Qurbani is an extremely holy time in the Islamic calendar and in order to honor the sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was prepared to make as an act of dutiful devotion to Allah (SWT), it must be observed in accordance with the Qurbani rules.
There are a number of rules specific to how to distribute Qurbani meat, the first of which being that each able Muslim should donate one share.
Qurbani Meat Distribution Rules
Following the slaughter of the sacrificial cow or goat or camel or sheep, the animal should be split into three shares: one for the donor, one for the donor’s friends & family and one for a person in need. And thus Islam teaches us to share the qurbani meat for the satisfaction of Allah (swt).
How Should Qurbani Meat Be Distributed?
Once the sacrifice has been carried out, the meat from Qurbani animals must be distributed in three equal parts. These are as follows:
- One part for the individual performing Qurbani
- Another for their friends and family
- The last for those in need
“And the camels and cattle We have appointed for you as among the symbols of Allah ; for you therein is good. So mention the name of Allah upon them when lined up [for sacrifice]; and when they are [lifeless] on their sides, then eat from them and feed the needy and the beggar. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may be grateful.” (Al-Haj 22/36)
What should a person do with his Qurbānī meat?
Almighty Allah (swt) says in the Qurʾān (22: 36): “Eat from them and feed the content [poor person] and the beggar.”
The Prophet of Allah ﷺ said: “So eat, preserve and donate”.
How to Split the Qurbani Meat?
- Many Ḥanafī scholars suggest that it is preferable to eat a third, donate a third and preserve a third. Some Ḥanafī scholars suggest donating a third and eating two thirds whilst some suggest the opposite if a person is wealthy.
- Some Mālikī scholars suggest that it is preferable to eat a third, donate a third and preserve a third. Others suggest eating a third and donating two thirds whilst some suggest donating half and eating half. Imam Mālik (d. 179/795) however would not specify the proportion and would advise generally to eat and donate.
- Some Shāfiʿī scholars suggest it is preferable to eat half and donate half. Others suggest eating a third and donating two thirds whilst some suggest eating a third, donating a third and distributing a third to whomsoever a person wishes. Imam Gazālī (d. 505/1111) suggests it is preferable to eat a third, donate a third, and preserve a third, a view that has been rejected by the Shāfiʿī scholars.
- The Ḥanbalī scholars suggest it is preferable to donate a third, distribute a third to whomsoever he wishes (family and associates) and eat a third.
In conclusion, it is desirable to for a person to eat from the meat himself and also distribute it to the poor and others. It is also permissible to preserve and store the meat for future use.
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