Qurbani constitutes the most important part of Eid-ul-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice). Known as Udhiyah in Arabic, it is the practice of sacrificing an animal – a goat, sheep, cow, camel – as a reflection of the readiness of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) to sacrifice his son Ismail (A.S.) for the sake of Allah.

This sacrificial practice starts on 10th Dhul Hijjah, the first day of Eid-ul-Adha, and can be performed till noon of 12th Dhul Hijjah.

But what is the meaning of qurbani?

The Etymology of the word Qurbani

The literal translation of qurbani is sacrifice.

The word qurbani is derived from the Arabic word qurban. The word qurban has its root in the Arabic word of qurb which means nearness.

From the etymological meaning of this word, it can be said that the purpose of offering qurbani is to draw oneself near to Allah.

The practice of offering sacrifice is a proclamation of our willingness to sacrifice whatever is asked of us to gain closure to Allah and earn His pleasure.

Thus through qurbani, we should remember to hold onto sincere intentions and aspire to become closer to Allah.

The act of qurbani is also a display of total devotion to Allah.

The True Meaning of Qurbani

The three days on which qurbani is carried out is a spiritual reminder for us pertinent to sacrifice, submission, and supplication to Allah.

These days offer an apt opportunity for Muslims to ponder and reflect on the condition of the impoverished, inciting a spirit of being caring, and to be grateful for the bounties bestowed upon us.

In addition to the literal act of sacrifice, it is allegorical as well. It is important that we realize our purpose of creation. We are created for the purpose of worship. Whatever takes us away from fulfilling this purpose is what we must negate and slaughter.

Thus, on the occasion of qurbani, a Muslim has to ask what am I willing to sacrifice for Allah so that I fulfill my purpose of creation? What is it that comes between me and fully practicing the religion of Allah? Am I doing something that is haram and am I willing to sacrifice that?

It must be remembered that when believers sacrifice something that they had held dear for gaining the pleasure and happiness of Allah, He will take care of them and reward them with something much better than what is left behind and renounced.

According to Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) in Musnad Ahmad,

“Verily, you will never leave anything for the sake of Allah Almighty, but that Allah will replace it with something better”.

Thus, in the spirit of sacrifice, we need to mull over if we are using our time, energy, and body upon things that directly cause the displeasure of Allah. Then, we need to reflect on how to rectify these behaviors and replace them with ways that garner the pleasure of Allah. On this Eid, we need to question ourselves that like the animal we sacrifice while calling out loud Bismillahi Allah hu Akbar Allah hu Akbar are we willing to sacrifice our ego, self, spirit, and bad deeds for Allah, who is truly Akbar, to get closer to Him?

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. He/She does not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Rizq or its members. The publication does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of Rizq.
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