Zul-Qada / Zul Hijja 1422
Volume 15-02 No:182
Sacrifice, as practised by Holy Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) is an essential religious rite in memory of the sacrifice performed by Prophet Abraham. God put Abraham to a most difficult trial, the details of which are described in the Quran. “O my Lord! Grant me (Abraham) a righteous (son)!” So We gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear. “Then, when the the son reached the age to work with him, he said: “O my son I see in a vision that I offer you in sacrifice: Now say what is your view!” (The son) said: “O My father! Do as you are commanded: You will find me if God so wills, one practising patience and constancy!” So when they had both submitted their wills (to God), and he had made him prostrate on his face (for sacrifice), We called out to him: “O Abraham! You have already fulfilled the vision!” Thus indeed do we reward those who do right. “For this was obviously a trial and We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice: and We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times: (37:100-109).
This is the origin of the Islamic precept of sacrifice in fulfilment of God’s command provided in the Quran: “... to your Lord turn in prayer and sacrifice.” (108:2).
The aim of sacrifice, like all other fundamentals of Islam, is to imbibe piety and self righteousness. It also promotes the spirit of sacrifice for a right cause. To explain its purpose, God says in the Quran. “It is not their meat, nor their blood, that reaches God, It is their piety that reaches God”: (22:37)
Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) said: “On the 10th of Zil-Hijjah, there is no better act in the view of Allah than shedding the blood (of slaughtered animals). And verily sacrifice earns the approbation of Allah even before the drop of blood (of the slaughtered animal) falls on the ground. Hence you should offer it in good spirit. For every hair of the sacrificial animal, there is a blessing.” Here are the precepts and practices pertaining to Qurbani, according to Hanafi Fiqh.
Qurbani is Fardh for :
Qurbani, like Zakat, is essential for one who has the financial means and savings that remain surplus to his own needs over the year. It is essential for one’s own self.
However, a slaughter of animal can also be offered for each member of one’s family. It may be offered, though it is not essential, for one’s deceased relations, too, in the hope of benediction and blessings for the departed souls.
What to Sacrifice
All the permissible (halal) domesticated or reared quadrupeds can be offered for Qurbani. Generally, slaughter of goats, sheep, rams, cows, and camels is offered. It is permissible for seven persons to share the sacrifice of a cow or a camel on the condition that no one’s share is less than one seventh and their intention is to offer Qurbani. Age of Sacrificial Animals
Sacrifice of goat or sheep less than one year old (unless the sheep is so strong and fat that it looks to be a full one year old) is not in order. Cow should be at least two years old. Camels should not be less than five years old.
Sacrifice of an animal will not be in order if it is one eyed, or blind, or has lost one third or more of its eyesight, or one third or more of its tail, or its ear has been cut off, or it is lame, or its bones have no marrow, or it has no ears by birth or its horns have been broken from their roots, or it has no teeth at all. If the number of teeth intact exceeds the lost ones, it is permissible. If it has no horns by birth, or has less than one third broken horns, it is permissible.
Distribution of meat
One should eat the meat of the sacrifice, give it to relations and friends, (to non-Muslims also) and also to the poor in charity. One third should be given in charity, but if it be less it will not be a sin.
Injunctions on the use of skin
It is not permissible to give a portion of meat or the skin of the slaughtered animal as wages. They should instead be given to the needy in charity. Even the rope and cover of the sacrificed animal should be given away as charity.
It is commendable that one who intends to offer a sacrifice should refrain from having a hair cut, a shave, and pruning of nails, from the 1st of Zil-Hijjah (upto the time he has performed the sacrifice).
Intention In the first instance, one who proposes to offer sacrifice must make an intention to that effect.
Method of Sacrifice
The animal for slaughter should be laid on its left side facing Kaabah and its throat cut open with a sharp knife, and its blood allowed to drain. In the case of a camel, it should be allowed to remain standing after its left fore leg has been stringed. A sharp spear should then be thrust in its breast and on both sides of its neck, and the blood allowed to drain.
Among the special seasons of worship are the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, which Allah has preferred over all the other days of the year.
Ibn ‘Abbas reported that the Prophet Muhammad said: “There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days.” The people asked, “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allah?” He said, “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allah, except in the case of a man who went out to fight giving himself and his wealth up for the cause, and came back with nothing.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari,
This indicates that these ten days are better than all the other days of the year, with no exceptions, not even the last ten days of Ramadan. But the last ten nights of Ramadan are better, because they include Laylat al-Qadr (“the Night of Power”), which is better than a thousand months.
1. The Prophet commanded us to recite a lot of Tasbeeh (“Subhan-Allah”), Tahmeed (“Al-hamdu Lillaah”) and Takbeer (“Allahu Akbar”) during this time.
2. ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet said: “There are no days greater in the sight of Allah and in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so during this time recite a great deal of Tahleel (“La ilaaha ill-Allah”), Takbeer and Tahmeed.”
3. These ten days include Yawm Arafah , on which Allah perfected His Religion. Fasting on this day will expiate for the sins of two years. These days also include Yawm al-Nahar (the Day of Sacrifice), the greatest day of the entire year and the greatest day of Hajj, which combines acts of worship in a way unlike any other day.
4. These ten days include the days of sacrifice and of Hajj.
The Prophet said: “When you see the new moon of Dhu’l-Hijjah, if any one of you wants to offer a sacrifice, then he should stop cutting his hair and nails until he has offered his sacrifice.” According to another report he said: “He should not remove (literally, touch) anything from his hair or skin.” Among the good deeds which the Muslim should strive to do during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah are:
1. Fasting: It is Sunnah to fast on the ninth day of Dhu’l-Hijjah, because the Prophet urged us to do good deeds during this time, and fasting is one of the best of deeds. The Prophet used to fast on the ninth of Dhu’l-Hijjah. Hunaydah ibn Khalid reported from his wife that some of the wives of the Prophet said: “The Prophet used to fast on the ninth of Dhu’l-Hijjah, on the day of ‘Aashooraa’, on three days of each month, and on Mondays and Thursdays of each month.”
2. Takbeer: It is Sunnah to say Takbeer (“Allaahu akbar”), Tahmeed (“Al-hamdu Lillaah”), Tahleel (“La ilaha ill-Allaah”) and Tasbeeh (“Subhaan Allaah”) during the first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah, and to say it loudly in the mosque, the home, the street and every place where it is permitted to remember Allah and mention His name out loud, as an act of worship and as a proclamation of the greatness of Allah, may He be exalted. Men should recite these phrases out loud, and women should recite them quietly.
The Takbeer may include the words “Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, la ilaaha illal-Allah; wa Allahu akbar wa Lillaahi’l-hamd
Reviving aspects of the Sunnah that have been virtually forgotten is a deed that will bring an immense reward, as is indicated by the words of the Prophet “Whoever revives an aspect of my Sunnah that is forgotten after my death, he will have a reward equivalent to that of the people who follow him, without it detracting in the least from their reward.”
3. Sacrifice: One of the good deeds that will bring a person closer to Allah during these ten days is offering a sacrifice, by choosing a high-quality animal and fattening it, spending money for the sake of Allah.
Zabiha is an indispensable act expected from Muslims to make the flesh of an animal eatable. This act is inherited from Prophet Ibrahim who slaughtered the animal under Islamic direction and only then he ate the meat. It is forbidden in Islam to cut any part of a living animal and eat without slaughtering the whole.
Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) came to Madinah and followed this practice there. Abul Naqid Ullaisi states that when the Prophet came to Madinah, the people had the habit of cutting down the hips of living goats and the humps of living camels for eating. The Prophet said about this: “If a piece from the living animal is cut down, then it is termed as Murdar.”
Islam forbids any kind of atrocity on animals and even in sacrificing or slaughtering animals, it has given clear directives which do not harm the animal or cause pain to it.
There are several ways in vogue to kill the animal prior to eating since time immemorial. The early days of civilisation reveal that the primitive man was used to killing the animal before consuming, by stoning it to death which was very painful for the animal. Islam forbids this because stoning or hurting the animal produces vaso- vagal shock and a bio-chemical substance known as Histamine is released. This dialates the blood vessels and the blood is retained inside the flesh.
In the Quran, a word Zakia is used for sticking- that means to clean. The flesh becomes eatable and clean after sticking. Jews observe these rules strictly very similarly to Muslims. Very often, it is questioned whether the flesh procured from the animals slaughtered by Jews or Christians is Halal? In this context, I have gone through various references and found that the Quran has fixed a condition for sticking as, “you eat such things without any fear on which the name of Allah is pronounced and this is in such condition when you are a believer in his signs.”
As far as pronouncing the name of “Allah” is concerned, the Jews do it, but in their mother tongue, similar to the directions of Islam. Maulana Maududi in his Tafheemul Quran states that sticking by Jews and Christians is lawful. Ibn-e-Taymia advocates that in Surah-al-Maidah in the Quran, it has been stated that food from the People of the Book can be consumed. The basic concept behind sticking in Islam is that the blood should be let out completely. The Prophet said that : Let the knives be sharpened and concealed from the animals and whenever you do the sticking, it should be quick.”
Mohammed bin Safwan narrates that he passed by Prophet Muhammed with two hanging rabbits and asked “oh! Prophet, I found these two rabbits, but did not find any iron thing to stick them, then I stuck them by a white sharp edge stone. May I eat them? The Prophet replied ‘do eat.’
