The Qurbani, also known as udhiyah, is one of Islam’s most important religious rituals. For the sake of Allah SWT, millions of Muslims worldwide do the spiritual act during the month of Dhul Hajj each year. For those who are unfamiliar with this practice, Qurbani is the act of remembering the offering Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was prepared to make to Allah SWT by sacrificing his son Prophet Ismail (AS). Therefore, it is crucial to adhere to the right standards and the Qurbani rules given below while keeping in mind the history of this revered Islamic practice:
What Is Qurbani?
In Arabic, the word “Udhiyah” or “Qurbani” refers to a sacrifice. It can be characterized as the yearly offering of livestock to Allah SWT during the Eid ul-Adha holiday, which commemorates the end of the Hajj. The purpose of Eid ul-Adha is to honor and commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) unwavering and steadfast decision to sacrifice his only son at Allah SWT’s behest.
Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was put to the test by Allah SWT when he was told in a dream to kill his only son, Prophet Ismail (AS). Prophet Ibrahim (AS) originally didn’t think much of it, but when the identical dream occurred three nights in a row, he realized it was a divine mandate from Allah SWT and not the devil’s ploy.
Prophet Ismail (AS) replied so when his father, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) told his son about the dream:
“Oh my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast.” (37:102)
So, as they embarked on their journey to Mina, both Prophets, Ibrahim (AS) and Ismail (AS) bowed to Allah SWT’s will. Both father and son blindfolded themselves as they prepared for the brave act, once they arrived at the spot to see the sacrifice through. Suddenly, Allah SWT substituted an amazing animal to be killed in place of Prophet Ismail (AS).
“O Ibrahim, you have fulfilled the vision. Indeed, we thus reward the doers of good. Indeed, this was a clear trial.” (Holy Quran 37:104)
“And we ransomed him with a great sacrifice. And we left for him [favourable mention] among later generations of Peace be upon Ibrahim.” (Holy Quran 37:107)
Maintaining the same spirit, Muslims around the world sacrifice animals (livestock) between the 10th and 12th of Dhul Hijjah to remember the holy sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (AS).
Is Qurbani Compulsory or Sunnah?
The Hanafi school of thought holds that the act of Qurbani is Sunnah. Since Qurbani is a Sunnah act, those who perform it will receive great rewards; nevertheless, if they are unable to do so, it will not be viewed as a sin. However, if you are Sahib-e-Nisab (can offer Zakat or donation), doing Qurbani is Wajib (required). However, Muslims must perform Qurbani under the following circumstances:
1) Not traveling individuals.
2) Muslims who are Sahib-e-Nisab (have 87.48 grams of gold or 612.35 grams of silver).
3) Any Muslim who is Sahib-e-Nisab and has reached puberty.
What Does Qurbani Cost?
One large animal, such as a cow, or one small animal, such as a sheep or goat, can be sacrificed in a single Qurbani. However, if you want to perform the Qurbani of a cow but lack the funds to do so, you can alternatively choose to purchase a portion of the big animal. Your commitment will be completed in both situations, though, and Allah SWT will reward you.
Rules of Qurbani for Families
Each eligible Muslim must contribute one share to the Qurbani. This implies that if you are a parent, you must also contribute in the name of your kids.
Large animals like cows and buffalos, for example, can be divided evenly into seven portions for seven people. Smaller animals, like sheep or goats, however, are equal to one Qurbani per person. As a result, you should select the animal based on how many members of your household are eligible for Qurbani.
How many Qurbanis do a family have to do?
According to the Hadith that Abdullah bin Hasham narrated, “Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to sacrifice one sheep for himself and his family.” The sacrifice of one goat or sheep, however, is sufficient for one family member, according to Hanafi thinkers. Therefore, one Qurbani should be conducted for each family member whose wealth surpasses Nisab.
For instance, if both the son and the father live in the same house, they both have enough money. The family should conduct two Qurbanis in this situation rather than just one.
Rules of Qurbani for Husband and Wife
In order to carry out Qurbani, the husband, and wife must both declare their intent (Niyat) and refrain from having their hair or nails cut from the beginning of Dhul Hajj until the sacrifice is made. Even if someone else makes the sacrifice on their behalf, the same procedure must be followed. Additionally, during the three days of Eid ul-Adha, the husband and wife should perform the Qurbani whenever they finish the Eid prayer.
