Category Archives: Qurbaani/Udhiyyah

Understanding the Concept Of Udhiyah (Sacrifice) in Islam

Actually, there are many misconceptions filling the mind of many non-Muslims, who fail to perceive the significance and wisdom behind acts of worship in Islam. That is why addressing those misconceptions becomes obligatory in order to erase distortions about Islam. Thus, on the case in point, we find it relevant to cite for you the following:

Sacrifice is a sunnah in Islam. We must look at the occurrences of a ritual in a contextual manner, understanding not only the pre-Islamic institution of sacrifice, the Qur’anic reforms concerning this practice, and the continuance of sacrifice in the Muslim world, but also the context in which the Qur’anic revelations occurred. For it seems that with many people, both non-Muslims and Muslims alike, context is the key that they are missing.

With this in mind, let us start with the situation as it was in pre-Islamic Arabia with regard to animal sacrifice. Not only did the pagan Arabs sacrifice to a variety of gods in hopes of attaining protection or some favor or material gain, but so, too, did the Jews of that day seek to appease the One True God by blood sacrifice and burnt offerings. Even the Christian community felt Jesus to be the last human- sacrifice, “the final lamb,” so to speak, in an otherwise valid tradition of animal sacrifice (where one’s sins are absolved by the blood of another).

Islam, however, broke away from this longstanding tradition of appeasing an “angry God” and instead demanded personal sacrifice and submission as the only way to die before death and reach “fana’” or  “extinction in Allah.” The notion of “vicarious atonement of sin” (absolving one’s sins through the blood of another) is nowhere to be found in the Qur’an. Neither is the idea of gaining favor by offering the life of another to Allah. In Islam, all that is demanded as a sacrifice is one’s personal willingness to submit one’s ego and individual will to Allah.

One only has to look at how the Qur’an treats this subject, to see a marked difference regarding sacrifice and whether or not Allah is appeased by blood. The Qur’anic account of the sacrifice of Isma`eel (alayhissalaam) ultimately speaks against blood atonement. Allah says:

Then when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: “Oh my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: Now see what is thy view!” (The son) said: “Oh my father! Do As thou art commanded: Thou wilt find me, if Allah so wills one practicing patience and constancy!” So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice), We called out to him, “Oh Abraham! Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!” Thus indeed do We reward those who do right. For this was obviously a trial and We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice. [As-Saafaat 37:102-107]

Notice that the Qur’an never says that Allah told Ibraheem (alayhissalaam) to kill (sacrifice) his son. Though subtle, this is very important, for the moral lesson is very different from that which appears in the Bible. Here, it teaches us that Ibraheem (alayhissalaam) had a dream in which he saw himself slaughtering his son. Ibraheem (alayhissalaam) interpreted the dream and thought that the dream was a Command from Allah, but the Qur’an never says that Allah directly ordered Ibraheem (alayhissalaam) directly to sacrifice his son. However, in Ibraheem and Isma`eel (alayhimussalaam)’s willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice— Abraham of his son, Isma`eel (alayhissalaam) of his own life—they are able to transcend notions of self and false attachment to the material realm, thus removing a veil between themselves and Allah, enabling Allah’s mercy to descend upon them as the Spirit of Truth and illuminate them with divine wisdom (thus preventing a miscarriage of justice and once and for all correcting the false notion of vicarious atonement of sin).

For, certainly, Allah, the Ever Merciful, Most Compassionate, would never ask a father to go against His command of “thou shall not kill” and then order to kill his own son in order to be accepted by Him. For the Qur’an teaches us that Allah never advocates evil (see 7:28 and 16:90) and that only Satan advocates evil and vice (24:21). The notion that Allah would want us to do an immoral act runs counter to Allah’s justice.

As far as the yearly tradition that has followed this event (that is, the sacrificing of a ram to commemorate Ibraheem and Isma`eel (alayhimussalaam)’s great self sacrifice), we must understand it and the Qur’anic verses that pertain to animal sacrifice, in relation to the time and place circumstances under which these revelations were received and how people were trying to make a personal sacrifice by sharing their limited means of survival with the poorer members of their community.

