The act of carrying out a Qurbani is an annual reminder of the Quranic story of the Prophet Ibrahim (as) when Allah (swt) tested his submission to Him.
Ibrahim (as) experienced a dream one night, in which Allah (swt) told him to sacrifice Ismail (as), his beloved son. At first, Ibrahim (as) believed this was the devil playing tricks on him and he immediately disregarded it. However, the following night, the same dream occurred again commanding him to do the same. Ibrahim (as) then came to realise that this was no fluke and was, in fact, a message from Allah (swt).
Ibrahim (as) loved his son, Ismail (as). Yet he was fully prepared to follow Allah’s (swt) command and do as He instructed. He took his son to the top of Mount Arafat and brought with him a knife and rope. Upon reaching an appropriate place, he told his son about his dream and what Allah (swt) had commanded him to do. Being an obedient son, Prophet Ismail (as) immediately obliged the wishes of Allah (swt) and his father and asked that his hands and legs be tied so that he may not struggle and that his father blindfolds himself so that he does not have to witness him suffer.
Ibrahim (as) did as Ismail (as) had said. Blindfolded and with the knife in his hands, he did as Allah (swt) had asked of him. When he took the blindfold off, to his surprise, he saw the body of a dead ram in front of him. Ismail (as) was completely unharmed standing right next to him. At first, he thought that something had gone horribly wrong and that he had disobeyed the order of his Creator. At this moment, Allah called down: “O Ibrahim! You have done my bidding and now you will be rewarded!”
A divine miracle had taken place. Ibrahim (as) and Ismail (as) had just passed a difficult test from Allah (swt). Since then, every year, during the month of Dhul Hijjah, the last month of the holy calendar, Muslims from around the world perform Qurbani to remember what Ibrahim (as) did. We use his deed to inspire devotion, obedience, and submission in our own lives. Muslims sacrifice animals (preferably a goat, cow, or camel) using special rules and practices, in memory of Prophet Ibrahim’s (as) sacrifice.
Therefore, the significance of Qurbani is a lesson in obedience and submission. We must obey Allah’s (swt) command without pause. May Allah (swt) give us the ability to perform the Sunnah of Ibrahim (as) every year.
Due to the firm faith of both father and son, Ismail (as) was replaced by a ram, and his life was spared by Allah (swt). In this story, we must, therefore, remember that Eid ul-Adha is not just a celebration, but the remembrance of one of the greatest sacrifices in history.
As we remember the Qurbani story every year, and we remember the obedience, devotion, and submission that he showed, we think of the importance of the celebration of Qurbani, and what we must do to honour it. For those wondering how to give Qurbani in the UK, Zia Ul Ummah Foundation can help.
By giving Qurbani through Zia Ul Ummah Foundation, you can rest assured that your Qurbani will be supervised by our network of Muslim scholars and ensure you serve those most in need.