Qurbani/Udhiyah

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Qurbani or Udhiyah is the sacrificing of livestock during Eid-ul-Adha. According to Shariah, Udhiyya would refer to the sacrifice of a specific animal, offered by a specific person, on specific days to seek Allah's pleasure and reward. The word "Qurban" appears thrice in the Qur'an; twice speaking of sacrifice in a general sense and once in actual reference to the sacrificing of animals.

"And recite to them the story of Adam's two sons [Habil (Abel) and Qabil (Cain)], 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 pious. - Q 5 V 26

According to the verse above, we have proof of the first ever act of Qurbani, but the practice as we know it today has its roots traced to our Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his son Ismael. The prophet had a dream in which he was commanded by Allah to sacrifice his son, and was about to carry out the act, when by the mercy of Allah a ram was sent in place of Ismael. Our continuous practice of Qurbani is a reminder of Prophet Ibrahim's (AS) obedience and trust in his Rabb.

"My Lord, grant me [a child] from among the righteous. So We gave him good tidings of a forbearing boy. And when he reached with him [the age of] exertion, he said, "O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think." He said, "O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast." And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon his forehead, We called to him, "O Abraham, You have fulfilled the vision." Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. Indeed, this was the clear trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice, And We left for him [favorable mention] among later generations: "Peace upon Abraham." Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. Indeed, he was of Our believing servants." - Q 37 V 100-111

Qurbani is wajib on every Muslim who is of sound mind, mature (reached the age of puberty), muqeem (not a traveler) and possesses wealth equivalent to that value which is in excess of one's basic needs. Qurbani is not incumbent on a child nor is it wajib upon their guardians to perform it on their behalf. It is highly virtuous for one on whom Qurbani is not wajib to offer sacrifice for the Pleasure of Allah. Such a person will be eligible for all the rewards attributed to the act.

The days of Qurbani are the tenth, eleventh and twelfth of Zul Hijjah. The first day is better than the second, and the second better than the last. During the days of Qurbani, sadaqah and charity cannot compensate for Qurbani nor fulfil the wajib. Qurbani is a unique ibadah. Just as Zakah cannot compensate for Hajj, or as fasting cannot compensate for Solat, similarly charity cannot compensate for Qurbani. However, if the days of Qurbani had passed, and the Qurbani was not offered due to not knowing or for some other valid reason, then it becomes wajib to give in sadaqah the price of Qurbani animal or the animal itself to the poor.

It is permissible to offer in sacrifice a goat or she-goat, sheep of all kinds, cow, bull, buffalo or camel. It is necessary that the goat is one year old, whether male or female. A cow, bull or buffalo will have to be two years old, and a camel five years. Animals that are younger are not suitable for Qurbani. Animals that are castrated can be used for Qurbani and are preferred. It is virtuous to purchase the animal for Qurbani a few days prior to slaughtering and care must be taken in feeding and nursing it. Animals that are blind, that have lost a third of the ear and whose horn has been broken off from the root are not permissible. Animal so weak that it cannot walk to the place of slaughtering on its own and animals completely toothless would not suffice.

It is more virtuous to slaughter the animal with one’s own hands. If one does not know how to slaughter, it is preferred that he remain present while someone else is sacrificing the animal. It is necessary to make niyyah and say Bismillahi Allahu Akbar when slaughtering.

One should recite the prayer: "O Allah, accept this sacrifice offered by me as You accepted the sacrifice offered by Your friend Ibraheem (AS) and that offered by Your loved one Muhammad (SAW). May peace and blessings descend upon them both." 

It is also advisable to recite verses 162-3 from Surah Al - An'aam (The Cattle) with the addition of Allahuma minka walaka (O Allah, You gave it to me and I offer it to You). Use a sharp knife and slaughter the animal quickly so that it does not suffer. Do not sharpen the knife in front of the animal. After slaughtering, do not skin the animal before it becomes completely cold. Do not slaughter one animal in the presence of another.

"Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Verily, my Salat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists). No partner has He. And this I have been commanded, and I am the first [among you] of the Muslims." - Q 6 V 162-3

If one has been favored by Allah with wealth, then he should also perform Qurbani on behalf of Rasoolullah (SAW), his Sahabah, his Ummah, the Prophets and for his own living or deceased relatives, friends and teachers who have conveyed beneficial knowledge only after sacrificing on his own behalf. It is a matter for deep thought and consideration that the Prophet (SAW) kept his Ummah in his mind while offering the sacrifice and it is deplorable for the Ummah not to remember him at the time of Qurbani. A person can not sacrifice one sheep or goat on behalf of himself and living friends and family members. With regard to sharing a sacrifice, then a camel or a cow may be shared by up to seven people. One may however, share one sheep or goat on behalf of deceased people.

Prohibited parts of the animal * Genitals * Testicles * Bladder * Gall Bladder (green thing attached to liver, most important thing to remove, trust me on this) * Spinal marrow/ spinal cord * Blood * Excreta

The meat and skin of the sacrificial animals can be given away as charity to Muslims or non-Muslims. As for giving the meat in charity, there is no condition as to what type of needy person one must give it to.

“So feed the one who asks out of need, and the one who needs but does not ask” - Q22 V36

Hence, one could give it to a friend who was unable to perform the sacrifice, or any other needy person, or multiple parties. Consumption of this meat is considered a great favor from Allah as previous nations of the past were not able to consume their sacrificial animals. It is recommended to keep one-third for oneself, gift one-third to friends and family and give one-third as charity. The meat, skin or fat must not be used for economic activity such as for re-sale or payment of wages.

"So turn in prayer towards your Lord and sacrifice (to Him alone)". - Q 108 V 2

There is nothing dearer to Allah during the days of Eid al-Adha than the sacrificing of animals. The sacrificed animal shall come on the Day of judgment with its horns, hair, and hooves (to be weighed). The sacrifice is accepted by Allah before the blood reaches the ground. Therefore sacrifice with an open and happy heart. - (Tirmizi, Ibne Majah)

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was once asked by his Companions: “O Rasoolullah! (SAW) What is Qurbani?” He replied, “It is the sunnah of your father lbraheem (AS).” They asked again, “What benefit do we get from it?” He answered, “A reward for every hair (of the sacrificed animal).” “And (what reward is there for animals with) wool, 0 Rasoolullah (SAW)?” they asked. “A reward”, he said, “for every fibre of the wool.” - (Ibne Majah)

When a person slaughters a Qurbani animal, he is forgiven at the fall of the first drop of blood, and verily, the animal shall be brought forward on the Day of Judgment with its blood, meat etc, and shall be increased in weight seventy times more than its own weight, and thereafter it will be placed on the scale of deeds. - (Kanzul Ummal)

  • And Allah knows best. May Allah forgive me if I am wrong and guide us to the right path. Ameen.