With Dhul Hijjah around the corner, most of us have already started shopping around for a charity to offer our Qurbani with. But when entrusting our Qurbani to an aid organisation, do we stop to think about their reliability? And are we concerned about those factors which can make our Qurbani void?
Charities who perform Qurbani on behalf of thousands Muslims every year, over the course of four days, bear a huge responsibility. Yet, come Qurbani season, many of them are competing with each other to offer the cheapest, most competitive prices in order to get more orders. What’s more, many of us buy into this, because who wouldn’t want to pay less to get a thing done?
In fact, there’s nothing wrong with getting someone else to carry out Qurbani on your behalf. But the onus still lies with us to do our market research and entrust our sacrifice to a reliable organisation, even if it costs more. In our effort to nab a bargain and find the cheapest Qurbani, we forget two things:
- A cheap Qurbani means a poor quality Qurbani
- By choosing poor quality, we’re cutting corners on our duty to Allah (swt)
Think about it, Qurbani is the Sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim (as). The tradition was born from his test, in which he demonstrated a faith so strong that he was willing to sacrifice his own son for Allah (swt). And here we are, cutting corners. Here we are, satisfied about placing the cheapest Qurbani order with one or two clicks online, and not stopping to wonder if those we’ve entrusted our sacrifice to will adhere to the conditions set down by the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah.
The Conditions of Qurbani
Educating ourselves on the conditions of Qurbani and re-thinking our priorities during this blessed time is key to ensuring we entrust our sacrifice to a reliable charity. Here we’ve listed those frequently asked questions about the conditions that Qurbani must adhere to in order to be valid.
What animals can be sacrificed for Qurbani?
Animals deemed suitable for Qurbani sacrifice are ‘beast of cattle’ –this means: cows, oxen, buffalo, sheep, camels, or goats.
What age must a Qurbani animal be?
Animals intended for Qurbani sacrifice must have reached adulthood. In the case of sheep this is between six months to (preferably) one year. For goats this is one year. For cows etc. this is at two years of age. For camels, this is at five years.
What are the health requirements for Qurbani animals?
Animals intended for Qurbani sacrifice should be healthy. Animals with the following defects are not acceptable for Qurbani:
- Animals with visible eye defects including blindness or the loss of (one third of) eyesight.
- Animals that are sick or have sustained severe wounds that effect their health.
- Animal that are lame.
- Animals that are emaciated to the degree that people wouldn’t normally consider buying it.
When must Qurbani be performed?
The Qurbani sacrifice is time sensitive; it must be carried out within the four-day period that starts after the Eid prayer on the first day of Eid, until before sunset on the 13th of Dhul-Hijja. Be wary of charities willing to take your Qurbani order during Eid, as the likelihood of them performing it in time is lower.
How must Qurbani be performed?
Qurbani is a time of sacrifice, not carnage. Animals being sacrificed for Qurbani must be treated humanely and slaughtered in accordance with the shari’ah ruling on what is halal. A charity that takes your Qurbani seriously won’t take the risk of working with cheaper slaughterhouses, where bad practice, poor conditions and a lack of monitoring could compromise your Qurbani.
What is the correct faith and intention one must perform/offer Qurbani with?
For your Qurbani to be accepted, the sacrifice must be preformed by a Muslim, in the name of Allah (swt), and with the intention for offering it as Qurbani. When making your own intention to offer Qurbani, ensure that it is sincere and not influenced by stinginess. Not being able to afford an expensive Qurbani animal is one thing, and trying to be cost efficient is acceptable. But it’s another thing to not be willing to offer a better Qurbani, even when you can afford it and you know that the price is justified. And Allah (swt) knows our intentions best.
Why Offer Qurbani with a Cancer Hospital?
When looking for a charity to perform Qurbani, a cancer hospital might be the last place that comes to mind, but you will be surprised! At Imran Khan Cancer Appeal (IKCA), we make no profit on carrying out Qurbani. Which is precisely why our donors come back every year, to sacrifice with us. IKCA’s annual Qurbani efforts are a service we provide for the dedicated donors and volunteers, who continue to support us. It is also another way for us to give back, by facilitating food aid among Pakistan’s poorest communities.
At IKCA, we know how important it is to perform Qurbani correctly and according to the sunnah. That’s why our staff in Pakistan are involved in monitoring the Qurbani process every step of the way: We check to make sure all animals are healthy and of the correct age. At IKCA, we do not take the risk of working with cheaper slaughterhouses for fear that any part of this religious obligation is compromised. Find out more here!