Rules of Qurbani (Sacrification) All Your Questions Answered

What is Qurbani (Sacrification)?

Rules of Qurbani (Sacrification): Qurbani, also known as Udhiyah or Qurban, is the sacrifice of an animal during Eid al-Adha. It is carried out to commemorate the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to sacrifice his son Ismail (AS) as an act of obedience to Allah (SWT).

Rules of Qurbani (Sacrification) All Your Questions Answered
Rules of Qurbani (Sacrification) All Your Questions Answered

Qurbani is considered a confirmed sunnah – an established recommended act – in Islam. It is not obligatory, but highly encouraged for those who can afford it. The meat from the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts – one for the sacrificing household, one for relatives and friends, and one for the poor and needy.

When is Qurbani (Sacrification) Performed?

On Eid al-Adha

Qurbani is carried out after the Eid prayer on the 10th, 11th, and 12th days of Dhul Hijjah, which coincides with the celebration of Eid al-Adha. These are the prescribed days for performing the ritual sacrifice.

Across Three Days

The sacrifice can be performed across three days during the designated timeframe. It is recommended to perform the sacrifice on the first day, but it is permissible to distribute it over three days due to the large number of sacrifices.


Muslims around the world carry out Qurbani during Eid al-Adha. The timing may differ slightly by geographical location, but it falls within the same prescribed period.

What are the Rules of Qurbani (Sacrification)?

Qurbani has specific guidelines and regulations in Islamic law regarding how the sacrifice should be performed. Here are the key rules:


  • The person must be an adult Muslim.
  • They must own the sacrificial animal.
  • They must not be traveling during the time of sacrifice.


  • Common sacrificial animals are sheep, goats, cows, and camels.
  • The animal must meet age specifications e.g. 6 months old for a lamb.
  • The animal must be free from physical defects and in good health.


  • Qurbani is obligatory only if one can afford it without adversely impacting one’s needs.
  • One large animal (cow/camel) can be sacrificed on behalf of 7 people.
  • The cost can be shared among a group or household.


  • At least one-third of the meat must be donated to the poor and needy.
  • The remaining divided between oneself, relatives, friends, and neighbors.

Ritual Method

  • Only an adult Muslim can carry out the sacrifice ritual.
  • The animal must be slaughtered swiftly with a sharp knife.
  • It should not be slaughtered in front of other animals.
  • Specific duas and remembrances of Allah are recited.

What Animals Can Be Offered for Qurbani (Sacrification)?

The common animals that are acceptable for Qurbani include:

Sheep and Goats

Sheep and goats are the most common Qurbani animals around the world. They must be at least 6 months old at the time of sacrifice. One sheep or goat typically suffices for one household’s Qurbani.

Cows and Oxen

Cows, oxen, and bulls are also commonly sacrificed animals for Qurbani. They must be at least 2 years old. Due to their large size, a cow/oxen sacrifice suffices for seven people.


Camels must be at least 5 years old at the time of Qurbani. One camel can cover the Qurbani for seven individuals. But camel sacrifices are less common nowadays.

Age and Condition

Regardless of the animal, it must meet the minimum age criteria and be free from apparent physical defects. The animal must also be well-fed and treated humanely.

What are the Rules and Responsibilities of Qurbani (Sacrification) Donation?

Donating Qurbani meat is a mandatory part of the ritual sacrifice. Here are key points regarding the rules and responsibilities:


At least one-third of the total meat must be donated to the poor and needy who are unable to perform Qurbani.

Receiving Donation

Those accepting the Qurbani meat donation should be deserving recipients such as the poor or orphans. It should not be gifted back to the sacrificer.


It is the sacrificer’s responsibility to ensure the donated portion reaches deserving recipients. Many arrange for charities to handle distribution.


The Qurbani meat donation should preferably be distributed to poor people in the same geographical region. But it can be sent to another area if need be.


The intention and spirit behind the Qurbani donation should be sincerity for Allah (SWT). It completes the act of Qurbani.

Following the rules and meeting the responsibilities of donation are critical parts of Qurbani.

What are the Common Mistakes to Avoid in Qurbani (Sacrification)?

Some common mistakes made during Qurbani that should be avoided include:

Wrong Animal

  • Sacrificing forbidden animals like pigs or those that are stolen or defective.
  • Sacrificing an animal that is underage or unfit.

Wrong Days

  • Performing the sacrifice before Eid day or outside the prescribed timeframe.

Wrong Distribution

  • Consuming or gifting all the meat within one’s household.
  • Not donating the obligatory portion to the poor and needy.

Wrong Ritual

  • Sharing the sacrifice between households without clearly assigned shares per animal.
  • Failing to swiftly slaughter the animal as prescribed.

Wrong Intention

  • Carrying out Qurbani for the sake of celebration or ritual only, without sincere intention.
  • Wastage of the meat or bones after the sacrifice.

Avoiding these common mistakes ensures the Qurbani is completed in the best manner for Allah’s (SWT) sake.

Why is Qurbani (Sacrification) important and what are its significance and benefits?

Qurbani holds great significance and benefits in Islam including:

Obedience to Allah

It reflects obedience and submission to Allah (SWT) similar to Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) willingness to sacrifice his beloved son.

Sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim

Qurbani revives and carries on the sunnah and legacy of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) for future generations.

Charity and Meal for the Poor

The Qurbani meat enables charity for the poor and provides meat for families who cannot afford it.

Uniting the Ummah

Eid al-Adha and Qurbani unite the global Muslim community through a common act of worship.

Develops Good Character

The ritual sacrifice instills lessons of selflessness, generosity, and righteousness.

In essence, Qurbani allows Muslims to emulate Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion (AS) and receive manifold blessings through this significant act of worship.

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