That is to say, the underlying implication of Islam’s attitude toward ritual slaughter is not that of blood atonement, or seeking favor with Allah through another’s death, but rather, the act of thanking Allah for one’s sustenance and the personal sacrifice of sharing one’s possessions and valuable food with one’s fellow humans. The ritual itself is NOT the sacrifice. It is merely a method of killing where the individuals kill as quickly as possible and acknowledge that only Allah has the right to take a life and that they do so as a humble member of Allah’s creation in need of sustenance just like every other species in Allah’s creation.

So let us examine some of the appropriate verses in the Qur’an to see what it has to say about sacrifice and how it related to life in 500 C.E. Arabia.

Allah Ta’ala says: In them ye have benefits for a term appointed: In the end their place of sacrifice is near the Ancient House. [Al-Hajj 22:33]

The word ‘In them’ refers to cattle or animals offered for sacrifice. It is quite true that they are useful in many ways to humans, e.g., camels in desert countries are useful as mounts or for carrying burdens or for giving milk, and so, for horses and oxen; and camels and oxen are also good for meat, and camel’s hair can be woven into cloth; goats and sheep also yield milk and meat, and hair or wool. But if they are used for sacrifice, they become symbols by which people show that they are willing to give up some of their own benefits for the sake of satisfying the needs of their poorer brethren.

Allah also says: To every people did We appoint rites (of sacrifice) that they might celebrate the name of Allah over the sustenance He gave them from animals (fit for food). But your God is One God: Submit then your wills to Him (In Islam): and give thou the good news to those who humble themselves. [Al-Hajj 22: 34]

This is the true end of sacrifice, not propitiation of higher powers, for Allah is One, and He does not delight in flesh and blood, but a symbol of thanksgiving to Allah by sharing meat with fellow humans. The solemn pronouncement of Allah’s name over the sacrifice is an essential part of the rite.

Allah says further: It is not their meat nor their blood, that reaches Allah: it is your piety that reaches Him: He has thus made them subject to you, that ye may glorify Allah for His guidance to you: And proclaim the Good News to all who do right. [Al-Hajj 22: 37]

No one should suppose that meat or blood is acceptable to the One True God. It was a pagan fancy that Allah could be appeased by blood sacrifice. But Allah does accept the offering of our hearts, and as a symbol of such offer, some visible institution is necessary. He has given us power over the brute creation, and permitted us to eat meat, but only if we pronounce His name at the solemn act of taking life, for without this solemn invocation, we are apt to forget the sacredness of life. By this invocation we are reminded that wanton cruelty is not in our thoughts, but only the need for food…

It is quite clear from the Qur’anic passages above that the issue of animal sacrifice is in relation to the role animals played in Arabian society at that place and time (as well as other societies with similar climates and culture), in that humans are commanded to give thanks to Allah and praise Allah for the sustenance He has given them and that they should sacrifice something of value to themselves to demonstrate their appreciation for what they have been given.

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Why We Make Udhiyah??

By Maulana Abu Hudhaifa  Muhammed Karolia

Before explaining why we make udhiyah, we first have to understand why we make hajj. Although there are a number of activities in hajj (tawaaf, sa’ee, the stay in ‘Arafah, the stay in Muzdalifah, pelting of the jamaraat, offering of a sacrificial animal, shaving of the hair etc.),  Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam said that, “Hajj is ‘Arafah” – as if hajj is only about ‘Arafah. That, however, is not what he meant. Instead, he meant that the stay in ‘Arafah is so important, it is as if there is nothing else in hajj besides ‘Arafah. Thus, the fuqaha agree that even if a person diligently observes all the injunctions of hajj, his hajj will be invalid if he does not spend any  time – no matter how short – between zawaal of the ninth of Dhil Hajj and subh saadiq of the tenth in ‘Arafah. On the contrary, if person spends some time between zawaal of the ninth of Dhil Hajj and subh saadiq of the tenth in ‘Arafah, his hajj will be valid even if he omits all or some of the other injunctions of hajj. This means that ‘Arafah is the climax of hajj – as though the pilgrim’s aim in making hajj is merely to reach ‘Arafah. The question now is, ‘what is ‘Arafah all about?’ Looking beyond the performance of dhuhr and ‘asr at one time and the fervent du’aas and cries for forgiveness, those who comprehend the deeper dimensions of our ‘ibaadaat contend that ‘Arafah is a meeting with Allah. 