Kab bin Malik narrates “My flock of goats were grazing on Salaa mountain. My servant saw that a goat was about to die, she broke up a stone and stuck it with that stone. When he enquired about it from the Prophet, he ordered to eat that. Adi bin Hatim narrates that: “ I asked the Prophet to tell us, if we got a prey and if we did not have any knife then could it be stuck with a piece of stone or wood?” He replied, you are allowed as per your convenience, to let out the blood and pronounce the name of Allah.”
The Hadith specifies two conditions for lawful Islamic sticking-one the animal should be stuck in the name of Allah by reciting His name, secondly, the blood should be let out completely from the vessels of the neck without cutting the spinal chord to save the animal from going into a state of shock. To let out the blood easily and completely, it is very crucial to cut down the jugular veins and carotid arteries along with other structures passing though the neck except spinal cord which transmits the nerve impulses to the distal parts. These impulses produce jerks in the distal tissues of the body to remove the blood. On the contrary, some communities use another procedure called ‘Jhatka’ in which the neck of the animal is cut-down in a single blow by a sword. As a result, of the cut on the spinal cord, the animal is in a state of shock. Hence, the blood is retained in the tissues and a bio-chemical substance, Histamine is released.
The Halal and Jhatka meat was given to eat to certain non-Muslims and their views were recorded about its taste and smell as a trial. And it was seen that the Halal meat was found to be more tasty by them. There are several ways to stick the animals on a large scale. Very often, the animals are stunned, then they are lifted and hung with their neck and head downwards. A knife is used then to cut down the neck, but this procedure is against the Islamic spirit because stunning of animal produces surgical shock prior to sticking which is clearly forbidden in Islam.
Environment-friendly Id-ul-Zuha or Bakrid- ever heard of that? What does Bakrid have to do with the environment? Since the last couple of years, Muslims of Mumbai are discovering the benefit of environmental-friendly Bakrid.
Due to the urban lifestyle and lack of adequate space, sacrificing the animal and disposing off the related waste is the major problem faced every year. Due to lack of proper waste disposal, an epidemic broke out in the Muslim dominated localities in Mumbai in the past. Dr Asad Mirza, a general practitioner in the Muslim-dominated Bhendi Bazar area in South Mumbai reveals that every year, after Bakrid, there is atleast 30 to 35 per cent rise in the cases of diseases such as diarrhea, typhoid and malaria. “ The reason is not far to seek. Due to lack of civic sense, most of the Muslim families drain off the blood of the animal into the common drainage which clogs the entire drainage system. Moreover the waste of the animal is left in the open for days turning these areas into a perfect breeding ground for pathogenic bacteria leading to the epidemic outbreak,” confirms Dr Mirza. What is the alternative then? The posh housing societies solved the problem by reserving the space in their large compound for the purpose and taking care of the waste disposal. The real problem was faced by the congested Muslim middle-class localities. Few of the alert Muslims reserve community halls or Jamaatkhanas of the localities and request the residents to keep their animals there, feed them and sacrifice them there at nominal cost. Others have struck deals with their regular mutton suppliers or butchers. The package is that the butcher will purchase the animal, keep it, feed it and on Bakrid day, sacrifice the animal and then make home delivery of the meat.
“This is not only a cost effective measure, but also saves time and is environmental friendly. Since our mutton supplier is a professional and has the infrastructure, they easily manage the waste and protect the environment,” says Syed Zia, a timber merchant who sacrifices seven animals on every Bakrid. Zubair Bagban used to keep and sacrifice the animals on the terrace of his residence. But since last three years, Zubair is keeping the animals at the community hall at Mohammed Ali Road. A fruit dealer, Zubair was pained to watch the women of the household struggling to clean the blood and disposing off the waste. “ But now that problem has been solved as I, my relatives and friends do the Qurbani at the community hall and in an organised manner,” says Zubair.
Nazir Merchant of Classic Mutton Corner was able to convince 28 of his regular customers for their Bakrid package. It included purchase of the animal to home delivery of the mutton. “ This year, the booking has crossed 50, our target is atleast 100 customers,” says Nazir.
Dr Javid Shaikh who has registered with the Classic Mutton Corner package is a relieved man. “ Every year in the past, we had to search for a good butcher and then struggle to dispose off the waste. Since the last two years, my family is celebrating Bakrid in peace without any problem of purchasing the animal and disposing off the waste,” says Javid. Many of the Muslim social organisations in Mumbai are promoting “combined Qurbani” as a concept which is not only permitted in Islam, but also becoming very popular in the Gulf countries. On a visit to any Muslim locality in Mumbai this time of the year, one can find a slew of organisations offering individual share in the combined Qurbani. The blackboard banners, handbills and posters announce the details and cost of Qurbani per share.
