Quarterly: Issue No 28
I have chosen to write on this subject due to numerous queries from friends and relatives as regards the correct Islamic view on Qurbaani. The reason being that our innocent youth are confused with the fitnah of the Anti-Hadith modernists in this age. I will try my best to present to you some very basic facts that will, insha Allah, eliminate the confusion that reigns in the minds of our Muslim youths today.
Although Qurbaani had been ordained an ibaadah from the time of Adam (alayhis salaam), special importance was attached to it only after an incident which took place with Ibraahim (alayhis salaam), and consequently it was made waajib (compulsory) in the Shari'ah of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in memory of this great incident. This was a unique incident in world history and of great spiritual value, which the Qur'an mentions in Surah Saffaat (Chapter 37):
AND WHEN HE (Ibraahim’s son) WAS OLD ENOUGH TO WALK WITH HIM, (Ibraahim) SAID: 'O MY DEAR SON, I HAVE SEEN IN A DREAM THAT I AM SLAUGHTERING YOU. NOW SEE WHAT IS YOUR VIEW?' (37:102)
The dreams of the prophets are regarded as revelations; thus the observance of slaughtering in a dream is just like receiving the command to slaughter. Ibraahim (alayhis salaam), therefore asked, "Are you ready to fulfil this command of Allah?" The son replied, "O my father, do that which you are commanded. If Allah wills, you will find me to be among those who are patient." (37: 102).
This was a great trial for Ibraahim (alayhis salaam). He is commanded to slaughter his only child. A child, who was blessed to him by Allah in his old age after making numerous supplications and now reaching the stage where he could assist his old father in his duties and mission. Similarly, it was a great trial for the son too. To obey the command and give away his life was not a trivial or simple thing. However, the son too showed fine qualities to his father by submitting and not relying on his own intentions, determination and courage. Entrusting himself to Allah he said, "If Allah wills." Further, he did not say, "I will have patience," but said, ''you will find me to be among those who are patient", which is a sign of humility that indicates that he does not claim the quality of patience for himself only.
Through the blessings of entrusting themselves to Allah and their humility, they did not falter during the stages of the difficult path. The sole bread winning father and his obedient son left home for Mina to carry out the command of Allah. When they finally reached Mina, the father turned the face of his son and placed the knife on his throat and used his full strength to fulfil the order and decree of sacrifice, but the power of Allah intervened to stop the function of the knife and a call from the heavens turned the events of this whole scene, as mentioned in the Qur’an:
Then when they had both surrendered (to Allah) and he had flung him down on his face, we called unto him: 'O Ibraahim! You have already fulfilled the vision. Verily! thus indeed do we reward the good. Surely indeed this was a clear test.' And we ransomed him with a tremendous sacrifice. (37: 103-107).
And with it a ram was sent down from the Heaven as a ransom for Ismail (alayhis salaam), so that it may be slaughtered in his place. Allah accepted this sincere act and deed of his messenger Ibraahim (alayhis salaam) - so much so that to keep this act of sacrifice is alive as a rite of remembrance till the Day of Judgement.
But an Anti-Hadith modernist "scholar" says: ‘It is quite evident that on the subject of Hazrath Khaleel-e-Akbar and Hazrath Ismail (alayhimas salaam), there is no mention anywhere in the Qur’an that we should continue to make Qurbaani every year in memory of that great incident. Furthermore, the incident of the ram being sacrificed in place of Hazrath Ismail (AS) is also not in the Qur’an but appears in the Torah.’ (Parwez: Qur’ani Faisley: P54).
But Allah, the Exalted, says:
AND WE RANSOMED HIM WITH A GREAT SACRIFICE. AND LEFT HIM THUS TO BE REMEMBERED AMONG LATER GENERATIONS. (Surah As-Saffaat: 107-108).