Additionally, the spouse or any other guy should be the sole one to slaughter the animal (Qasai). The husband and wife are instructed to keep one-third of the animal and consume it once the sacrifice has been made. The remainder should be allocated evenly as an aid to the underprivileged, neighbors, and family members. Selling Qurbani meat is frequently expressly prohibited.
Is Qurbani Compulsory (Farz) for a Wife?
According to the Qurbani laws for married couples, a husband is not required to pay a portion on his wife’s behalf if she has her own money, but he is free to do so.
Qurbani Rules for Children
Regarding the guidelines for Qurbani for children, the Shari’ah scholars hold divergent views. While it is also believed that Qurbani is neither Wajib (compulsory) on the father nor the kid, some scholars have claimed that it is required for a father to make the sacrifice on behalf of his offspring.
The conclusion that follows from extensive research and consideration of the Hadith is that “It is better if a father offers Qurbani on behalf of his child, from his money. Despite not being Wajib, it is better.”
What Happens If I Miss Qurbani? What Do I Need to Do?
You can make up for missing the religious ceremony of Qurbani this year by offering an additional animal if you have to abstain for personal reasons. The number of years you were unable to conduct Qurbani can also be calculated, and then you can determine how many animals you must sacrifice to make up for the missed years.
You can also make up for any missed Qurbani by giving underprivileged Muslims a donation equal to the market value of livestock like goats and sheep.
Nail and Hair Rules for Qurbani
It is strongly advised that you refrain from cutting your hair or nails from the first of Dhul Hajj until after the sacrifice, that is, from the 10th to the 12th Dhul Hajj, if you intend to do Qurbani. This is so that it would adhere to what Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “When the ten days (of Dhul Hajj) start, and one of you intends to sacrifice, then let him not cut his hair or his nails.” [Sahih Muslim]
How to Sacrifice the Animal for Qurbani?
If a person uses his own hands to slaughter the Qurbani animal, it is regarded as more virtue. One must be there while someone else offers the sacrifice on their behalf if they are unable to do it themselves.
It is required to say “Bismillahi Allahu Akbar” and the Qurbani prayer while offering the sacrifice. However, since Allah SWT is aware of what is in your heart, it is not required to make a verbal intention (Niyyah). Keep the following Qurbani rules in mind when doing Qurbani:
1) Make sure to use a sharp knife to save the animal any pain.
2) Never sharpen a knife before the animal.
3) Never slaughter one animal while another is present if you are performing multiple Qurbanis.
4) Wait until the animal is absolutely cold before skinning it.
Rules for Distribution of Qurbani Meat
After the Qurbani is completed, the meat from the animal should be divided into three equal portions. The following are the guidelines for giving:
1) The person who intended or performed the Qurbani should keep the first section.
2) Family and neighbors should each receive one of the second parts.
3) The third portion ought to be given to low-income families who are in need.
When Is Qurbani Performed?
Only the tenth, eleventh, and twelveth days of Dhul Hijjah should be used for the holy ceremony of Qurbani. Try and offer the sacrifice on the first day, and if not, then the second, and finally the third.
Furthermore, even though the Qurbani animal can be kept and cared for before the sacrifice, it can only be made between the tenth and twelfth days of Dhul Hajj.
Which Animals Are Allowed for Qurbani?
Only livestock animals are accepted for Qurbani rituals. To be sacrificed, each animal must first reach the required age. Additionally, the animal purchased for Qurbani should not be ill, injured, or (in the case of females) pregnant. The age criteria that you must verify before sacrificing are as follows:
Although a healthy six-month-old sheep may be slaughtered, it is preferred that the animal be at least one year old. Additionally, the sacrifice of a sheep is equal to that of one person.
A goat can also be sacrificed in place of one person. For Qurbani, the goat needs to be at least a year old.
A cow’s Qurbani is equivalent to seven humans because it contains seven shares. But before being sacrificed, the cow must be at least two years old.
For sacrifice, a buffalo must be at least two years old. A buffalo sacrifice, however, is equal to the Qurbani portions of seven people.
A camel must be at least five years old and comprise seven Qurbani shares in order to be used in the sacred sacrifice.
Qurbani Rule Summary
Qurbani is a spiritual and religious act that will unquestionably draw you nearer to Allah SWT. Even today, Muslims all across the world carry out the required annual sacrifice to mark Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) readiness to give his son Prophet Ismail (AS) up for Allah SWT.