Siddique Qasmi of “Roshni” a social and welfare group is organising combined Qurbani since the last five years. Last year, the total booking was 258. “ The majority of people who opt for combined Qurbani are from the lower and the middle class. Since according to Islam, a single animal such as a bullock can have seven shares, offering such facilities of combined Qurbani helps a Muslim from the lower class to offer Qurbani. “We purchase animals in bulk and at wholesale rates. So we are able to keep the per share amount to the minimum. Last year and this year also, the per share amount is Rs 550 which is very reasonable, says Qasmi.
Yakub Patel of Muslim Youth Forum is a strong proponent of combined Qurbani. According to Patel, the environmental-friendly factor and beef for the poor are the twin benefits of combined Qurbani. “ Every year, we organised combined Qurbani. The beef is packed in small polythene bags and distributed among the poor Muslims and since we have a group of volunteers, we easily take care of the waste and protect the environment,” says Patel.
Many social and religious organisations arrange for combined Qurbani as it helps them to meet their budget for various social and welfare activities. Mahmood Patel, local president of Jamaat-e-Islami organises combined Qurbani every year and also promotes this concept among friends. “ Since we organised combined Qurbani, we get the animal hides and by selling it, we have been able to generate funds for our dawah and welfare activities,” says Mahmood Patel.
Rais Khan, trustee of Madrassa-e-Mohammediya in Bandra, organises the combined Qurbani every year. The booking is done in Mumbai, but the animals are sacrificed in the interiors of Maharashtra. “The idea is that the beef is distributed among the poor Muslims in the hinterland. Also the finance generated by selling the skin of the animal goes into sponsoring poor Muslim students living in the villages,” says Khan.
Most of the organisations offering combined Qurbani options also offer the facilities of providing the beef to the individuals who have booked their shares. “ While booking, we ask the person if they want their share of beef, what part and how much quantity. Then we pack it accordingly and ask them to collect it from our city office on the appointed day and time,” says Mahmood Patel.
Ashraf Memon, a businessman, prefers combined Qurbani organised by the local unit of Darool Uloom Deoband. “ Previously, I used to spend the entire day purchasing the animal and then completing the entire process. It was very tiring, hectic and expensive. I could not spend time with family on Bakrid. Now I book 10 shares each in the name of the individuals in our family and get home delivery of the beef. This way, I save time and also support the poor students studying in the madrassas,” says Ashraf. The concept of combined Qurbani has become very popular in Mumbai as it is eco-friendly, less expensive and the meat is distributed to the deserving in the community. Apart from this, it has become a source of support for a slew of welfare and religious organisations.
Lay down the animal parallel with the direction of the Qibla and utter the following prayer first:
Behold I have turned my face earnestly towards Him Who originated the heavens and the earth and I am not of polytheists. Behold, my salat, mine offering, my living and mine dying are all for Allah, Lord of the worlds. No partners hath He, concerning this I have been bidden and I am of the Muslims O Allah! (I offer this) to you and You gave it to me.
After reciting this prayers, Say
‘Bismillahi Allahu Akbar’. (In the name of Allah Who is Great) and cut the throat of the animal with a sharp-edged knife. Having performed the slaughter, read this prayer:
“Allah! Accept this sacrifice offered by me as Thou accepted the sacrifice offered by Thy friend Abraham and that offered by Thy love one Muhammad. May Peace and blessings descend upon both.”
Although it is permissible to let someone else perform the slaughter of your sacrificial animal, yet it is better if you perform this act with your own hands. While you perform the slaughter, try to think and feel in the same way as you express through the words you utter at the time of sacrifising the animal i.e all that we have got belongs to Allah and it is all to be spent in His way only. The act of sacrificing the animal in His name is in submission to His will and if ever required we shall readily sacrifice even our own life in the way of Allah and shall be grateful to Him that He conferred upon us the honour of martydom by affording us an opportunity to shed our blood in His name.
The following eleven things have been prescribed to be done on Ed-ul-Azha;
1. To rise early in the morning.
2. To do miswak and do bathe.
3. To be clad in one’s best garments.
4. To use perfume.
5. Not to eat anything before Eid prayer.
6. To pronounce takbir loudly while going towards eidgah.
Allah-u Akbar, Allah-u Akbar
Allah is greatest Allah is greatest
There is no God but Allah
wa-Allah-u Akbar, Allah-u Akbar
and Allah is greatest Allah is greatest
and all praise is for Allah.
7. To perform two rakah Eid ul Azha, wajib prayer in the eidgah.
8. After prayers to listen to the sermon (Kutbah) is sunnah.
9. To return early after prayers by a different route and do the sacrifice (Qurbani).
10. To distribute the meat of the sacrifice among the poor, friends, relatives and neighbours and also to cook and eat the meat of sacrifice.