Every year Muslims around the world offer a sacrifice of an animal to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s (pbuh) willingness to sacrifice his son for the sake of Allah (swt). The word Qurbani means sacrifice and leads to Eid-Al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice which takes place during the 12th month of the Islamic calendar year Dhul-Hijjah.
As mentioned in the Quran, Prophet Ibrahim had a vision that Allah ordered him to sacrifice his only son Ismail. Ibrahim agreed to follow the vision and perform the sacrifice, out of devotion to Allah. Ismail submitted himself to the act which Allah had commanded upon his father.
Allah intervened in the final moments by sending a ram to be sacrificed in Ismail’s place. Because of Ibrahim’s piety and devotion to Allah, Ismail was spared. Prophet Ibrahim was willing to endure the loss and pain from losing his only son. He was willing to sacrifice that which was most precious to him for Allah.
Today, Muslims continue the act of sacrifice of an animal with the intention of getting closer to Allah, and as a reminder of Ibrahim’s sacrifice in the name of Allah. While it is an animal being sacrificed, ultimately Muslims are sacrificing their desires and that which they hold most dear out of piety to Allah.
“It is not their meat nor their blood, that reaches Allah: it is your piety (Taqwa) that reaches Him: He has thus made them subject to you, that ye may glorify Allah for His Guidance to you and proclaim the good news to all who do right.”
Animals that can be sacrificed are goats, sheep, cows and camels. They are sacrificed on the day of Eid-Al-Adha which takes place after Hajj. As Hajj is performed on day 8th, 9th and 10th of Dhul-Hijjah, Eid-Al-Adha begins immediately after on the 10th day and ends on the 13th day. This year, Eid-Al-Adha will begin around the evening of 30th August 2017.