Qurbani/Udhiyah, the Islamic Tradition that Feeds Those in Need

“That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known days over what He has provided for them of cattle. So eat of them and feed the poor.”
– The Holy Qur’an, 22:28

The first ten days of Dhu al-Hijjah are the most sacred days of the year, loved by Allah (SWT). By giving to Islamic Relief, you can reap the rewards of this blessed month and serve those in need.

That is why your donations are so powerful. Not only do you fulfill the charitable obligations Allah (SWT) has set for us, but you also help relieve at least a little of the burden that a struggling family faces.

Read on to learn more about how you can make this your most charitable Qurbani/Udhiyah yet.





The Story

An Important Islamic Tradition

1. Qurbani/Udhiyah is the tradition of sharing meat with your family and with the poor at the end of the Hajj season, at Eid al-Adha.

Udhiyah is an Arabic word and Qurbani is an Urdu/Persian word derived from Arabic. They both connote the meaning of sacrifice, or an act done for the pleasure of Allah (SWT).

2. It’s about the story of Prophet Ibrahim, his son Prophet Ismail, and the ram that replaced Ismail (peace be upon them).

Prophet Ibrahim dreamed he was sacrificing his beloved son Ismail (peace be upon them). He asked his son what he thought. Young Ismail said, “Do as you are commanded.” But when they went to do the hardest thing they could imagine doing, Allah replaced Ismail with a ram. They had passed the test—they were willing to give up what they loved most. We commemorate their sacrifice with a financial sacrifice ourselves—buying an animal or the prepared meat, and sharing it with the poor.

3. It’s in the Quran.

“Therefore turn in prayer to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him only).” (The Holy Qur’an, 108:2)
“It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is piety from you that reaches Him.” (The Holy Qur’an, 22:37)

4. It’s in the Sunnah.

Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (RA) said:
“The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) stayed in Madinah for 10 years, offering sacrifice (every year on Eid).” (Ahmad and Tirmidhi)

Al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib (RA) said the Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Whoever offers a sacrifice after the prayer has completed his rituals (of Eid) and has followed the way of the Muslims.” (Al-Bukhari)

5. It’s a great blessing when you share the meat with people in need!

The people you can send meat to through Islamic Relief USA rarely get the treat of meat. Some haven’t had any since they received this gift last Eid al-Adha. Your gift is huge to them. And each donation you make has an impact in the fight against hunger: You can feed between 5 and 10 families in need with one, single donation, masha’Allah. They get the meat … you get the reward!

A Universal Message of Sacrifice and Love: an Imam, a Reverend, a Rabbi

The Animals

Healthy and Halal

The animals used are an’aam animals, such as sheep, goats, cows and buffalo. The animals must be healthy, free from blindness and chronic sickness or disease or from any apparent ailment, and must be of a fit age.

When you donate “1 Qurbani,” your donation equals one sheep or goat OR 1/7 of a cow, bull or buffalo. Your donation can provide about 50 pounds (sheep/goat) to 70 pounds (cow/bull/buffalo/ox) of fresh meat, which in turn feeds about 5 to 10 families*. If you would like to purchase an entire cow or bull, you would multiply the price and the number of families served by 7. Here are the types of animals that will be provided during the 2021 season.


