Sunday, October 13, 2013

Eid-ul-Adha: Qurbani is Obligatory

Through his willingness to offer his son Hadhrat Ismail (as) in sacrifice, Hadhrat Ibrahim (as) displayed tremendous commitment and extraordinary faith in executing a Divine Command. Islam, thus, commends the sublime spirit of sacrifice for the sake of seeking the pleasure of Allah (swt) in its rituals and faith-practices. The festival of Eid-ul-Adha and the ritual of Qurbani integrated with it, in many ways, represent the permanent remembrance of Muslims of the great sacrifice of the Great Patriarch and Khalilullah.  In his Friday Sermon of 11 October 2013 (05 Dhul-Hijjah 1434 Hijri), the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius continued the theme of the great sacrifice of Hadhrat Ibrahim (as) and underscored the significance of Qurbani or Udh-hiya on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha.

Read the Extracts from the Friday Sermon:

“And when he reached the age of travelling with him, he said: ‘My son, while I was sleeping I saw that I shall slaughter (sacrifice) you, tell me what is your opinion.’ He replied: ‘Father, do as you are ordered (by Allah). Allah willing, you shall find me one of those who are steadfast.’” (37: 103)

Allah expounds on the sacrifice of cause of Hazrat Ibrahim (upon him be peace) and Hazrat Ismail (upon him be peace) in praiseworthy words. He (Allah) informs humanity in which way the unique son of Ibrahim (upon him be peace) preferred the decree of Allah above all things. In the verse which I just recited, Hazrat Ismail (upon him be peace) tells his father: “Father, do as you are ordered (by Allah). Allah willing, you shall find me one of those who are steadfast.” (37: 103)

Therefore, when both father and son submitted to the will of Allah, then Allah Himself was extremely pleased with such a proof of love and submission which both His chosen servants showed towards Him. Hazrat Ibrahim (upon him be peace) offered the life of his son at the command of Allah the Almighty, but (then) Allah, the Exalted says: “Wa fadaynaahu bizibhin ‘aziim” (37: 108) - And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice.

The degree of the manifestation of this love which Hazrat Ibrahim (upon him be peace) had for Allah was so great that it made manifest such an event which has since marked the history of Islam. This gave way to a rite called Qurbani or Udhiya, which has become a part of Islam. This sacrifice was continued by Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) and Allah made it obligatory on the Muslims who have the means to do it. This sacrifice is not only prescribed for us, the people, Ummah of Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) but it was prescribed also to people of the past also, like mentioned in the Holy Quran: “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).” (Al-Hajj 22: 35)

We come back on the great decision and sacrifice which Hazrat Ibrahim (upon him be peace) and Hazrat Ismail (upon him be peace) took and made respectively. On the tenth Dhul-Hijjah, Hazrat Ibrahim (upon him be peace) informed his wife Hazrat Hajra (May Allah be pleased with her) about his decision and Hazrat Hajra replied that she had no objection. Hazrat Ibrahim (upon him be peace) told his son: “O my beloved son! I have received the command from Allah to sacrifice you in His way. Therefore my son, tell me what you think about it?”

Hazrat Ismail (upon him be peace) replied: “Oh my father! Of course, do as per the command you received from Allah. Be assured that I will neither cry no wail nor complain. Insha-Allah you shall see me among the forbearing ones. Who is more fortunate than me that I am being chosen to be sacrificed in the path of Allah the Almighty! I have a great destiny that Allah chose me for this sacrifice. Oh my dear father! Take into consideration that which you have seen in your vision.”

And when both of them submitted (to the will of/at the command of Allah) and after that Hazrat Ibrahim (upon him be peace) had readied Hazrat Ismail (upon him be peace) – for the sacrifice, Allah the Almighty said (like the Quran informs us):

Wa naadaynaahu ayy-yaa Ibrahim !
We called out to him “O Abraham!

