MEC FOUNDATION

I have a brother far away
Our international qurban organization is a project that we have been running for 15 years to carry love, happiness and meat from a Muslim soul to the heart of our needy brothers and sisters. Our dream and desire is to love and gratify for Allah.

The meaning of the word qurban is “to get closer”. However, in religious context it becomes a name for the selected animals sacrificed to get closer to Allah and in the name of Allah. Qurban worship is almost as old as the history of humanity and Allah ordered to all ummahs:

And for all religion We have appointed a rite [of sacrifice] that they may mention the name of Allah over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals. For your god is one God, so to Him submit. And, [O Muhammad], give good tidings to the humble [before their Lord]” Haj 22:34

Qur’an mentions the qurbans of the two sons of Adam and notifies the condition of accepting the qurban as piety:

“And recite to them the story of Adam's two sons, in truth, when they both offered a sacrifice [to Allah], and it was accepted from one of them but was not accepted from the other. Said [the latter], "I will surely kill you." Said [the former], "Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him].” Ma’idah 5:27

In this worship, the main function is to bring one closer to Allah just like the other types of worships and prayers, what reaches Him is the intention, faith and piety of the Muslim.

“Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and give good tidings to the doers of good.” Haj 22:37

When we examine the conditions for qurbani animals in the Islamic jurisprudence books like the animal should be healthy and have all its organs, we see that they are a reflection of respect and obedience to Allah. What is dedicated to Him should be worthy of glory of His name. Moreover, one condition during the slaughter is not mentioning any other names but Allah only. Allah the Almighty says in the Qur’an:

“And do not eat of that upon which the name of Allah has not been mentioned, for indeed, it is grave disobedience.” An’am 6:121

 

Referring His name during the slaughter reminds that giver and taker of life is Allah, and whatever comes from Him will return to Him in the end.

In Islamic perspective, life and death are intertwined. Therefore, in the cities of Islamic civilizations, graveyards are placed in lively city centers. In the societies that are far from religion, death is pushed away and so the graveyards and reminders of sacrifice are ignored. The person who observes and understands that this world is temporary will avoid wrongdoing and will live his/her life with the knowledge of the afterlife. In this sense, qurban worship reminds hereafter and places the death awareness in the heart of the believer. Man observes the way of no return in qurbani animal during sacrifice. This frees the person from serving others and brings freedom with worship of Allah. The man who is aware that he is always present in the presence of Allah will understand the meaning of sacrifice. As a monotheist worshipper, qurban means getting closer as we mentioned before. It teaches us to whom, how and how close we should get; getting closer to Allah as the only God, and getting closer to other people as the servant. The man who is close to Allah will be away from the things that Allah does not want him to be near because when you are getting closer to a point you are moving away from the other. In this context, qurban is a life style. Even how to approach the qurbani animal carries an importance. One has to be merciful, kind, and careful to do no harm until the sacrifice.

“There is no dearer deed of Ibne Adam in the days of Qurbani than flowing the blood (doing Qurbani) and that animal will come with his horns, hairs, and hooves on the day of Qayamt. Thee blood of the Qurbani reaches the stage of acceptance before it reaches the floor.” (Tirmizi, Ibnu Majah)

Qurban is a worship of piety, gratitude, resignation and commitment to The One (Saffat 37:102-107). It reminds us resignation that symbolized with Abraham and devotion. We remember the memory of Abraham with the qurbani animal that sent to him because he did not have any superior love above his love of Allah in his heart. We can truly understand his memory only if we have the conscience and sensitivity to leave everything behind when our Lord has a command for us.

Qurban is a worship of ihsan. Ihsan has the meaning of behaving decently and well. Therefore, the knife used for animal should be sharp and slaughtering should be fast with minimum pain.

Qurban is a worship of cooperation, social solidarity, getting closer, devotion and generosity. Qurbani meats that travel across the borders form love and commitment circles between brothers and reminds fellowship. 

“So eat of them and feed the miserable and poor” Haj 22:28

Qurban is a worship of purification, self-questioning, revitalization and progress. We test our priorities with it. We sacrifice personal gains, ambition for power and money, violence, aggression and parsimony that we feed in ourselves. In a way, we cut out all the negativity that stored in our minds and hearts.

In conclusion;

The family of Abraham comes as an example in the Qur’an; Hagar stayed in the middle of the dessert just because Allah wanted her to do so. She ran and ran to find water for her son and Allah offered her the zam-zam water; the command of sacrificing their son to Allah had come to Abraham when Ishmael  grew as a child. Allah surely rewards the ones who acts careful, patient and delicate about His commands and forbids; hence, that was what happened for the case of Abraham’s family. He sent a sheep in the place of Ishmael. Life consists of faithful search like Hagar’s, a faithful sacrifice like Abraham’s and a faithful surrender like Ishmael. To the ones who actualize those, Allah will offer zam-zam and sheep. The ones who are not truly aware of the philosophy of Qurban in this “modern era” may take it as charity and scholarship. However, this thought in fact alienate them from the worship of getting closer, and may be considered as disrespect towards the essence of the qurban. Briefly, qurban is the sacrifice of everything that detaches us from Allah.