Before meeting with worldly kings and presidents (or any other dignitary), we take a bath, wear the best clothes and apply some perfume. In fact, we do this before attending any function. Similarly, before meeting with Allah in ‘Arafah, we have to be clean. This meeting, however, demands spiritual cleanliness. Thus, we keep saum and exert ourselves in other ‘ibaadaat (obligatory and optional) in the month of Ramadaan. Hence, the last moment of Ramadaan is the first moment of hajj. Consider two questions viz.    

➡  When does the  month  of Ramadaan end?

➡  When does hajj begin?

The  answers to both these questions are the same – when the crescent  of ‘eid-ul-fitr is sighted. The moment Ramadaan ends, hajj  begins. Remember, Allah Ta’aala said:

“Hajj comprises a (few) known  months.” [Surah  Al-Baqarah,  Aayah, 197]

These known months are Shawwaal, Dhul-Qa’dah and the  first ten days of Dhul-Hajj.

In the past, in the days of kings and  queens, whenever a man was granted a meeting with the king,  he would be required to present the king with a gift. Similarly, when the haaji meets Allah, he too is required to present Allah with a gift. Since nothing is more valuable to man than his life, the  most appropriate gift that the  haaji could present to Allah is his  life. Nonetheless, suicide is impermissible.

“Do not kill yourselves; certainly Allah is Most Merciful unto you.” [Surah An-Nisaa, Aayah 29]

So what does the haaji do? When Nabi Ibrahim (alayhissalaam) tried to slaughter Nabi Isma’eel (alayhissalaam) in accordance with the command of Allah, Allah Ta’ala sent him a ram from the sky and told him to slaughter the ram instead. Thus, the haaji is commanded to slaughter an animal instead of himself. This sacrifice is his ‘gift’ to Allah. 

In the Farewell Hajj, Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wasallam slaughtered one hundred camels.  The reason for doing so is that the blood money for a human life is one hundred camels. Thus, if one may not sacrifice his life, it  would be appropriate to slaughter a hundred camels instead. However, not everybody possesses so many camels. (That is why the blood money for manslaughter is paid by the killer’s ‘aaqilah, a group of people related to the killer.)  Furthermore, there would be a  colossal problem if every haaji were required to sacrifice a hundred camels each. Hence, the  sharee’ah requires the haaji to slaughter a single animal as his ‘gift’ to Allah. 

I guess that you are probably wondering what all this has to do with udhiyah. We do not make hajj in Benoni, Springs or Lenasia. Hajj can only be made in Makkah. So why are we who are not hujjaaj commanded to make udhiyah?  The answer to this is imitation; we are commanded to imitate the hujjaaj

“Recall the time when we made the ka’bah a place to which people repeatedly return …” [Surah Al-Baqarah, Aayah 125]

It is for this reason that we observe countless people who repeatedly go for hajj and ‘umrah.  We also observe that those who lack the ability to return fervently desire doing so. Thus, their hearts ‘bleed’ when they see the hujjaaj  departing for hajj. When they hear the live transmission of the  ‘Arafah khutbah on the ninth of Dhul-Hajj, they cry again. If only they were there. Pitying such people, Allah tells them not to despare. Sitting at home, you too can earn a reward similar to that of the haaji. Just imitate him.  Remember the hadith:

“Whoever imitates a people will  be among them.” Thus:

Just as the haaji does not cut or shave his hair and pare his nails  while he is in ihram, the non-haaji refrains from doing so  during the first ten days of Dhul-Hajj.  

