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 this month 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 10 and 20 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) 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 2019 season.

Afghanistan: cow Albania: cow Bangladesh: cow Bosnia: cow
Chad: cow/bull Chechnya: cow Ethiopia: sheep/goat India: sheep/goat
Indonesia:  cow Iraq: sheep Jordan: sheep Kenya: sheep/goat
Kosovo: cow/sheep Lebanon: cow/sheep Lesotho: cow Macedonia: cow
Malawi: goat/cow Mali: cow Myanmar: cow Nepal: buffalo
Niger: cow Pakistan: cow/bull Palestine: bull Philippines: cow/bull
Somalia: sheep/goat South Africa: cow/bull South Sudan: bull Sri Lanka: cow
Sudan: bull Syrian Refugees: sheep Tunisia: sheep United States: sheep
Yemen: goat Zimbabwe: goat
*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

IRUSA helps millions across the world

Shamset's Story

There are few things that Shamset feels more proud of than her family and rising early at dawn to support them through her work as a street cleaner. Her days are long, difficult, and filled with worry. At 40 years old, being a wife and mother of five has made finding adequate food for her family a challenge in Chechnya.

“Alhamdullilah, we have our own house, but our living standard is low. I am paid very little for my work and our family has no other income. Before I bought products in debt in the neighboring shop, but now the owner changed his rules because people did not pay in time and I have no way out,” Shamset said.

Shamset’s Husband Yunki once worked as a physician and due to a stroke can no longer work as he used to. For her family, Qurbani meat arrived at a time where all seemed lost. She discussed how she makes the best use of the Qurbani meat donated, “I received meat and I try not to cook all of it at once. I divide it up to make soup at least 3 times over. That allows us to have meat dish periodically during a month.”

It’s families like Shamset’s that Qurbani meat provides relief. When they are having the worst time and in need of food, your donations arrive lightening their burden. “It is so touching that the meat is coming from our Muslim brothers and sisters far away. Thank you,” Shamset said.

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