Africa Ethiopia 1 donation = 1 sheep or goat
Africa Kenya 1 donation – 1 sheep or goat
Africa Malawi 1 donation = 1 goat or 1/7 of a cow
Africa Mali 1 donation = 1/7 of a cow
Africa Niger 1 donation = 1 sheep or 1/7 of a cow
Africa Somalia 1 donation = 1 sheep or goat
Africa South Africa 1 donation = 1/7 of a cow or bull
Africa South Sudan 1 donation = 1/7 of a bull
Africa Sudan 1 donation = 1/7 of a bull
Asia Afghanistan 1 donation = 1/7 of a cow
Asia Bangladesh 1 donation = 1/7 of a cow
Asia India Goat
Asia Indonesia 1 donation = 1/7 of a cow
Asia Myanmar 1 donation = 1/7 of a cow
Asia Nepal 1 donation = 1 goat or 1/7 of a buffalo
Asia Pakistan 1 donation = 1/7 of a cow or bull
Asia Philippines 1 donation = 1/7 of a cow or bull
Europe Albania 1 donation = 1/7 of a cow
Europe Bosnia 1 donation = 1/7 of a cow
Europe Chechnya 1 donation = 1/7 of a cow
Europe Kosovo 1 donation = 1/7 of a cow
Europe Macedonia 1 donation = 1/7 of a cow
Americas USA 1 donation = 1 sheep or 1/7 of a cow
Global Refugees 1 donation = 1 sheep or 1/7 of a cow
Middle East Jordan 1 donation = 1 sheep
Middle East Lebanon 1 donation = 1/7 of a cow
Middle East Palestine 1 donation = 1/7 of a bull
Middle East Syrian refugees 1 donation = 1 sheep or 1/7 of a cow
Middle East Turkey 1 donation = 1 sheep or 1/7 of a cow
Middle East Tunisia 1 donation = 1 sheep
Middle East Yemen 1 donation = 1 sheep or goat or 1/7 of an ox
*Poundage and number of families served are calculations based on approximations, and may vary during specific distributions.

The Impact

Fulfilling an Islamic Tradition that Fights Hunger

Our reach via our Qurbani campaign, 2017-2019

2,258,821+ PEOPLE SERVED
IRUSA helps millions across the world

Stories from the Ground

Umm Mohammed's Story

“Our life is difficult,” Umm Mohammed told us from her tent in a refugee camp in 2019.

At that point, it had been three years since she and her family were displaced from their home. One of her children, her son, died. Fighting back tears, she told us “My only wish is to be able to visit his grave.”

She’s done everything she can to provide for her family—she spends her days working in the field, farming. It’s back-breaking work but she does it so that her family can survive.

“I can barely collect the price of bread we need through my farming. I don’t have the ability to buy meat on a regular or [even] monthly basis,” she said.

For families living every single day in hunger, nutritious, fresh meat can be an essential source of vital nutrients that they need to grow healthily. But for families like Umm Mohammed’s, having access to such food is virtually nonexistent. 

That’s why Islamic Relief’s Qurbani/Udhiyah program—our largest food aid program of the year—is critical. It provides the opportunity to fulfill the tradition that prophets Ibrahim and Ismail (asws) placed before us, and it is a prime time to deliver essential food to families who desperately need it.

“My children eagerly await the day that our Udhiyah meat will arrive. It’s a very beautiful day to see a smile on the faces of those who are weak and poor,” Umm Mohammed said. 

“We have known Islamic Relief for several years, and my thanks and gratitude to all those who contribute to alleviate the suffering of the displaced—those who have lost their homes and villages because of this war!” 

“It’s a lot of Qurbani meat [that we receive]. We were very pleased with it. I cooked it for my kids and my family!”



How does it work?

Your Qurbani & Udhiya price includes all the costs. Livestock are pre-allocated and paid for, and must be hygienically and ethically treated. They are then sacrificed during the 10th – 13th days of Dhu al-Hijjah.

The meat is distributed fresh, chilled or frozen, according to what is appropriate for the dietary culture of the region. Each packet is 2-5 kilograms of meat and feeds a family of 4-8 people.

Because of you, our global Qurbani efforts meant that over 3 million people in over 30 countries felt the joy of Eid last year.

Everyone deserves to enjoy Eid and feed their families just like we do.

How does all this work?

You start by simply picking a region, and our teams make sure that the most vulnerable families are prioritized.

Our offices pre-arrange and pay for all livestock ahead of time.

Livestock must be healthy, and hygienically and ethically treated

Animals are sourced locally whenever possible, to support the local economy.

Your Qurbani & Udhiya price includes all costs.

Animals are sacrificed on the 10th – 13th of Dhu al-Hijjah.

Meat is immediately distributed to people prioritized by need.

Islamic Relief USA is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization (Tax ID# 95-4453134) | CFC# 10194 | Islamic Relief USA © 2021 | All Rights Reserved