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.





Special Resources for Dhu al-Hijjah

Check out these resources from Islamic Relief to help you observe the first 10 days of Dhu al-Hijjah, the best 10 days of the year!

Get Dhu al-Hijjah ready

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 Interfaith perspective

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 were 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 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. Please note: Global Qurbani/Udhiyah funds as well as those for certain countries may be used to provide for refugee families.

Qurbani+: Help Families Build Livelihoods

Our Qurbani+ program takes Qurbani donations to another level. By donating to this livelihood program, you help families across Niger build up opportunities to bring in a steady income to help break the cycle of poverty. Click below to learn more.

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

Sarudzai's Story

Sarudzai, a mother of five from Malawi, received Qurbani meat in 2020 because of dedicated Islamic Relief donors. She shared this message:

“We depend on farming and earn something from it after we sell our farm produce. However, the money is not enough to cater for all our needs hence we are also engaged in [other work] in order to support our family. I am also engaged in sand collection which I sell and earn an income from it.”

“We rarely have meat in our diet. We even struggle to buy soap so we wouldn’t put meat as our priority, we would rather eat vegetables for the whole week, than eat meat for a day then struggle to find food afterwards. Usually when we have meat, then it is when we have a visitor coming to see us. If the visitor gets tired of eating relish that we usually eat, such as dried fish, soya pieces or vegetables, they buy the meat for a change. We wish we could have meat regularly so that we are not embarrassed when a visitor comes, but alas! Our pockets cannot allow us.”

“Due to lack of money, we cannot have meat as our priority food, when we have nothing to eat in the house. Therefore, we opt to buy vegetables everyday so that the little money we have at that particular time, can take us through a number of days so that we do not starve the children”.

“I understand that meat makes up a considerable portion of a typical diet, as it provides our bodies with nutrients that are beneficial to our bodies. It is unfortunate that we are lacking these nutrients. However, we alternatively seek these nutrients from other foods as we do not have any other option.

“To be honest we are not fully comfortable with the life we live. Our main challenge is having enough money to buy sufficient fertilizer hence we always get low yield hence we mostly eat only once a day. I also have problems providing for the children’s school needs and whenever we get sick, we go to a government hospital because I cannot afford to seek medical assistance from a private hospital.”

“I understand it is a symbol of love. The meat from the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha is mostly given to others and that shows a true reflection of love. Today, my family and I will have meat, something which we never expected and we are happy.”

“We did not have relish and there was no hope that we could eat today but this meat pack has really rescued us from starving. The children are all smiles because they have not had meat in a while. It is a good feeling to see the children happy. The children are used to eating vegetables hence it was kind of “strange” for them to have meat. On top of that we have saved the money we could have used for relish today.”

“I have known Islamic Relief for quite a while now through the IR livelihoods and protection project and I am one of the beneficiaries”.

“I am short of words for what IR has done for us as a family today. I urge them to continue with the good work and remember us again in the next program.”



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.

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