The Arabic word used in this ayah for ransom is Wafadaynahu. According to Mufradaat of the famous Arabic lexicon Imam Raghib, Al-Fidyu means to give something on behalf of someone and save him from some problem or calamity. If the word "ram" is not explicitly mentioned in the Quran but contained in the Torah does NOT have any effect on the truthfulness of this great incident of sacrifice (dhib-hun azeem – as Allah calls it in the verse quoted above).
The Anti-Hadith modernist also says: ‘Besides the Qurbaani made in Mina during the Hajj, there is no command of making Qurbaani in other localities in an individual capacity. Historical records prove that our beloved Prophet did NOT make Qurbaani in Madinah Munawwarah. When he went for Hajj, he made Qurbaani there in Mina. At other times, the Prophet used to send the animals with the Amir-e-Hujjaaj for sacrificing the animals there. Therefore, the ritual of making Qurbaani in other localities in one’s individual capacity is a custom and has nothing to do with Islam’. (Parwez: Qur’ani Faisley: P52).
Now let us examine this Anti-Hadith modernist’s statements carefully. Note: By historical records, he means all books of Tareekh (history) and he categorises the Hadith also as mere historical records.
1. The Arabic words used for the Hajj sacrifice and the individually performed sacrifice in one’s own locality are
different. The Arabic word used for the Hajj Sacrifice is ‘HAD-YU’ and the local sacrifice in an individual capacity is called ‘Udhhiyyah – plural Adhaahiyy. If we look at all the books of Ahadeeth, we see that the Muhadditheen have compiled a specific separate book for Qurbaani known as ‘Kitaab-ul-Adhaahiyy’ (The Book of Sacrifice). From this, it is quite clear that it is necessary for each individual who have the means to make Qurbaani (Udhhiyyah) in his own locality. The Sahabas asked our beloved Prophet: ‘What are these sacrifices (Adhaahiyy)? Then he said: ‘This is the sunnah of your father Ibraahim’ (Ibn Maajah as quoted in Mishkaah). And this is the real meaning of the verse wherein Allah says:
AND WE LEFT HIM THUS TO BE REMEMBERED AMONG LATER GENERATIONS. (37:102).
Mr. Parwez’s statement that ‘historical records prove that our beloved Prophet did NOT make Qurbaani in Madinah Munawwarah’ as quoted above is a great lie that he has attributed to our beloved Prophet. The books of Ahadeeth are full of AUTHENTIC narrations that the Prophet did make Qurbaani is Madinah Munawwarah. I will quote just TWO from the compilation of Imam Bukhari, Kitaab-ul-Adhaahiyy:
Hadith No 1: Narrated Anas (RA): The Prophet slaughtered two rams, black and white in colour (as sacrifices), and I saw him putting his foot on their sides and mentioning Allah's Name and Takbir, and then he slaughtered them with his own hands. (Volume 7, Book 68, Number 465).
Hadith No 2: The Prophet said (on the day of Eid-ul-Adha), ‘The first thing we will do on this day of ours, is to offer the (Eid) prayer and then return to slaughter the sacrifice. Whoever does so, he acted according to our Sunnah (tradition)’. (Volume 7, Book 68, Number 453).
From the above Ahadeeth, the following facts emerge:
1. Since these appear in Kitaab-ul-Adhaahiyy, they refer to the local Qurbaani made in Madinah, not during the Hajj.
2. To make Qurbaani of more than one halaal animal is also the sunnah of the Prophet.
3. This Qurbaani was made every year by the Prophet.
Contrary to what the Anti-Hadith modernist claims, the Arabic word Qurban (Qurbaani in Urdu) is also found in the Holy Qur’an and is used in various chapters. For example, Allah says:
AND RECITE UNTO THEM THE STORY OF THE TWO SONS OF ADAM (Habil & Qabil) IN TRUTH; WHEN EACH OF THEM OFFERED A SACRIFICE (QURBANAN), IT WAS ACCEPTED FROM THE ONE (Habil) BUT NOT FROM THE OTHER (Qabil). (Qabil) SAID: ‘I WILL SURELY KILL YOU’. (Habil) SAID: ‘BEHOLD, ALLAH ACCEPTS ONLY FROM THOSE WHO ARE PIOUS’. (Surah Al-Ma’idah: 27).