—  Just as the haaji recites  talbiyah, the non-haaji recites the takbeer-ut-tashreeq.  

—  Just as the haaji sacrifices an  animal called hady or dammush-shukr on the tenth of Dhul-Hajj,  the non-haaji sacrifices an animal  called udhiyah on the same day.  

—  Just as the haaji slaughters  after the assembly in ‘Arafah, the  non-haaji slaughters after the  assembly in the musalla (‘eid gaah).  

—  Just as the haaji only cuts or  shaves his hair and pares his nails after slaughtering his hady,  the non-haaji only cuts or shaves  his hair and pares his nails after  slaughtering his udhiyah.

Another  Explanation
The people of Madinah had two  annual festivals. After hijrah (migration), Rasulullah sallallahu  alaihi wasallam substituted them  with the two ‘eids (‘Eid-ul-Fitr  and ‘Eid-ul-Adha). The reason  for this, as explained by Shah  Waliullah (rahmatullahi alayh), is  that every nation’s festivals are  based on either un-Islamic  customs or praise for their heroes. The festivals of the  people of Madinah were no  different. Thus, Rasulullah  sallallahu alaihi wasallam  substituted them with ‘Eid-ul-Fitr  which is based on successful  completion of the siyaam  (fasting) of Ramadhan and ‘Eid-ul-Adha which is based on the  memory of Nabi Ibraheem (alayhis salaam). Now if you ask why we  need to remember Nabi Ibraheem (alayhis salaam), the answer  would be that Islam is based uponhis deen (the Qur’aan uses the  word millat).      

… The religion of your father,  Ibrahim. He called you Muslimeen  …”     

The Sunnah of Ibraheem (alayhis salaam)
“What are these adaahy  (plural  of udhiyah), O Rasool of Allah?” asked the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum). “The sunnah of your  father, Ibraheem,” he replied. [Sunan Ibn Maajah, Hadith 3127]

Considering this hadith, we could  say that the reason why we make  udhiyah is simply because it was  the sunnah of Nabi Ibraheem  (alayhis salaam). The motivation  for observing this sunnah was to  thank Allah for sparing his son  Isma’il (alayhis salaam)’s life. Remember that Nabi Ibraheem  (alayhis salaam) was commanded  to slaughter Isma’il  (alayhis salaam) in a dream in order to  prove his love for Allah. He  ‘passed the test’. As he passed  the knife on his son’s throat and  wondered why it was not cutting,  Allah Ta’aala sent him a ram from the heavens  and commanded him to slaughter it in place of his son.

Consequently, Nabi Ibraheem  (alayhis salaam) would slaughter  a ram every year as a token of  thanks to Allah  for saving his  son’s life. Since we follow  Nabi  Ibraheem (alayhis salaam)’s millat  (Islam is based on his millat) and  Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi  wasallam is from Nabi Isma’il  (alayhis salaam)’s progeny, it is only  appropriate that we follow his sunnah  and thank Allah for saving Nabi Isma’il (alayhis salaam)’s  life.  

A Reminder
Finally, the udhiyah also serves as a reminder. At the time of the  slaughter, one is reminded that  he should be prepared to sacrifice  himself for Allah’s  pleasure. ‘Nabi Ibraheem (alayhis salaam) was prepared to  sacrifice his son to please Allah.  How much am I prepared to sacrifice to please Him?’

O Allah, guide us to the true  spirit of udhiyah. O Allah, guide  us to the true spirit of sacrifice, Aameen.

QUR’BAANI IS NOT AN OCCASION FOR HARAAM MERRYMAKING

By Majlisul Ulama

Qurbani or Brutality??