Qad Saddaqtar-ru-yaa ! Innaa-Kazaalika najzil-Muhsiniin
You have indeed shown the truth of the vision; surely thus do We reward the doers of good:

Inna haazaa La-huwal-balaaa-ul-mubiin.
Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial.”

At that moment, Hazrat Jibreel (upon him be peace) said: Allahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar”, and Hazrat Ibrahim added: “La-illaaha-il-lallahu-wallahu-Akbar” and Hazrat Ismail (upon him be peace) said “Allahu-Akbar Walillaahil-Hamd”.

Allah the Almighty affirmed before the angels: “Verily, Ibrahim (upon him be peace) is My Friend (Khalil) by the way he submitted to My command to sacrifice his unique son in My path, because of the unique love which he has for Me.”

Having in mind the Great Eid (Eid-ul-Adha) which we shall celebrate on Wednesday 16 October 2013, I thus cite today some importance and benefits of Qurbani according to the Hadiths.

1) The Mother of the Faithful Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) narrates that the Messenger of Allah said, “There is no dearer deed of the children of 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 Judgement. The blood of the Qurbani reaches the stage of acceptance (from Allah) before it reaches the floor. Therefore perform Qurbani with a joyful heart (and with sincerity).” (Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Mishkat)

2) Hazrat Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The wealth which is spent on Qurbani on the day of Eid, there is no dearer wealth than it.”

3) Hazrat Abu Huraira (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates the Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever has the means and does not do Qurbani should not come near our place of Eid.” (Ibn Majah)

4) Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates that once on the occasion of Qurbani the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to his daughter Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her): “Oh Fatima! Stand near your Qurbani animal and witness its sacrifice, for verily every drop of blood is forgiveness for your past sins.” She then inquired: “Oh Prophet of Allah! Is this virtue especially for us, the Ahle Bait (Family of the Prophet), or is it for the entire Ummah?” The Prophet replied: “It is for us as well as for the rest of the Ummah.”

5) Hazrat Al-Bara’ bin ‘Azib (May Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) having said: “The first (act) with which we started our day (the day of ‘Id-ul Adha) was that we offered prayer. We then returned and sacrificed the animals and he who did that in fact adhered to our Sunnah (practice). And he who slaughtered the (animal on that day before the ‘Id prayer), for him (the slaughtering of animal was directed to the acquiring of) meat for his family, and there is nothing of the sort of sacrifice in it.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

6) Hazrat Jundab bin Sufyan narrated: I witnessed the Prophet (peace be upon him) on the Day of Sacrifice. He said, “Whoever slaughtered the sacrifice before offering the 'Id prayer, should slaughter another sacrifice in its place; and whoever has not slaughtered their sacrifice yet, should take the name of Allah and slaughter now.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

This Hadith is proof that Qurbani is obligatory for those who have the means to do it because Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) gave instructions to those who performed Qurbani before Salat (that is, Eid prayer) to perform it again. If Qurbani was not obligatory, Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) would not have commanded that the Qurbani (done before the Eid prayer) be made again. The time limit of Qurbani is from the tenth Dhul-Hijjah till the twelfth Dhul-Hijjah before sunset, that is, three days and two nights. But the tenth of the month (of Hajj) is best, then comes the eleventh and then the twelfth. Thus, it is not necessary that the Qurbani be done on the tenth itself but it can be done in any of those three days. 

Thus, Qurbani contains many lessons for all Muslims till the Day of Judgement. Qurbani on Eid day (the great Eid of Sacrifice) itself is a remembrance of that event (of the sacrifice of Hazrat Ibrahim and Hazrat Ismail). The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) declared that Qurbani was a practice (Sunnah) of Hazrat Ibrahim (upon him be peace). Therefore it is necessary that Qurbani is done with love and sincerity, for the pleasure of Allah and to conserve that spirit of sacrifice in us, so that we may be ready to sacrifice our all, even our own beings in the path of Allah. 

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