How To Explain “QURBAN” To Our Children

August 27, 2018

Children love to ask loads of questions, and parents often find themselves in tricky situations on Eidul Adha when their kids ask them specific questions like :

“Mommy, mommy. What is Qurban?”

“Ayah, why are the cows and goats herded together like that? What are they going to do with them?”

Now, how do you answer them without giving them the wrong idea?


Surprisingly, some children still do not know where the food they eat come from! Let’s take them to the neighbourhood Night Market or ‘Pasar Tani’ to introduce them to simple things that they might not know yet. Show them what a cow looks like and how to tell the difference between Daun Ketumbar and Daun Sup (Yes, mommies! Even we forget it sometimes!). You can take this time to bond with them and share the cooking you will make especially with the meat, since you will be explaining about Qurban later.


The whole family have joyously gathered at Tok’s home to celebrate together-gather, now let’s start the feast! But hold on. What is the Eid with Qurban if we don’t celebrate with the right intentions? If we are fortunate enough to celebrate joyously with a table full of food, we should also remember to be generous to the needy and poor so that they can also have a table full of food on Eid.

Show our children through our actions on how we are respectful of other religions too. Part of being a Muslim is to be tolerant of others. Remind our kids of the importance to be considerate of people who practice different faiths. It’s cool to post Selfies, but it’s cooler to refrain from posting photos of the Qurban proudly such as holding heads of the cow (or for any reason!) on social media. With that in mind, show our kids that respect doesn’t only extend to other people but animals as well. There is no reason to post Selfies of animals bleeding with our children. Just keep our intention for the Qurban clean and right.


Break Things Up in Small Subjects

It’s best not to give the complete picture on the first go. Instead, break things up into smaller subjects. Talk about Hajj. Talk about how it is essential for Muslims to help others. Breaking the subjects down and feeding them “easily digestible” trivia and knowledge will make it simpler for our children to take the concept of Qurban into mind.

Consistently Share The Story of Ibrahim and Ismail

We know well how the story goes. It’s a story that every parent should not miss telling their children. Take some time to open a book or discuss with your children in a story during bedtime or on the way for Eid prayers. This can help transition the children from the light ‘fairytale’ nature of listening to a storybook to seeing how it looks to them in real life.

Qurban is Symbolic

If not explained correctly, the meaning of Qurban can be misunderstood. God does not want any ill of people or animals. The symbolic meaning behind it is that you have to be willing to let go of even your most prized possessions for the Almighty.
You can explain by associating with things that also have a symbolic meaning. You can start off with phrases that go something like:

“What do you think of when you see a heart? When most people see a heart, they think of love.”

“What do you feel when you see the colour red/yellow/white? Do you feel angry? Happy? Peaceful?”

Then go on explaining the symbolic meaning of Qurban, for example:

“Allah replaced a sheep to be slaughtered for the Qurban. Nabi Ismail was the most loved by Nabi Ibrahim, so Allah wants Nabi Ibrahim to give his best love for his Qurban. We too must always give our best for the sake of Allah. “


We may think that our children are too young to understand every word about Qurban. But the exposure we give to them, the efforts in explaining to them count a lot. Children can feel our sincere intention. Most importantly is for them to feel loved, so that they know that QURBAN IS AN ACT OF LOVE, for the sake of Allah. Involve them in distributing the meat to the poor. Let them see how happy the poor to receive them. Our children can sense love all around them.

That’s what matters.

May Allah accept all our sacrifices for His sake.

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