Reference and Education

What is Qurbani and history of qurbani

What is Qurbani?

According to the culture and tradition of Islam, Qurbani or sacrifice of animal to God is one of the most pious rituals around the world. Also known as “Udiyah” in Arabic, Qurbani is referred to the sacrifice of a particular animal, by a particular person, on a specific occasion. It must not be confused with butchering of any animal for its meat or even if it distributed among people. Udiyah is performed in the name of God, to get closer to Allah and seek goodness and blessings from Allah. Commonly, Muslims perform Qurbani of animals such as sheep, camel, goat, and cow. 

The History of Qurbani

Qurbani dates to the time when Abel became the first person to perform Qurbani. Abel and Cain are supposed to be the firstborn sons of Adam and Eve. Once, Adam asked both of his sons to perform a sacrifice in the name of Allah. As per a few influential Muslim historians, Abel (also called Habil) sacrificed his sheep and Cain was the one who sacrificed a part of crops from his land. Following this, a message from heaven in the form of fire came down and accepted the sacrificed goat by Abel, and hence only his sacrifice is considered to be valid and not Cain’s sacrifice.

Since then, the sacrifice of an animal is considered over any other form. When Allah accepted Abel’s sacrifice and did not accept Cain’s sacrifice, Cain murdered his brother out of jealousy and in rage. Hence, he was never forgiven and accepted by Allah. His death is the first human death in the history of Islam. 

Another popular legend is the story of Prophet Ibrahim and his sacrifice of the most important thing of his life, his son, as an order by Allah. Both father and son were prepared for the sacrifice when Shaytan (evil) came in between and deferred them. As a result, he was stoned by Prophet Ibrahim, and this incident is remembered by everyone during Hajj. Right when Ibrahim was ready with his knife, his son was replaced by a ram. It is believed that the ram sent that day was the same who was sacrificed by Abel. 

The Philosophy of Qurbani

The act of sacrifice is performed to prove to Allah that a Muslim is merely a slave of Allah. It also demonstrates one’s trust in Allah and the fact that no matter what Allah asks for, a Muslim will do it without any questions or second thoughts. The command of Allah is final, and all Muslims will obey it without any hesitation. It reaffirms the belief in Allah and the fact that Allah is All-knowing and All-wise, and a human may not always be able to understand what Allah commands. In the history of Qurbani, the same faith in Allah and his command was displayed to the Prophet and his son as they prepared for the sacrifice as instructed by Allah. This spirit in what makes Qurbani such as important and valued ritual in Islam.

Traditions around Qurbani

Qurbani in Islamic culture is performed on Eid Al Adha or Bakra Eid. On the 10th day of Dhu al Hijjah and it becomes valid from the morning of the 10th day till the sunset of the 13th day. During these days, as per the philosophy of Qurabani, all the intentions for Qurbani must be sincere and should be wholeheartedly dedicated to Allah. The tradition follows the sacrifice an animal and offering it to Allah. After that Muslims visit the mosque to pray in a congregation. Also, exchanging gifts and enjoying a festive feast with loved ones is a popular Eid al Adha tradition.

The most important thing to understand about Qurbani is that it should not be seen as just a sacrifice. The intentions behind performing it should be to sacrifice something that is dear to you in order to get closer to the Almighty. The only belief and intention behind should be aiming towards Allah, getting closer to him, praying, and understanding the actual meaning of sacrifice. 

7 Important Hadiths About Qurban

Sayedatuna Aisha (RadiAllahuanhu) narrates that Rasul Allah said, “There is no dearer deed of Ibne Adam in the days of Qurbani than flowing the blood (doing Qurbani) and that animal will come with his horns, hairs, and hooves on the day of Qayamt. Thee blood of the Qurbani reaches the stage of acceptance before it reaches the floor.” (Tirmizi, Ibnu Majah)

“And for all religion We have appointed a rite [of sacrifice] that they may mention the name of Allah over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals. For your god is one God, so to Him submit. And, [O Muhammad], give good tidings to the humble [before their Lord].” (Al-Haj 22/34)

story of Adam’s two sons

“And recite to them the story of Adam’s two sons, in truth, when they both offered a sacrifice [to Allah], and it was accepted from one of them but was not accepted from the other. Said [the latter], “I will surely kill you.” Said [the former], “Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him].” (Al-Ma’idah 5/27)

Narrated Anas: “The Prophet offered as sacrifices, two horned rams, black and white in color. He slaughtered them with his own hands and mentioned Allah’s Name over them and said Takbir and put his foot on their sides.” (Bukhari, Edahi: 7)

“And the camels and cattle We have appointed for you as among the symbols of Allah ; for you therein is good. So mention the name of Allah upon them when lined up [for sacrifice]; and when they are [lifeless] on their sides, then eat from them and feed the needy and the beggar. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may be grateful.” (Al-Haj 22/36)

“That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals. So eat of them and feed the miserable and poor.” (Al-Haj 22/28)

Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet said, “Whoever slaughtered the sacrifice before the prayer, he just slaughtered it for himself, and whoever slaughtered it after the prayer, he slaughtered it at the right time and followed the tradition of the Muslims.” (Bukhari, 68/454)

These are some of the popular verses and Hadiths about Qurbani.        

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