From this ayah, the following facts emerge:
1. The word Qurban (Qurbaani) is used in the Holy Qur’an for the same act of worship of sacrificing an animal for Allah as we have them today, and this started from the time of Prophet Adam (Alayhis Salaam).
2. This sacrifice had nothing to do with the Hajj sacrifice.
In another verse, Allah says:
THOSE (JEWS) WHO MAINTAIN: ‘BEHOLD, ALLAH HAS BIDDEN US NOT TO BELIEVE IN ANY MESSENGER UNLESS HE BRINGS TO US A SACRIFICE WHICH THE FIRE (from heaven) SHALL DEVOUR’. SAY (O Prophet!): ‘VERILY THERE CAME TO YOU MESSENGERS BEFORE ME WITH CLEAR SIGNS, AND EVEN THAT OF WHICH YOU SPEAK, WHY THEN DID YOU KILL THEM, IF YOU ARE TRUTHFUL?’. (Surah Ali-Imraan: 183).
From this ayah, the following facts emerge:
1. Before Islam, the ummah of previous Prophets also practised the ritual of sacrifice (Qurbaani).
2. The command of Qurbaani was from Allah and the previous Prophets had also practised it.
3. The sign of acceptance of that Qurbaani was that the fire used to come from the heaven and devour the sacrificial meat.
4. This act of Qurbaani was so well known amongst the ummah of previous Prophets that they used it as a sign of truthfulness from the Prophets in their own time.
It must be noted that the Qurbaani meat in the ummah of previous prophets were not allowed to be eaten. This priviledge was given only to the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) where the Qurbaani meat can be eaten and distributed to others for eating as well. How then can this be regarded as "waste of money", as claimed by our Anti-Hadith modernists.
Finally, I would like to quote one verse of the Holy Qur’an wherein Allah says:
AND THUS FOR EVERY UMMAH WE HAVE APPOINTED SACRIFICES AS AN ACT OF WORSHIP THAT THEY MAY MENTION THE NAME OF ALLAH OVER THE CATTLE THAT HE HAS PROVIDED FOR THEM. (Surah Al-Hajj: 34).
This verse proves that all halaal animals are allowed for sacrifice and not only camels, as claimed by Ghulam Ahmed Parwez in his commentary of the Qur’an under Surah Al-Kawthar. It also proves that Qurbaani was Waajib on communities of previous prophets as well.
Let us not be misled by the fitnah of such modernists. Let us make our Qurbaani with great zeal and sincerity. May Allah accept from us all our deeds which must be done sincerely to please none other than Allah, Our Creator and Sustainer. Ameen!
MASNOON METHOD OF QURBAANI
It is more rewarding 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 not necessary to make the niyyah (intention) of Qurbaani with the tongue, however it is necessary to say Bismillahi Allahu Akbar when slaughtering.
1. When the animal is laid down facing the qiblah, it is Sunnah to recite:
Verily! I have turned my face towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth, as one by nature upright, and I am not of the idolaters.
Verily! my Salaah and Sacrifice, and my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds. He has no partner. This I am commanded and I am first of those who Surrender (unto him ).
O Allah! (This Sacrifice) is from You and for You.
2. Then saying Bismillahi Allahu Akbar cut the throat of the animal. The gullet, windpipe and the two jugular veins should be cut. Cutting any three of the four will also suffice. If only two are cut, the animal will not be lawful for consumption.
3. After slaughtering the animal, read the following du'aa if possible:
O Allah! accept (this Sacrifice) from me in the same manner as You have accepted from Your beloved Muhammad and Your friend Ibraahim. Peace and blessings be upon them.
I request your humble du'aas.
Abdul Haq Abdul Kadir
Umhlanga Rocks, KZN