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Rules of Qurban

A Comprehensive Guide to the Rulings and Etiquettes of Performing Qurban (Udhiyah)


Udhiyah (Qurban) is the name given for the act of slaughtering the specified animals (Lamb, goat, sheep, cow, buffalo or camel) on the days of ʿEid al-adha and tashriq with the intention of worshipping God Most High. The legislating of the udhiyah intends to revive the slaughter of Ibrahim (peace be upon him) when he was commanded via a vision to slaughter his son, which was then substituted with the slaughter of a ram.

When is Qurban preformed? Observing Sacrifice Solely on the 10th, 11th, and 12th Days of Dhul-Hijjah.

Qurban must only be performed on the tenth, eleventh and twelfth days of Dhul-Hijjah. You can order your Qurban before this time, but the sacrifice must be carried out on the correct day. The first day is always better than the second, whilst the second is better than the last.

Who is required to perform Qurban?

  • Qurban is to be offered by those who can afford it and meet other specific requirements; you must be a Muslim of sound mind, and mature (have reached puberty).
  • It is not compulsory for children and those with mental health issues to practice Qurban, nor are their guardians expected to perform Qurban on their behalf.

Which Animals are eligible for Qurban?

  • One animal or share covers the udhiyah for one legally responsible male and his legal dependents, such as his wife, young children and poor parents.

  • Animals Accepted for Qurban and their Age Limits

    • Sheep, Lamb, or Goat (Minimum age 1 year); a sheep aged 6-12 months is permissible if they are the same size as a one-year-old animal of the same species)

    • Cow, bull, buffalo (Minimum age two years old)

    • Camel (Minimum age 5 years old)

  • Physical Attributes

    • No blindness nor one-eyed

    • No missing ear, nose, leg (or part thereof, whether this is ‘naturally’ missing or has been intentionally removed),

    • Tail (with an exception made by the Hanbalis), tail fat and no limp

    • If an animal seller says the animal you purchase is of the required age, and there is no evidence to the contrary, you can take them at their word

  • ​Animals should be purchased a few days before the slaughter, and they must be cared for, fed and nurtured

A brief guide to the eligibility of animal can be found on our FAQs page.

Conditions of the slaughter

  • It is best to slaughter the animal yourself, but if you do not know how, you should remain present whilst someone else sacrifices the creature.

  • Intention at the time of slaughter (niyyah)It is also necessary to say "Bismillahi Allahu Akbar" when slaughtering the animal.​

  • Invoking the name of God (tasmiyah), as per the majority, contrary to the Shafiʿis

  • Adhering to the time prescribed for the udhiyah

    • For those living in urban areas: After the time of the Eid prayer, even if prior to the Eid sermon (or the equivalent time of the Eid prayer after sunrise)

    • For those living in rural areas: After sunrise on the day of Eid al-adha (as per the hanafis)

    • If the urban dweller has engaged a rural person to discharge his udhiyah, this person can do the slaughter after dawn (fajr) and before sunrise, despite having been entrusted by a city-dweller. This is because the udhiyah is connected to the place the slaughter is being undertaken in.

  • The time ends on the fourth day with the setting of the sun (that is, when the fifth day would be beginning, with the days beginning at sunset). This is according to the Shafiʿi school. As per the hanafi and Maliki schools, the first three days only.

Etiquettes of Slaughtering

  1. That the tool is sharp (otherwise the blunt tool will cause undue pain and to provide comfort to the animal is sought-after in the Sacred Law)

  2. Cutting the oesophagus, windpipe and the two veins (the two exterior jugular veins) swiftly

  3. That the animal is likewise facing the qiblah (Makkah)

  4. Sharpening the tool prior to laying down the animal (sharpening the knife or tool in front of the animal is disliked, as this will lead the animal to realise it is being prepared for slaughter)

  5. To lead the animal to the place of slaughter with gentleness

  6. To lay the animal on its left side

  7. To lay the animal down gently, without excessive force or roughness (this is with the exception of the camel, which is slaughtered standing)

  8. The animal is afforded water prior to slaughter (such that the animal does not die thirsty)

  9. That the slaughter is done with the right hand

  10. That the cutting of the animal is not excessive, such that one reaches the spine or removes the head entirely

  11. The animal should not immediately skinned or the bones quickly broken, when the animal may still be alive (one should wait until the animal is cold and/or all the blood has drained)

  12. Slaughter is not done in front of other animals

Conditions of the slaughtering tool:

  • That the tool or instrument cuts, whether made of metal or otherwise

  • That is not from a tooth or nail

Equitable Distribution of Qurban Sacrifices: A Three-Part Sharing Guideline

Qurban sacrifices should be shared equally, in three parts; one for the family of the individual offering Qurban, one for that individual's friends and relatives, and one for the poor and needy. Through Muslim Aid Australia, you can donate Qurban to those in need in other countries too. It is possible and admirable, to perform Qurban on behalf of the deceased.

Ensuring Fair Meat Distribution from Qurban to Family, Friends, and the Underprivileged

The meat should be distributed to family, friends and the poor. If you perform Qurban with a partner(s), the meat should be shared by weight, not by approximation. You cannot pay the butcher with the slaughtered animal's meat, fat and by-products. The skin can be kept for personal use, but if it is sold, the amount must be given to the poor


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