Rules of Qurbani: All Your Questions Answered

  • February 15, 2024

Are you visiting Saudi Arabia this Eid Al-Adha and looking to perform Qurbani? As a visitor/pilgrim, you may have several questions about the rituals and requirements around Udhiyyah or Qurbani sacrifice during Hajj. This comprehensive guide answers common queries on Qurbani rules, procedures and more to help you plan properly.

What is Qurbani?

Qurbani or Udhiyyah refers to the ritual animal sacrifice performed by Muslims worldwide during Eid Al-Adha. The term literally means “sacrifice” or “offering”. It commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail as an act of obedience to Allah.

Qurbani reminds us of the noble spirit of sacrifice and continues Prophet Ibrahim’s legacy. The meat from the slaughtered animal is divided into three parts for distribution – family, relatives & friends, and the poor.

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Is Qurbani Fard/Farz (Compulsory)?

Qurbani is mandatory (Fard) for every sane adult Muslim who meets the eligibility conditions. As per scholarly consensus, eligible Muslims must perform Qurbani.

Its virtue lies in following the Prophet’s traditions and the spirit of sharing joy and good fortune with the less privileged on Eid. It allows us to reflect on the essence of submission to God.

However, Qurbani is not obligatory on a person who doesn’t possess wealth amounting to the Nisab threshold. But it is still recommended they perform the sacrifice if they can afford it.

Who is Eligible for Qurbani? Information about Qurbani rules

The criteria for those obligated to perform Qurbani:

  • Sane adult Muslims
  • Possess wealth amounting to the Nisab i.e,
    • 87.48 grams of gold
    • 612.36 grams of silver
    • Cash, goods, property, and assets equalling the market value of Nisab count toward this
  • The wealth has been possessed for 1 year
  • The person is not a traveller (unless they choose to perform Qurbani voluntarily)

In essence, Qurbani is mandatory for resident Muslims owning assets above the Nisab threshold. It is not compulsory but can be optionally performed by those below the eligible wealth limit.

Do Husband and Wife Need to Do Separate Qurbani?

A common question arises on whether married couples must perform more than one Qurbani sacrifice. Here are the basic rules:

  • A single Qurbani is sufficient on behalf of the entire household if the combined wealth of husband and wife exceeds the Nisab amount
  • However, it is preferable they perform separate sacrifices if each individually owns wealth over the threshold
  • When performing a collective Qurbani for the family, it can be done from either spouse’s assets
  • The meat should then be divided equally among both parties

So, in most cases, one Qurbani suffices on behalf of a married couple and their children. However individual sacrifice is recommended if they individually exceed the wealth criteria.

How Many Qurbani Per Family is Expected?

Islamic law emphasizes that every eligible individual should ideally perform their own Qurbani. However, a single sacrifice can expiate multiple people based on certain rules.

Some basic guidelines on the number of Qurbanis per family:

  • Every sane adult Muslim owning Nisab wealth must perform their own
  • A single Qurbani is sufficient on behalf of an entire household if combined assets exceed the threshold
  • It can expiate for all eligible members and their minor children
  • Can also expiate deceased relatives by intention for previous missed Qurbani
  • Similarly, a parent can perform Qurbani on behalf of living independent children
  • But able adults are personally obligated if eligible and didn’t give explicit permission

So, while one Qurbani can atone multiple people based on dependency, mature individuals must perform personally if affordable.

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What Should I Do If I’ve Missed Qurbani in Previous Years?

At times due to lack of awareness or means, some Muslims may have missed performing Qurbani in past years despite being eligible. In such cases, one can offer the sacrifice with the explicit intention of expiating previous years of missed obligatory Qurbanis.

When making the intention (Niyyah) prior to sacrifice, one should specify the year/s being expiated. For example “O Allah, I perform this Qurbani to compensate for missing year XXXX”. This would suffice, and no penalty or Fidya payment is separately necessary.

What are the Qurbani Eid 2024 Dates?

In the Muslim lunar calendar, Eid Al-Adha falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijjah.

As per current projections, the tentative date for Eid Al-Adha 2024 is Sunday, June 23, 2024. Please reconfirm once again when closer to the time. The days of Qurbani would then span Sunday, June 23 to Tuesday, June 25.

