“It is neither their flesh nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is your Taqwa that reaches Him…” (Surah Hajj)
Ibraheem (Alayhis Salaam) had two alternatives: either to follow the cry of his heart or to submit to the call of his Creator. He chose to submit. Qurbani therefore is not a monetary Ibaadah or a duty that is discharged in distant poor countries. Qurbani is a personal experience, an intimate and emotional encounter, an intimate occurrence made real by the oozing of blood.
Qurbani is about:
Love for Allah in contrast to love of self obedience.
Loyalty to Allah in preference to loyalty to the family.
Faith versus emotion.
Struggle as opposed to pleasure.
Where is this spirit of Qurbani in our idle and aimless nights and days? Who is able to place the knife on his heart in order to slaughter the beasts of rebellion, hatred, jealousy, pride, and greed etc.? Qurbani is an annual reaffirmation of our pledge to Allah, a pledge that:
“Verily my prayer, my sacrifices, my life and my death are surrendered to Allah; the Rabb of the worlds.”
Eid-ul-Adha reverberates with the cries of surrender, submission, and sacrifice. It is a grim reminder that life is about action, struggle, and endurance.
Virtues of Qurbani
Qurbani is a practice directly instructed by Allah Ta’ala:
“So turn in prayer towards your Lord and sacrifice (animals).” (108.2)
Rasoolullah Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam has extolled its virtue in many Ahadith.
There is nothing dearer to Allah Ta’ala during the days of Qurbani 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 falls on the ground. Therefore sacrifice with an open and happy heart. (Tirmizi, Ibn Majah)
Zayd lbn Arqam Radhiyallaahu Anhu relates that the Companions Radhiyallaahu Anhum queried, “O Rasoolullah Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, What is Qurbani?” He replied, “It is the Sunnah of your father lbraheem Alayhis Salaam.” They again asked, “What benefit do we derive from it?” He answered, “A reward for every hair (of the sacrificed animal).” “And (what reward is there for animals with) wool, O’ Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)?” 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, limbs, etc. and shall be increased in weight seventy times, and then placed on the scale of deeds. (Kanzul Ummal)
On whom is Qurbani Wajib (obligatory)?
Qurbani is Wajib (obligatory) on every Muslim who is:
of sound mind – mature (has reached the age of puberty),
Muqeem (i.e. he is not a Shari traveller)
Possesses the amount of 612,36 grams of silver or wealth equivalent to that value which is in excess of one’s basic needs and debts, on any of the three days of Qurbani. It is not necessary that this amount be in one’s possession for a complete lunar year. (Fatawa Hindiyyah)
1. Qurbani is not incumbent on a child or an insane person whether they own wealth equivalent to the amount above or not, nor is it Wajib upon their guardians to perform it on their behalf. (Fataawa Mahmoodiyyah)
2. Similarly, it is not Wajib on a Musaafir (one considered a traveller in Shariah). A Shar’i traveller is he who proceeds on a journey with an intention of travelling 77 kms. He will be treated as a traveller as soon as soon as he leaves his town. However if he intends residing at any place for 15 days or more then he will cease to be a traveller when he arrives at that location. (Fatawa Hindiyyah)
3. A person upon whom Qurbani is not necessary should not incur debts beyond one’s capacity to offer the Qurbani.
4. If Qurbani is not compulsory on a person, for example a Musaafir, then it is virtuous to do so if it is within the person’s means.
The Physical Qurbani
During the days of Qurbani, Sadaqah and charity will not compensate for the physical observance of Qurbani. Just as Zakaah cannot compensate for Hajj, nor fasting compensate for Salaah, similarly charity cannot compensate for Qurbani. However, if the days of Qurbani have passed, and the Qurbani was not offered due to ignorance, negligence or for some other valid reason, then it becomes Wajib to give in Sadaqah the price of Qurbani animal or the animal itself (alive, not slaughtered) to the poor. (Fatawa Shamiya)
Time for Qurbani
The time for Qurbani begins after the Eid Salaah on the 10th of Zul Hijjah and ends at the setting of the sun on the 12th of Zul Hijjah. It is better to make Qurbani on the first day, then the second, and thereafter the third. (Fatawa Shamiya)
If the Qurbani has been offered before the Eid Salaah, it will have to be repeated. (Fatawa Hindiyyah)
In rural and village areas where Jumu’ah and Eid Salaah are not performed, Qurbani may be performed as soon as Fajr (Subhus Saadiq) sets in on the 10th of Zul Hijjah. (Fatawa Hindiyyah)
If a person residing in a town (where Eid salaah is performed) arranges for his animal to be slaughtered in a village (where Eid Salaah is not performed), then it is permissible for his animal to be slaughtered before he performs his Eid Salaah. (Fataawa Shaamiyyah)