IBAADAT OR RIYA AND TAKABBUR

THE HARAAM SHENANIGANS OF THE JUHALA WHO MAKE A CRUEL MOCKERY OF THE  IBAADAT OF QUR’BAANI

The evil and corruption of Muslims purportedly executing their obligation of Qur’baani are portrayed by a Brother in his letter which is reproduced hereunder:

“Please send out an urgent national message on the malpractices committed at public ‘qur’baani’ shows. Many people, including the religious ones are taking pictures and videos of their qurbani animals!.

Also a sickness nowadays is the mentality of “I want the biggest animal”, whereas it should be the best looking in your eyes and your affordability!

Once the “biggest” animal is bought, its pictures and weight are taken and sent via sms and whatsup to all and sundry to say wah wah! … Is this not for show? Is the spirit of qurbani not lost?

At the venue of slaughter, there are ladies and men mixed, many taking pictures of the ladies making zabah, or others taking pictures randomly to post onto different media platforms .

One may ask, how can one video a life taken away, especially for ibaadat purposes? would they have done same if the command was to sacrifice one’s own child?
Further, more to the slaughter house, the noise and screaming, dragging and pulling of animals are just too sad. Even the kuffar don’t behave like this!

When told to take it easy, we are blankly told, “we want fun”. Is this a fun occasion?

Many a times, the animals get so traumatized from all the screaming and shouting that they begin to jump fences to escape.

Sadly, all this takes place in the presence of imaams, muftis and ulema. Nobody really stops all this haraam and cruel nonsense!

I think its a great idea for you to suggest to the jamiats to request imaams to stop the bayaans of the stories of Hazrat Ibrahim and Ismail, that we learnt in madressa. What is needed is bayaans to make our qurbani acceptable and to understand that it is a command from Allah.

In conclusion, will anyone really take a picture of his son that will be killed to show how handsome he is, or take a video of him being killed and being distributed for fun watching!” OOMS

(End of the Brother’s letter)

Qur’baani is the best and the most sacred act of Ibaadat during the Days of  Udhiyyah (Qur’baani). It is an Ibaadat to commemorate the devotion to Allah Ta’ala and the sacrifice of his son made by Nabi Ibraaheem (alayhis salaam) at the command of  Allah Azza Wa Jal. While Qur’baani is an occasion of devotion, sacrifice and for the acquisition of immense thawaab, Muslims have transformed it into a merrymaking festival accompanied by many haraam acts.

Men and women mixing, women on the grand stand viewing the cruel, cowardly slaughter in T-shirts and jeans flexing his muscles stupidly and waving the knife with riya and takabbur to impress the  stupid females in the gallery, refreshments served to the crowd of moron spectators, the brutality perpetrated on the animals, the haraam, shaitaani funfare attitude, etc. are all nugatory of both the letter and spirit of the Qur’baani Ibaadat.

The manner in which group Qur’baani acts are performed is haraam, The zina displays by men and women are haraam. The presence and mingling of men and women are haraam. Women in the gallery watching the stupid slaughterer basking in his stupid antics to impress moron women, and women slaughtering in full view of the fussaaq men are all haraam.

What is being enacted in many or perhaps most places, is not Qur’baani. Slaughtering animals is not the occasion of fun and merrymaking. While Eid is an occasion of happiness, kuffaar-type ‘happiness’ is haraam. It is not permissible for women to view ghair mahram men slaughtering  nor is it permissible to slaughter when there is even a single ghair mahram man viewing the scene. The cruelty to the animals is satanic. It is not expected of the People of Imaan to be sadists deriving pleasure from the Ibaadat of Sacrifice.

It is necessary to understand what exactly Qur’baani is and why are the animals being slaughtered. While all the thawaab is destroyed by the haraam antics, the perpetrators of these shameful and haraam shenanigans are guilty of grave sins. The women in the gallery add to the Satanism of the festival. Ibaadat without sincerity, and ibaadat accompanied by riya, takabbur and other haraam acts is not acceptable to Allah Azza Jal

Read the detailed Rulings related to Qurbaani/Udhiyyah here ➡ Fiqh of Qurbani (Udhiyyah) – The Annual Sacrifice of Eid ul Adh-ha

