"Sacrificing (animals) has been ordained on every Ummah so that the Name of Allah is mentioned on these particular animals which Allah has bestowed on them…" (Surah An'aam)
"We have made the sacrifice of camels and cows among the salient features of (the Deen) of Allah. There is benefit in it for you." (Surah Hajj)
According to the Qur'aan Shareef, there are both worldly as well as Deeni (spiritual) benefits in the Ibaadah of Qurbaani. Allah Ta'ala has declared the sacrificing of animals as a salient feature of Islam. In addition to thawaab in the Hereafter, we derive the benefit of consuming their flesh and making use of their skins. The Qurbaani is an Ibaadah which has been instituted solely for our benefit. Hence, the Qur'aan Shareef says:
"Neither the flesh (of the sacrificed animals) nor their blood reach Allah. But, it is your taqwa (piety and sincerity of heart) which reaches Him. Convey glad tidings to th sincere ones." (Surah Hajj)
Although sheep and goats are also animals for sacrifice, the Qur'aan specifically states that the sacrifice of camels and oxen is a salient feature of the Deen. Sacrificing camels and oxen will, therefore, be of greater merit.
The meaning of sincerity in Qurbaani is to make the sacrifice purely for the sake of Allah Ta'ala and to obtain thawaab. The intention must not be to eat meat. Although it is only natural that the flesh of the sacrificed animals will be eaten, the intention for making the Qurbaani should never be this. If the intention is consumption of meat, the Qurbaani will not be valid.
Allah Ta'ala commands Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam):
"Perform Salaat for your Rabb and sacrifice (animals). "(Surah Kauthar)
The command of Salaat and Qurbaai are given to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in the abovementioned aayat. Qurbaani being coupled with Salaat and commanded directly to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) as an obligatory duty for him to discharge, point to the emphasis which Allah Ta'ala lays on this Ibaadah.
Hadhrat Aishah (radiallahu anha) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:"During the days of Qurbaani there is no deed of man more loved by Allah Ta'ala than sacrificing of animals. On the Day of Qiyaamah the sacrificed animal will arise with its horns, hair and hoofs. The sacrificed animal is accepted by Allah Ta'ala before the blood reaches the ground. Therefore, render the Qurbaani wholeheartedly and happily. ', (Ibn Majah, Tirmizi, Hakim)
This hadith in fact states the following: The greatest act of Ibaadah during the Days of Sacrifice is to make Qurbaani of animals. The full reward of the sacrifice will be obtained in the Aakhirah. Thawaab will be obtained for every hair on its body and for every drop of blood in its body. The act of Qurbaani is so dear to Allah Ta'ala that it is accepted immediately the act is rendered even before the first drop of blood reaches the earth.
Muslims should offer the sacrifice with love and with the true spirit of sacrifice. They should not bicker unnecessarily about the price being asked and about the money being spent in obtaining an animal for sacrifice. Qurbaani is a great sacrifice and should not be despoiled by displaying a poor and miserly attitude.
Hadhrat Zaid bin Arqam (radiallahu anhu) narrates that the Sahaabah enquired from Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) about the Qurbaani practice.
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: "It is the way of your father, Ibraheem (alayhis salaam)."
The Sahabah asked: "What will we acquire by it?"
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied: "A good deed (is recorded for you) in return for every hair (on its body)."
The Sahaabah asked: "0 Rasulullah! If there is wool on the body?"
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: " A good deed in return for every strand (of wool on its body)." (Hakim)
Ali (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said to Faatimah (radiallahu anha): "0 Faatimah! Get up and be present at your Qurbaani (when it is about to be slaughtered). All your sins are forgiven as the first drop of its blood reaches the earth. Remember that on the Day of Qurbaani its flesh and blood will be brought and after increasing it by seventy times, it will be placed in your Scale of good deeds." Its flesh and blood will be brought and after increasing it by seventy times, it will be placed in your Scale of good deeds."
Hadhrat Abu Saeed (radiallahu anhu) asked: "0 Rasulullah! Is this reward exclusive for the Family of Muhammad? Truly, they deserve such great thawaab-or is this thawaab for all Muslims as well?"
Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: "For the Family of Muhammad as well as for all Muslims in general." (Isbahaani)
Hadhrat Husain Ibn Ali (radiallahu anhu) narates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: "The Qurbaani rendered wholeheartedly, happily and with sincerity of intention will on the Day of Qiyaamah be a shield against Jahannum for the sacrificer." (Tibrani)
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: "He who is by the means but does not render the Qurbaani, should not come to our place of Eid Salaah." (Targheeb)
One may realize the great displeasure which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) voiced against those who neglect this great act of Ibaadah. This grave warning mentioned in this hadith applies only to those who fail in offering the sacrifice despite them having the means of sacrificing. Hadhrat Ali (radiallahu anhu) sacrificed two sheep. When asked about this sacrifice, he said that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) commanded him to render these sacrifices. One sheep was for himself and the other was sacrificed on behalf of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has tremendous rights (huqooq) over the the Ummah. It is not possible for us to fulfill adequately those rights. A Qurbaani offered every year by a Mu'min on behalf of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is in fact nothing great and no sacrifice. We should not allow this wonderful opportunity to slip by without having taken advantage of this great act of Ibaadah by means of which colossal thawaab is obtained so very easily. Those who are by the means, should not be miserly and neglectful.
Hadhrat Abu Talhah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) sacrificed one sheep for himself and one sheep on behalf of his Ummah. In this regard Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
"This Qurbaani is for the one in my Ummah who believes in me and who acknowledges me." (Musali, Kabiri, Ausat)
This sacrifice on behalf of the Ummah demonstrates the love which Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had for his Ummah. Rasull!lIah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) remembered us in his act of sacrifice. It is indeed regretful that members of the Ummah, inspite of having the means, will forget to offer Qurbaani on behalf of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
The meaning of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) having made a Qurbaani on behalf of the Ummah is that he included the Ummah in the thawaab of the sacrifice. It does not mean that one sheep can be sacrificed in the names of more than one person. A sheep and a goat can be sacrificed only for one person while a cow and camel can be sacrificed for seven persons.
Hadhrat Abu Hurairah (radiallahu anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: "Fatten your animals (of sacrifice-feed them well), for they will be your mounts on the Siraat (the Bridge over Jahannum)." (Kanzul Ummaal)
This hadith has two interpretations.
1. The animals will become the mounts on which people will safely cross over Siraat. If a number of animals were sacrificed by a single person, he will receive in return a wonderful and strong animal of the greatest swiftness. The mounts may also be changed at various stages in the journey across the Sirat.
2. The second interpretation is that by virtue of the barkat and thawaab of having made Qurbaani, one's crossing over the Siraat will be swift and in great comfort. In Kanzul Ummaal there is a hadith which states that the best Qurbaani is that of an animal which is strong and healthy—physically it should be free of all deficiencies.
~ Hayatul Muslimeen ~