By Maulana Ilyas Ghuman
Qurbani can only be offered on three days – the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth of Dhul Hijjah.
Allah Ta’ala mentions:
لِیَشْھَدُوْا مَنَافِعَ لَہُمْ وَیَذْکُرُوْااسْمَ اللّٰہِ فِیْ اَیَّامٍ مَّعْلُوْمَاتٍ. [سورۃ الحج:28]
That they may witness things that are of benefit to and mention the Name of Allah on appointed days over the beast of cattle. [Surah al-Hajj]
Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) mentions:
فَالْمَعْلُوْمَاتُ یَوْمُ النَّحْرِ وَیَوْمَانِ بَعْدَہُ. [تفسیرابن ابی حاتم الرازی:ج6،ص261]
The word (مَعْلُوْمَاتُ) in the verse refers to the tenth of Dhul Hijjah and the two days after it. [Tafsir Raazi]
عَنْ سَلْمَۃَ بْنِ الْاَکْوَعِ قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِیُّ صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم مَنْ ضَحیّٰ مِنْکُمْ فَلاَ یُصْبِحَنَّ بَعْدَ ثَالِثَۃٍ وَبَقِیَ فِیْ بَیْتِہِ مِنْہُ شَئْیٌ. [صحیح البخاری: ج2،ص835،باب ما یؤکل من لحوم الاضاحی]
Sayyiduna Salmah ibn Akwa’ (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Whoever offers qurbani should not have any of its meat left in his house after the third day.” [Sahih Bukhari]
This hadith informs us that qurbani is only allowed for three days, because if the meat of qurbani is not allowed to be kept in the house beyond the third day, then how can qurbani itself be allowed after the third day.
Benefit: The prohibition of keeping the meat of qurbani beyond the three days was only in the early stages of Islam. Later on, this prohibition was removed and the meat of qurbani was allowed to be kept beyond the three days. [مستدرک حا کم ج4ص259]
Now some may argue that since the permission to keep the qurbani meat after the specified three days was given, so now it is also permissible to offer qurbani after the three days. But qurbani meat can be stored at home all year long nowadays, so should it mean that qurbani can also be offered throughout the year? Absolutely not! It was never permissible to offer qurbani beyond the three specified days, nor has it become permissible now.
It has also been reported that Sayyiduna Ali (Radhiyallahu Anhu) has also said that qurbani can only be offered on three specific days. [مؤطا امام ما لک ص497، کتاب الضحایا]
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللّٰہِ بْنِ عَبِّاسٍ : النَّحْرُ یَوْمَانِ بَعْدَ یَوْمِ النَّحْرِ وَاَفْضَلُہَا یَوْمُ النَّحْرِ. [احکام القرآن للطحاوی:ج2ص205]
Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Abbas (Radhiyallahu Anhu) has said that the days when qurbani can be offered on “Yawm al-Nahr” (tenth Dhul Hijjah) and the two days after it. But the best day to offer qurbani is on Yawm al-Nahr. [Ahkaam al-Qur’aan]
The Claim of the 4 Days Qurbani
Some people claim that Qurbani can be offered for four days. They quote the narration of Sayyiduna Zubayr ibn Mut’im (Radhiyallahu Anhu) where he mentioned the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) saying that all the days of Tashreeq are for offering qurbani. [السنن الكبرىٰ: باب من قال الأضحى جائز يوم النحر: 19717]
These people claim that the days of Tashreeq are until the thirteenth of Dhul Hijjah, which is the fourth day of Eid, thus qurbani can also be offered on the fourth day.
The reply to their claim:
In the chain of narrators of this hadith, there is a narrator called Muawiya ibn Yahya Al-Sadafi. The scholars of hadith have categorized him as weak (ضعیف), not strong in narration (لیس بالقوی), and unimportant (لاشى] .(الجرح و التعدیل: ج8 ص384، الکاشف: ج2ص277]
Imam ibn Abi Hatim ar-Razi has recorded the chain of narrators as such: Mu’awiya ibn Yahya ibn al-Sadafi from Az-Zuhri from Sa’eed ibn al-Musayyab from Abu Saeed al-Khudri. And he has written the following statement of his father Abu Hatim ar-Razi under this narration:
ھذا الحدیث کذب بھذا الاسناد. [العلل لابن ابی حاتم الرازی: ج3 ص252]
This hadith with this chain of narrators is a lie.
And in other place, he has written:
ھذا حدیث موضوع. [العلل لابن ابی حاتم الرازی: ج4 ص493]
Translation: This narration is fabricated (موضوع).
If we were to accept this hadith and take the thirteenth of Dhul Hijjah as a day of qurbani, then we will also have to take the ninth of Dhul Hijjah as a day of qurbani because the days of Tashreeq start from the ninth. But the ninth of Dhul Hijjah is not accepted as a day of qurbani. Thus, it becomes impossible to act upon this hadith.