“It is neither their flesh nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is your Taqwa that reaches Him…” (Surah Hajj)
What is Udhiya?
‘Udhiya’ is an Arabic word meaning “blood sacrifice”, and ‘Qurbani’ is an Urdu and Persian word derived from the Arabic word “Qurban” which literally means an act performed to seek Allah Ta’ala’s pleasure. It is technically used for the sacrifice of an animal slaughtered for the sake of Allah Ta’ala.
The sacrifice of an animal has always been a recognised form of worship in many religions, but in the ‘Shariah’ (Islamic sacred law) of The Last and Final Messenger of Allah Ta’ala (Peace be upon him) the sacrifice of an animal has been recognised as a form of ibadah (worship) during the three days of the month Zul Hijjah, namely the 10th, 11th, and 12th.
This is to commemorate the unparalleled sacrifice offered by the Prophet Sayyidna Ibrahim, Alayhi Salam, when he, in pursuance to a command of Allah Ta’ala conveyed to him in a dream, prepared himself to slaughter his beloved son, Sayyidna Isma’il, Alayhi Salam, and actually intended to do so, but Allah Ta’ala the Almighty, after testing his submission, sent down a sheep and saved his son from the logical fate of slaughter. It is from that incident that the sacrifice of an animal became an obligatory duty to be performed by every Muslim who has the means to do it.
On who is it 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 traveller in terms of Sharia)
- 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. (please do consult your local Islamic Scholars for more details and exact value in your local currency)
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)
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)
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 Qurbani Animal
It is permissible to slaughter a goat, sheep, cow, bull, buffalo or camel, male or female for Qurbani.
The minimum age of:
(a) A goat, sheep, or ram is one full year,
(b) A cow, bull or buffalo is two years old, and
(c) A camel five years.
Animals that are younger than the prescribed age are not suitable for Qurbani. (Fataawa Hindiyyah)
- If a sheep is more than six months old but less than a year, and physically appears to be one year old it will suffice for Qurbani. (Fatawa Hindiyyah)
- A cow, bull, buffalo or camel will suffice for seven persons provided no one’s share is less than one seventh and the niyyah (intention) of all partners is to attain reward and not merely to obtain meat. (Fatawa Shaamiyah)
- A goat, sheep or ram will suffice for the Qurbani of one person only. (Fatawa Hindiyyah)
- It is permissible and preferable to slaughter a castrated animal. (Fatawa Mahmoodiyah)
- It is advisable to purchase the Qurbani animal a few days prior to slaughtering in order to build up some form of attachment with the animal by taking care of it. (Fatawa Hindiyyah)
- Animals chosen for Qurbani should be healthy, free from faults and defects. (Fatawa Shaamiyah)