On Monday, Muslims across the world will mark Eid-ul-Adha. The festival remembers the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son when God ordered him to.

Muslims all over the world who can afford it  sacrifice a sheep, goat, camel or a share of a cow as a reminder of the Prophet Ibrahim’s obedience to God. This is known as Qurbani. In Canada, the animal has to be sacrificed at a slaughterhouse. The meat from the animal is shared amongst family, friends and the poor, who each get a third share.

For many people out there, there’s a lot of misconceptions on how these animals are treated. We’ve tried to break it down for everyone to understand:

1. The animal must be slaughtered in private

Sacrifice of the animal must be done in private. No audiences, no one cheering, no clapping NOTHING. It’s an intimate sacrifice where it should be done by the individual himself. In some cases a butcher or someone with experience can do it on behalf of an individual. When this happens, the individual should be present to watch.  No other animals should see their fellow brothers and sisters killed. This is because we believe animals have feelings and we wouldn’t want them to feel any pain.

2. Sacrifice should be quick and pain-free

The animal should feel as minimal pain as possible. The requirements recommend a sharp knife be used and the animal should be slaughtered at the neck. There are strict rules where the knife should not be sharpened in front of the animal and the animal should not see the knife whatsoever during slaughter. This is to prevent causing them any pain or stress.

3. A prayer must be said

The whole point of sacrificing an animal is to have a sense of the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son when God ordered him to.

4. Animals should be healthy and treated with care and affection

Animals for sacrifice should be healthy and treated well. This means feeding them, nurturing them and loving them. Muslims are asked to go through this whole process to have a sense of what it is like to have and love something and then sacrifice it for God.

5. Meat should be distributed to the poor

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At least a third of the meat from the animal must be given to the poor. Some Muslims will give all the meat to the poor; others will opt to divide the meat into three parts for themselves, the poor and for family and neighbours. The skin of the animal must not be used for personal benefit.

There you have it everyone, this is what Qurbani is all about! You can give your Qurbani to Islamic Relief today. Click here for more information.