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Significant Days and Nights Articles

Muharram, a sacred month

MUHARRAM is the first month of the Islamic calendar. Muharram means "Forbidden." Even before Islam, this month was always known as a scared month in which all unlawful acts were forbidden, prominently the shedding of blood. It is one of the four sanctified months about which Allah Ta'ala says: "The number of months in the sight of Allah are twelve, so ordained by Allah, the day He created the heavens and the earth; Of them four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so wrong not yourselves therein." (Surah Tawbah – verse 36) The four sanctified months according to authentic Ahaadeeth are the months of Zul- Qa'dah, Zul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. The sanctity of these months was observed in the shariah of all the previous Prophets. "Allah Ta'ala made them (i.e. the four months) sacred and increased their sanctity. Hence He declared a sin therein more severe and increased the virtue of good deeds and the reward thereof." (Ibn Katheer Vol.2)

The best of fasts besides the month of Ramadhaan is the fast during Allah's month of Muharram and the best of Salaah besides the Faraaidh (obligatory salaah) is the Tahajjud Salaah (performed after midnight). (Muslim,Vol. 1)

The Tenth of Muharram, known as the day of Aashura, is a very significant day in the Islamic Calendar. Nabi (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) has exhorted the Ummah to fast on this day. Sayyadatina Aaisha (rahiyallahu anha) reports that Nabi (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) ordered the observance of the fast of Aashura.

Sayyadina Ibn Abbaas(radhiyallahu anhu) says: "I did not see Rasulullah (sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) anxiously await the fast of any day, which he gave preference to (over other days), except this day of Aashura and the month of Ramadhaan." (Bukhari, Vol. 1)

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Virtues of Qurbani

Qurbani is a practice commanded by Allah: “So turn in prayer towards your Lord and sacrifice (animals).” (108.2)

* There is nothing dearer to Allah during the days of Qurbani than the sacrificing of animals. The sacrificed animal shall come on the Day of judgment with its horns, hair, and hooves (to be weighed). The sacrifice is accepted by Allah before the blood reaches the ground. Therefore sacrifice with an open and happy heart. (Tirmizi, Ibne Majah)

* Zayd lbne Arqam radhiyallahu anhu relates that the Companions (radbiyallahu anhum) asked, “O Rasoolullah!(Sallallahu Alayhi Wasalaam)What is Qurbani?” He replied, “It is the sunnah of your father lbraheem (alayhis salam).” They asked again, “What benefit do we get from it?” He answered, “A reward for every hair (of the sacrificed animal).” “And (what reward is there for animals with) wool, 0 Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasalaam)?” they asked. “A reward”, he said, “for every fibre of the wool.” (Ibne Majah)

* When a person slaughters a Qurbani animal, he is forgiven at the fall of the first drop of blood, and verily, the animal shall be brought forward on the Day of Judgment with its blood, meat etc, and shall be increased in weight seventy times more than its own weight, and thereafter it will be placed on the scale of deeds. (Kanzul’Ummal)


* Qurbani is wajib on every Muslim who is of sound mind, mature (who has reached the age of puberty), muqeem (i.e. he is not a Shar’ee traveler) and possesses the amount of fifty two and half tolas of silver (612-36 grams) or wealth equivalent to that value which is in excess of one’s aslee (basic) needs. It is not necessary that this amount be in one’s possession for a complete lunar year. It’s possession during the three days of Qurbani will make Qurbani obligatory. Qurbani is not incumbent on a child or an insane person whether they own wealth equivalent to the amount above or not, nor is it wajib upon their guardians to perform it on their behalf. Similarly, it is not wajib on a Shar’ee traveler.

NOTE: A Shar’ee traveler is he who goes on a journey with an intention of traveling forty eight miles. He will be treated as a traveler as soon as he goes out of his town.

* It is highly virtuous for one on whom Qurbani is not wajib to offer sacrifice for the Pleasure of Allah. He will be eligible for all the reward mentioned in the Ahadeeth.