Selecting and Purchasing Your Qurbani Animal

An important but often overlooked aspect of Qurbani is carefully selecting an appropriate animal for sacrifice. Here are some guidelines tourists should keep in mind:

  • Select from camel, cattle, sheep or goat options that meet Shariah age and health criteria
  • Examine thoroughly for defects. Avoid animals that are injured, sickly, too thin/fat, have broken horns or missing parts
  • Check teeth to gauge age. Camels over 5 years, cattle over 2 years and goats/sheep over 1 year are best
  • Seek healthy, uncastrated male options around average size and weight for the breed
  • Request seller certification on animal health, lineage and eligibility
  • Bargain respectfully with sellers once an animal passes inspection
  • Tourists may require a local Saudi facilitator for animal purchase and handling

Putting thought into choosing the right Qurbani animal is prudent since the sacrifice is being offered to seek Allah’s pleasure. And make sure to get your Saudi Tourist Visa UK in advance, if you will perform Qurbani as a tourist.

How many animals should I sacrifice in Qurbani?

The number of animals to sacrifice for Qurbani depends on the number of eligible people it is intended for:

  • Each adult Muslim who meets the Nisab criteria should perform at least one large animal sacrifice (cow, buffalo, camel) or seven small animals (goat, sheep)
  • Alternatively, seven people can share in the sacrifice of single large animal
  • A small animal like a goat/sheep suffices for one person. But the reward may be greater from sacrificing a larger animal.
  • For a complete family, one large animal Qurbani is usually sufficient as it can expiate all dependents.

So analyze based on your household members to determine the appropriate number of cows, camels or goats to sacrifice for collective or individual Qurbani.

When should you give your Qurbani?

  • The fixed timeframe to perform Qurbani is three days starting from Eid-al-Adha after the Eid prayer timings till sunset on the third day.
  • However, it is considered most virtuous and Sunnah to sacrifice the animal on the first day of Eid itself after communal prayers.
  • Avoid delaying beyond the first day if possible, as the act then loses some religious merit.
  • If inability due to travel issues etc forces sacrifice on the second or third day, that is still valid but not ideal.

Within the permitted window, adhering closely to the way of Prophet Ibrahim (on whom be peace) is recommended. Hence, strive to perform Qurbani on the very first Eid morning.

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Should I cut my hair or nails if I am giving Qurbani?

  • Cutting hair, nails or beard is perfectly permissible while giving Qurbani.
  • The practice of avoiding any haircut prior to sacrifice by some Islamic schools of thought has no direct basis in the Sunnah.
  • Hence, trimming or shaving before performing Udhiyyah bears no impact on the validity or spiritual rewards of the sacrifice.
  • However, customs may vary so tourists may confirm local conventions to avoid offending cultural sensitivities.

The most prudent practices are upholding the animal welfare and rights fundamentals during transportation and slaughter. Maintaining personal cleanliness and purity also adds to the occasion’s sanctity.

Best Time to Distribute Qurbani Meat

  • It is recommended by scholars to expedite the distribution of Qurbani meat post-slaughter and not hoard it for long.
  • The optimal duration to give away the portions earmarked as charity is within three days.
  • Portions kept for oneself, friends or relatives may be preserved for longer through refrigeration and freezing if needed.
  • Distributing the meat promptly displays proper adherence to the Qurbani spirit and Sunnah etiquette. It allows underprivileged recipients early access instead of waiting due to delays.

Therefore, the best time frame to donate and dispatch your allocated Qurbani meat donations is within 72 hours of Eid. This ensures the sacrifice’s essence is properly fulfilled.


This brings us to the end of our guide on Qurbani rules and procedures. To summarize, eligible resident Muslims must perform the ritual sacrifice of cattle during the designated Eid Al-Adha dates. Tourists can optionally partake as well.

We hope this guide helps you understand Qurbani better and clarifies common concerns visitors & pilgrims may have. So, apply for Saudi Umrah Visa from UK and plan your Qurbani accordingly.


What animals can be sacrificed for Qurbani?

Permissible livestock options for Qurbani sacrifice are camels, cattle, goats and sheep that meet age and health criteria stipulated under Shariah law.

Can I perform Qurbani outside Saudi or upon returning to UK?

Yes, it is permissible to perform Qurbani abroad. The ritual can be done wherever you are located during the designated Eid Al Adha period.

Is it acceptable for tourists to perform voluntary Qurbani in Saudi?

Yes absolutely. Although not obligatory, tourists can choose to perform optional Qurbani during their Saudi visit. The ritual holds spiritual merit regardless.

Can I donate money to charity instead of doing Qurbani myself?

No, eligible Muslims cannot absolve their Qurbani duty by simply donating money to charity. Physical sacrifice of the animal yourself is required.

Is there any specific method or format to follow for Qurbani?

No, beyond the basic physical rules of animal slaughter, there is no strict format to follow. Simply sacrificing a permissible animal during the Eid timings while pronouncing God’s name suffices.

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