The Islamic festival – Eid Ul Azha (Feast of the Sacrifice)

 

It is also called Eid e Qurbaan, The word “Qurbaani” in Persian and Urdu language is derived from the Arabic word of ‘Qurban’. It means an act performed to seek nearness, to achieve an exalted status in front of Almighty Allah and to seek His good pleasure. Originally, the word ‘Qurban’ had included all acts of charity and aid, because the sole purpose of charity is nothing else, but to seek Allah’s pleasure. But, in precise religious terminology, this word was later confined to the sacrifice of an animal slaughtered for the sake of Allah and in the name of Allah.

This is the event when all the Muslims around the globe buy an animal (goat, sheep, cow or a camel) and sacrifice it in the name of Allah from the 10th Day of Dhul Hijjah, until the last day – the end (i.e. sunset) of the 12th of Dhul Hijjah.  Prophet Abrahem was testified by the Quran to have passed all the tests and trails. This religious ritual is performed in the memory of our beloved Prophet Abraham (May peace be upon him) and as it is the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) .

According to Tirmizi Shareef and Sunan Ibn Majah, Sayyidah Ayesha (radi Allahu anha) stated that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said, “The son of Adam does not do any action on the day of Qurbani which is more pleasing to Allah than the sacrifice of animals; and he will come on the day of Qiyamah with it’s hairs, horns and hooves (for reward); and the blood (of the sacrificed animal) certainly reaches Allah before it falls down to the ground. So make yourselves purified therewith.”

In another Hadith related in Sunan Ibn Majah, Zaid bin Arqam reported that the companions of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) asked, “Oh! Messenger of Allah, what is this sacrifice?” He said, “The way of your forefather (Prophet) Ibrahim (alaihis salaam).” They said, “What is for us therein, O! Messenger of Allah?” He said, “There is one reward for every hair.” They said, “For wool, O! Messenger of Allah?” He said, “There is one reward for every strand of wool!”

Prophet Abraheem (May peace b upon him) was asked to sacrifice his son in the name of Allah, Ishmael. But when the time came his son was replaced by a male sheep. And his sacrifice was not only accepted but in Quran Surat Al-Baqarah Allah says:

“And [mention, O Muhammad], when Abraham was tried by his Lord with commands and he fulfilled them. [ Allah ] said, “Indeed, I will make you a leader for the people.” [Abraham] said, “And of my descendants?” [ Allah ] said, “My covenant does not include the wrongdoers.” [2:124]

Many people ask the question why? But the event itself teaches Muslims not to question the will of Allah. Like the Prophet Abraham, when he was asked to slay his son in the name of Allah, he did not ask why? Or never did he object.  Not only him but his son, Ishmael was an epitome of Allah Almighty’s obedience.

Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) started to talk, explaining why they had come to this desolate place: “O my son, I have dreamt that I am sacrificing you, now look, what is your opinion?” [Surah 37, Verse 102]
Hazrat Isma’il (Alaihis Salaam) then responded, “O my father, do as you are commanded, Allah willing, you will find me steadfastly firm.” [Surah 37, Verse 102]

 

Muslims offer their sacrifice in the honor of the consistence of the Prophet Abraham’s and his son’s obedience.

 “Then they both submitted to Allah’s command and he laid down his son on his forehead.” [Surah 37, Verse 103]

They clearly obeyed Allah, they were exalted in this test, and Allah replaced ismael with a lamb. And his sacrifice was accepted, because Allah is the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

“Most certainly, you have fulfilled your dream; thus do We reward the righteous. No doubt, it was a clear test. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice. And We left a good name for him in all successive generations. Peace be upon Ibrahim. And thus do We reward the righteous. [Surah 37, Verse 105-110]

WHAT ANIMALS MUST BE SACRIFICED?

1. Only the following animals may be sacrificed for Qurbani:-
(a) Goats and Sheep with a minimum of 1 year each.
(b) Cattle that have acquired a minimum of 2 years.
(c) Camels with a minimum of 5 year old.
2. Each goat or sheep is sufficient for Qurbani for one Muslim male or female; whereas each head of cattle or camel could represent the Qurbani for seven Muslim males and females, provided that:-
(a) All seven participants have uniformity in Niyyah (i.e. either Qurbani or Aqeeqah).
(b) All seven have an equal split; nobody is to have a larger portion than another even at the time of the distribution of the meat.
3. It is permissible for less than seven people to have shares in a camel or a head of cattle for Qurbani; but not permitted for more than 7 people to do so.

  • Although the person offering a Qurbani can keep all its meat for his own use, yet, it is preferable to distribute one-third among the poor, another one-third among his relatives and then, keep the rest for his personal consumption.

May Allah guide us and help us chose the path of those upon whom He Almighty has bestowed his blessings. (Ameen)

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