* During the days of Qurbani, sadaqah and charity cannot compensate for Qurbani nor fulfil the wajib. Qurbani is a unique ibadah. Just as Zakah cannot compensate for Hajj, or Sawm (Fasting) cannot compensate for Salaat, similarly charity cannot compensate for Qurbani. However, if the days of Qurbani had passed, and the Qurbani was not offered due to not knowing, negligence or for some other valid reason, then it becomes wajib to give in sadaqah the price of Qurbani animal or the animal itself to the poor.

* If a traveler returned home or a person acquired the required wealth on the 12th of Zul Hijjah before sunset, it will be Wajib upon him to perform Qurbani.

* A traveler who makes intention of staying at a certain place for fifteen days or more, no longer remains a traveler. He must offer Qurbani if he possesses the prescribed amount.


* The days of Qurbani are the tenth, eleventh and twelfth of Zul Hijjah. The first day is better than the second and the second better than the last.


* In towns and cities where jumu’ah and ‘Eid are performed, Qurbani is not permissible before the ‘Eid Salat. If the Qurbani has been offered before the ‘Eid Salat, it will have to be repeated. Therefore, the time for Qurbani commences after ‘Eid Salat on 1Oth Zul Hijjah until before sunset of 12th Zul Hijjah.

* It is permissible, but not preferable to perform Qurbani at night.


* It is permissible to offer in sacrifice a goat or she-goat, sheep of all kinds, cow, bull, buffalo or camel.

* It is necessary that the goat is one (full) year old, whether male or female. A cow, bull or buffalo will have to be two years old, and a camel five years. .Animals that are younger are not suitable for Qurbani.

* A sheep (of any kind) not less than six months old, so strong and fat that it appears to be one year old will suffice for Qurbani, otherwise it will have to be one (full) year old.

* A cow, bull, buffalo or camel will suffice for seven persons provided no one’s share is less than one seventh and the niyyah (intention) of all partners is to attain thawab (for Qurbani), and not merely to obtain meat.

* The Qurbani of only one person can be performed from a goat, sheep or ram.

* If an animal seller says that the animal has reached the required age, and outwardly there is no sign to disprove it, then it is permissible to rely on his statement.

* Animals that are castrated can be used for Qurbani. In fact this type of animal is preferable.

* The following cannot he used for Qurbani:

– Animals that are blind, one-eyed or has lost one-third or more of its eyesight.

-Animals that have lost a third of the ear or the tail. Similarly, the animal which has no ear from its very birth.

– Animal whose horn has been broken off from the root.

– Animal which has one leg lame to the extent that it walks on three legs only and is unable to use the fourth leg.

– Animal so lean and thin that its bones have no marrow.

– Animal so weak that it cannot walk to the place of slaughtering on its own.

– Animal completely toothless or one that has lost most of its teeth.

* It is virtuous to purchase the animal for Qurbani a few days prior to slaughtering and care must be taken in feeding and nursing it.


* It is more virtuous to slaughter the animal with one’s own hands. If one does not know how to slaughter, it is preferred that he remain present while someone else is sacrificing the animal. It is not necessary to make the niyyah (intention) of Qurbani with the tongue, however it is necessary to say Bismillahi Allahu Akbar when slaughtering.

* Use a sharp knife and slaughter the animal quickly so that it does not suffer.

* Do not sharpen the knife in front of the animal.

* After slaughtering, do not skin the animal before it becomes completely cold.

* Do not slaughter one animal in the presence of another.

* It is Mustahab (desirable) for one who intends to perform Qurbani to refrain from cutting hair or clipping nails from 1st Zul Hijjah to 10th Zul Hijjah,(i.e. until after Qurbani).


* It is permissible to eat the Qurbani meat.

* It can also be distributed to relatives and friends whether wealthy or poor, Muslims or non-Muslims. It is better to divide it into three parts. One for the family, one for relatives and friends and one for the poor and needy.

* The skin of the Qurbani animal can be kept for personal use, e.g. using it as a prayer-mat, water bag, etc.

