Allah Ta’ala states regarding the lofty act of Qurbani:
“Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and give good tidings to the doers of good.”
[Surah Al-Hajj 22: 37]
Sadly, despite the knowledge disseminated of the merits and virtues of Qurbani and its obligatory nature, there are many who have the ability and means, yet they still present excuses of not having the money to undertake Qurbani. I am not talking about the poor and needy who are exempt from Qurbani. I am talking about those who are sitting with so many luxuries and they still ask if Qurbani is Waajib (obligatory) or not.
…Let us not take this act of Ibaadah so lightly. It is a great and very important Sunnah that has to be upheld, and it is compulsory for those who have the means to do so. Every adult Muslim, male and female, who owns 612.36 grams of silver or its equivalent in money, personal ornaments, stock-in-trade or any other form of wealth which is in excess of the person’s basic personal needs, is obligated to offer Qurbani.
It is also incorrect that we only promote Qurbani as a charitable undertaking – as something to assist the poor and needy – in different parts of the world. This is what is being highlighted in our advertisements and notices: That Qurbani be undertaken to distribute to the suffering Ummah, throughout the world.
Indeed, distributing to the poor is a great benefit of Qurbani. And similarly in all Ibaadaat, we will find that there are great benefits. However, the benefit is not the objective. This is something that should be understood.
The objective of Hajj is not just to meet everyone on Arafat, even though it is a congregation of millions of Muslims from around the world. Theobjective of fasting is not to lose weight, even though we are eating far less than usual. Similarly, the objective of Qurbani is not just to feed the poor. This is not the purpose.
If a person slaughters his animal or many animals, before the Eid Salaah, and then distributes all of that meat to the poor and needy, then even though that kind of generosity is very noble, every Mufti will say that the Qurbani is not valid, and for the Qurbani to be valid, it has to be done after the Eid Salaah. …In a town, if the Eid Salaah is performed at different venues, then after the first Eid Salaah, Qurbani will be valid.
Added to this, there are other rules, regulations and conditions to be fulfilled and met for Qurbani to be valid. …This shows that the Qurbani animal is different. Therefore Allah Ta’ala says:
“Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. ”
[Surah Al-Hajj 22: 37]
So Qurbani is not charity. If Qurbani is only charity, then how can we eat of it? Can we utilize our Zakaat – or a portion of it - for ourselves? No.
Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) ate from his own Qurbani – but he (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) would not eat of Sadaqah.
So Qurbani should be done seeking the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala.
Sadly, most people opt to give their money to different organisations, so that their Qurbani is discharged without any labour. To give money is very easy but this is not the spirit of Qurbani.
If we just send our money to the neighbouring countries or overseas, then we are depriving ourselves and our children of the spirit of sacrifice.
Yes, send the Nafl Qurbanis to other places – if you wish to – and where the people will benefit. However, at least make one or two at home. Let the children see and take lesson. We ourselves need to see and take lesson.
In enlivening this Sunnah, we take so many beautiful lessons. The heart and the soul are stirred to move in the direction of submission to Allah Ta’ala.
We see how the sheep or goat or other Qurbani animal is made to lie down, and how its gives its life in the name of Allah Ta’ala. And we take lesson that just as that sheep sacrificed its life on the Hukm of Allah Ta’ala, so we, who are the servants of Allah Ta’ala, should be sacrificing our evil desires. In fact, our whole lives should be sacrificed for Allah Ta’ala.
Our respected Shaykh, Hazrat Maulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) presented a wonderful analogy. Hazrat asked: “When does the sun rise?”
As we all know, it rises when the horizon turns red.
Hazrat then explained: “Just as the sun rises when the horizon turns red, similarly, the suns of Allah Ta’ala’s Muhabbat and Ma’rifat will rise when the horizons of the heart turn red with the blood of one’s evil desires, which have been sacrificed for Allah Ta’ala.”
Qurbani is the Sunnah of Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) and we must remember that Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) was not slaughtering a ram or sheep. The knife was placed on his beloved son. That was the test and what a test! After making Dua for a son and being granted a son, the Command is then to slaughter that very beloved son.
Hazrat Ibrahim (Alaihis Salaam) was Khaleelullah – the Friend of Allah Ta’ala, and he proved his love for Allah Ta’ala. It was not just a claim. It was supported by his entire life – which was clear proof of Ishq. And Ishq is something, that when it comes into the heart, it cannot be hidden. It is something which is evident in speech, in action – in everything and in every way.
We find that there was no questioning any of Allah Ta’ala’s Commands. There was immediate submission to every Command. …We should ask ourselves: What have we done to validate our claim of loving Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam)?
Hazrat Isma’eel (Alaihis Salaam) was Zabeehullah. We find that there was no objection on hearing the Command of Allah Ta’aala; only immediate submission.
Imagine that scene: The son willingly and unhesitatingly tells his father to go ahead in fulfilling the Command of Allah Ta’ala.
“(The son) said : ‘O my father! Do as you are commanded: You will find me, if Allah so wills, practising patience and constancy.”
[Surah As-Saffaat 37 : 102]
Both father and son passed their tests with flying colours. And these were very great and difficult tests. … We are not being tested like that. Allah Ta’ala made it easy for us.
Despite the ease, we cannot even put the knife on our Haraam desires … yet, if we sacrifice our Haraam desires, we will benefit. We, ourselves, will be the beneficiaries.
I often say that in the word “Haraam”, there is the word “harm”. The outcome of Haraam will always be harm. And considering the double ‘a’ in the transliteration, we will experience double Harm : Harm in this world and Harm in the next. There is just no goodness. Sins bring restless, anxiety and a host of problems.
What is required is for us to place the knife over the throat of the animal within us. What is required is to place the knife over our anger – our unjustified anger; and place the knife over our greed, evil passions, jealousy and other evils.
Allah Ta’ala commands us to wake up for Fajr, to read our five Salaah, daily, in the Masjid, to fulfil the other rights of Allah Ta’ala and the rights of Creation. And we are commanded to stay clear, to stay far away, from whatever Allah Ta’ala has declared as Haraam. And in this easy way, gain the Muhabbat of Allah Ta’ala and enjoy the best of both worlds.
…There is so much to discuss about the Hajj that will be taking place and everything relating to this Mubarak month: The Farewell Hajj, the unforgettable sermon given by Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), the Qurbani, and the great virtues of these Mubarak days and nights. We must not depend on only the Jumu`ah talk to learn Deen. We should seek to know and understand all these important events in our beautiful history as well as learn the related Masaa`il of the different Ibaadaat we are commanded to do.
May Allah Ta’ala grant us a good, proper understanding and the Taufeeq of striving to earn His Pleasure.