Among the worst sins perpetrated by innumerable people on the Day of Qur’baani, is the organization of haraam merrymaking functions where the following major sins are committed in the name of Qur’baani: 

Gathering of Zaanis (male fornicators/adulterers) and Zaaniyahs (female fornicators/adulteresses) at the venue where the cruel slaughter of Qur’baani animals and the brutal slaughter of Islamic morals take place. The affair is arranged as if it is a kuffaar sporting occasion with performers and spectators in the gallery. The females come dressed up with maximum adornment to attract the gazes and stares of the fussaaq and fujjaar males. The stupid ‘matador’ with sleeves rolled up and chest puffed out prances arrogantly with his knife to demonstrate his silly prowess when slaughtering the bull. He performs to the gallery of men and women whilst his silly brains drift in a limbo of fantasy regarding his ‘courage’ and ‘power’ when slaughtering the immobilized animal. The poor animal is chased by a group of hoodlums – children and stupid men and labourers to catch it. The animal is totally traumatized, bewildered and extremely fearful of the hooligans chasing it.Whilst all of this haraam is being enacted and subjected to haraam videoing and photography, the fussaaq /fujjaar men and women enjoy refreshments. No Islamic consideration is shown to the animals. All rules in Allah’s Book of Raham (Mercy) ordained for observation when slaughtering animals are mercilessly trampled on by everyone present – by the stupid ‘matador’, the helpers and the spectators. An animal is slaughtered and skinned in the presence of other animals. The skinning sometimes commences whilst there is still some life left in the animals. All of this is Haraam – major sins.

Understand well that Qur’baani is not a merrymaking occasion. Allah Ta’ala has ordained this Day for us to commemorate the supreme Qur’baani (Sacrifice) of Hadhrat Nabi Ibraaheem (Alayhis salaam) who was commanded by Allah Azza Wa Jal to sacrifice his beloved son, Ismaaeel (Alayhis salaam). So when your animal is being slaughtered, call to mind that it is your son who is being sacrificed. You are not present to enjoy yourself like a kaafir at some merrymaking function. 

It is haraam – totally HARAAM – for women even in burqahs to be present at the slaughtering venue. There are fussaaq males present, and even the molvis and outwardly looking ‘pious’ chaps present are fussaaq and fujjaar, hence they derive carnal, bestial and lustful pleasure from the presence of the womenfolk dressed in their stupid finery. 

The animals MUST be slaughtered mercifully, not in the cruel manner which is currently being enacted at most places where mass ‘qur’baani’ takes place. 

Our advice is that those who are inexperienced should not slaughter bulls/cows. Instead, 7 goats/sheep should be sacrificed. Most of those stupid ‘matadors’ who slaughter Qur’baani bulls lack experience, hence the need for a score of hoodlums to chase and overpower the cow. It is not permissible for inexperienced persons to slaughter big animals. 

Qur’baani is not restricted to mere throat-slitting. It is a holy amal of the Deen. It is among the Shi-aar (Salient Features) of Islam. It is not a funfair. It is not a picnic.  Refreshments should not be served at this haraam picnic. Women should not be allowed to enter the venue where mass-slaughtering takes place. These stupid people, in order to participate in the merrymaking haraam function, are adept at citing the mas’alah regarding viewing one’s animal at the time of slaughtering. For this Mustahab, they commit a plethora of haraam acts whilst the act of Istihbaab is the furthest from their minds. They cite it as an excuse for participating in the haraam circus organized on the Day of Eidul Adha. But they are absolutely bereft of the Taqwa which should be the primary attitude when making Qur’baani. 

AN IMPORTANT MAS’ALAH

It has been brought to our notice that some Molvis in Natal are selling Qur’baani animals on the condition of distributing the meat themselves. The purchaser of the animal is not allowed to take the meat. This is not permissible. The sale is invalid and haraam. The Qur’baani too is not valid.  The Molvis and the purchasers should rectify their corrupt deals for the proper and valid discharge of the Qur’baani obligation.