* If the skin of the Qurbani animal is sold, then it is wajib to give that amount in sadaqah to the poor (i.e. those who are eligible for Zakah).

* It is not permissible to give meat, fat, etc. of the sacrificed animal to the butcher as his wages.

* The meat of the animal slaughtered by partners should be shared by weight and not by estimation.

* The rope, cover, etc. of the animal should be given away as Sadaqah.

QURBANI ON BEHALF OF THE DECEASED – If one has been favoured by Allah with wealth, then he should also perform Qurbani on behalf of Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), his Sahabah, his Ummah, and the Prophets and for his own living or deceased relatives, friends and teachers who have conveyed Deeni knowledge.

One should always remember and never overlook our beloved Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and perform Qurbani on his behalf. Aboo Talhah (radhiyallahu anhu) has related that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) sacrificed one ram and while sacrificing the other he said, “This is on behalf of every one of my Ummah who believed in me and testified (to my prophethood).” (Tabrani)

It is a matter for deep thought and consideration that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) kept his Ummah in his mind while offering the sacrifice and it is deplorable for the Ummah not to remember him at the time of Qurbani.

~ Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat ~

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It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allâh, it is your piety that reaches Him. Indeed He has subjected them (animals) to you so that you may glorify Allah for guiding you, and give glad tidings {O Muhammed} to those who excel in good. (22:37)


1. Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam is reported to have said: "For every hair that is on the sacrificial animal, one reward is recorded for the person making the Qurbâni."

2. It is related from Hadrat Ayesha Radiallâhu anha that Nabi Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam has said: "There is nothing dearer to Allâh during the days of Qurbâni than the sacrificing of animals. The sacrificed animal shall come on the Day of Qiyamah with its horns, hair and hooves (to be weighed in Thawâb). The sacrifice is accepted by Allâh before the blood reaches the ground. Therefore sacrifice with an open and happy heart."

Some Important Masa'il Regarding Qurbâni

The Zabah [slaughter] requires that the air passage, the gullet, the two jugular veins of the animal to be swiftly and clearly severed with a very sharp knife, together with the recital of BISMILLAHI ALLAHU AKBAR.

It is Makruh [reprehensible] to slaughter an animal with a blunt knife as this causes much suffering to the animal. It is also makruh to begin skinning, cutting, breaking the hands and feet of the animal before it becomes cold (meaning, before it becomes lifeless). Similarly, it is makruh to continue cutting the animals neck after having cut the four passage ways.

It is preferable that the meat be divided into three parts. One part for the home, one part for the relatives and friends and one part for the poor and needy. If a person keeps the meat for himself, then this too is correct.

If the skin is sold, the amount received for it cannot be used by oneself. It is Wâjib to give it away as Sadaqah [charity] to the poor and needy.

The time for Qurbâni commences from the morning of Eidul Ad'hâ i.e. 10th Zil Hijjah after the Eid Salâh until the sunset of 12th Zil Hijjah. The best day for Qurbâni is the day of Eidul Ad'hâ, followed by the 11th, then the 12th of Zil Hijjah.

Blood should be washed off the knife before slaughtering the next animal.

A person cannot perform Salâh with clothes that are stained with blood.

Strings, ropes etc., used for fastening and tying the animal should be given away as charity.

Qurbâni was not Wajib on a person. However, he purchased an animal with the intention of Qurbâni. Qurbâni now becomes Wajib on him.

Qurbâni was Wajib on a person. However, he did not make Qurbâni so much so that the three days of Qurbâni also expired. He should therefore give the value of one goat or sheep in charity. But if he bought a goat and did not sacrifice it within those three days, he should give that very goat as it is in charity i.e. without slaughtering it.

If a person makes Qurbâni on behalf of a dead person out of his own will in order to send the rewards to the deceased person, it will be permissible for this person to consume the meat himself, feed others, and also distribute it to whomsoever he wishes. In other words, he can use it as he would with his own Qurbâni.

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