If you’ve done religious studies, chances are you already know what Qurbani is. However, people who have no idea about the various religions of the world, about their taboos, practices and rules can easily fund this kind of information online. The only thing to pay attention to is the source you get your info from. You should always avoid websites that don’t display who’s behind them, how you can contact those editors and what are the credentials of their authors. Besides, you should always check all facts and details against at least two or three sources, so that you can be sure everything is for real.
Qurbani is a practice that can be traced back to ancient times when Ibraheem had a dream in which Allah told him to sacrifice his son. As crazy as it may seem, Ibraheem decided to follow the command and kill his son for the love of God. Luckily, he didn’t manage to perform the sacrifice, as God informed him his gesture had been accepted. From this point on, the Qur’an and the Bible have different versions of the story. While in the Bible an animal replaced the boy, in the Qur’an he is replaced with Zubin Azeem, a “great sacrifice”.
If you are genuinely in all the details of these stories, you can grab a copy of each book and read these passages by yourself. This should be enough for you to make yourself an idea about this practice and the spirit of submission shown by Ibraheem. It’s hard to suppress the love for your family and sacrifice your son without even questioning the God’s request. There wouldn’t be too many modern people willing to obey such a request, but in the ancient times, things were completely different. People feared the wrath of gods, so they were ready to honor and worship them, to avoid the plague and other disasters coming on Earth. They were used to submit unconditionally, as they were sure that was the proper thing to do.
Qurbani is only one of the practices that can make a modern human shiver. Being able to slaughter your son is something very hard to imagine today. However, we shouldn’t judge our ancestors according to our modern principles and standards, as times and mentalities were entirely different. Anyway, today Qurbani means the sacrifice of an animal on specific days, the ultimate purpose being to offer Allah pleasure and a sign of respect and veneration. It is rather symbolic, an excellent opportunity for Islamic preachers to remind their followers their religion is based on sacrifice and on the duty to serve with all their effort and wealth. This may seem very hard to understand by outsiders, but it is a core principle in the Islamic world. All we can do is to gather as much information on the topic, with the purpose of gaining a better understanding of cultures and practices that aren’t ours.