Qurbani is not about arguing with people over the price of an animal, then slaughtering one, or sending the money away to a poor country and saying: “My Qurbani is done.”
What kind of Qurbani is that?
Let us consider this, if, due to circumstance, a person requests someone to perform Hajje-Badal on his behalf, every Mufti will say that his Hajj is complete. However, will the person know, himself, of the experience of Tawaaf, Sa’ee, of being present in Mina, Arafat, Muzdalifah? …No. He will not know the taste of the experience of Hajj or the enjoyment, standing at the Roudha-e-Mubarak and sending Salaat and Salaam to Nabi ﷺ.
Another example, from a worldly view: If a person owns a timeshare and he sends his family to enjoy the comforts and facilities of the timeshare, but does not go himself, then they will enjoy the beautiful scenery, the beach, the fresh air, etc. and the timeshare will be used, but he, the owner, will not get the benefit of it. Similarly, we have to be involved with Qurbani, and carry it out properly, in order to draw the full benefits. Otherwise, just sitting in a comfortable air-conditioned office and depositing the money for one’s Qurbani is depriving oneself of the great benefits. This is not Qurbani.
The true spirit of Qurbani is the spirit of Hadhrat Ibraheem (AS). Allah Ta’ala instructed him to slaughter his son. The father then conveyed the Command of Allah Ta’ala to Isma’eel AS
فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَهُ ٱلسَّعْىَ قَالَ يَـٰبُنَىَّ إِنِّىٓ أَرَىٰ فِى ٱلْمَنَامِ أَنِّىٓ أَذْبَحُكَ فَٱنظُرْ مَاذَا تَرَىٰ
When he reached the age to work with him, Ibrahim said to him: “O my son! I have seen a vision that I should offer you as a sacrifice, now tell me what is your view.” [Surah As- Saffaat 37 : 102]
Hadhrat Ibraheem AS was not making Mashwarah with his son. He was testing his son, to gauge the level of his Imaan and the degree of his submission. It was then that Isma`eel AS gave that heart rendering answer which is the real spirit of Qurbani.
قَالَ يَـٰٓأَبَتِ ٱفْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ ۖ سَتَجِدُنِىٓ إِن شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ مِنَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ
He replied: “O my father! Do as you are commanded: you will find me, if Allah so wills, of the patient.” [Surah As-Saffaat 37 : 102]
The father laid his son down to slaughter and just as he was about to cut, Allah replaced the son with a ram, and he slaughtered the ram.
فَلَمَّآ أَسْلَمَا وَتَلَّهُۥ لِلْجَبِينِ وَنَـٰدَيْنَـٰهُ أَن يَـٰٓإِبْرَٰهِيمُ قَدْ صَدَّقْتَ ٱلرُّءْيَآ ۚ إِنَّا كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِى ٱلْمُحْسِنِينَ
And when they both submitted to Allah and Ibrahim laid down his son prostrate upon his forehead for sacrifice; We called out to him: “O Ibrahim! You have fulfilled your vision.” Thus do We reward the righteous. [Surah As-Saffaat 37 : 103 -105]
He had passed the test. The Malaa’ikah witnessed this scene that made the Arsh, the heavens and the earth move. This is the spirit of Qurbani. If our Qurbani is made with this spirit, then we will see the benefits.