijjah and lasts until the sun sets on the 12th Dhul-Hijjah. It is essential for the Qurbani to be valid that it should be done after the Eid Prayers on Eid Al Adha. The Prophet (PBUH) said:

“Whoever slaughters (his sacrifice) before the prayer, it is meat that he has brought to his family, but that is not the sacrifice.”


“Whoever slaughters the sacrifice before he prays, let him replace it with another.”


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Rules regarding the distribution of meat after Qurbani:

Its recommended to divide the meat into three portions: One part to be eaten by the family, the second part to be given as the gift to relatives and neighbors, and the last part to be given as charity to poor and people in need. It is reported by Buraydah (RA) that

“The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) did not go out on the day of (Eid) al-Fitr until he had eaten, and he did not eat on the day of (Eid) al-Adha until he came back, then he would eat from his sacrifice.”


Also, no part of the slaughtered animal can be sold or used as a payment. The butcher should not be given any part of the meat as a payment. The Prophet (PBUH) said:

“Whoever sells the skin of his udhiyah, there is no udhiyah for him (i.e., it is not counted as udhiyah).”

(Saheeh al-Jaami’, 6118)

It is also reported by Ali (RA) who said:

“The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) commanded me to take care of the sacrifice and to give its meat, skin and raiment (covering used for protection) in charity, and not to give anything of it to the butcher as compensation. He said, ‘We will give him something from what we have.’”

(Bukhari & Muslim)

If you are planning to go to Makkah for Hajj or Umrah, talk to our Hajj and Umrah travel agents who are available 24*7 for your convenience. I’timaar provides Cheap Hajj and Umrah Packages from the UK inclusive of accommodation, transport, and ziyarat. Animal sacrifice on Eid-ul-Adha can also be included in the Hajj package on request.

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