Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Dhu'l-Qa'dah / Zil-Hijjah 1423 H
February 2003
Volume 16-02 No : 194
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The Great Spirit of Sacrifice
The Supplication of Sacrifice

The Great Spirit of Sacrifice

In Islam, sacrifice, commonly known as Qurbani, means slaughter of a permissible animal in the name of Allah on the 10th, 11th or 12th of the Islamic month of Zil Hujjah.

It is Sunnah (a symbolic obligation) practised by Holy Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) in 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 Qur’an. “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 (son) reached the age of serious work with him, he said,a”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: Peace and salutation to Abraham! (37:100-109).

This is the origin of the Islamic precept of sacrifice in fulfilment of God’s command provided in the Qur’an: “... 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 Qur’an. “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 Zul-Hujjah, 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.” We propose to deal here with the precepts and practices pertaining to Qurbani, according to Hanafi Fiqh.

On Whom is Sacrifice Mandatory

Sacrifice during the days of Eid-ul-Adha is waajib (compulsory) on all Muslims (male and female) who own wealth to the value of the Zakat Nisaab on these days of sacrifice (10th, 11th and 12th Dhul Hijjah). The Nisaab value is of gold or 612, grams of silver.

Whoever possesses this amount of wealth during this period should make the sacrifice.

Sacrifice is not obligatory upon those who are not in possession of this amount of wealth (i.e. the Nisaab value of Zakat). However, even if sacrifice is not waajib upon one, an effort should be made to make this great offering so that one may gain the tremendous amount of rewards which the ibaadat of sacrifice carries.

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 intent 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.

Disqualifying defects

Sacrifice of an animal will not be in order if it is one eyed, or blind, or has lost an estimated one third or more of its eyesight, or estimated 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.

How to Use the 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.

The Obligations

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 Zul-Hujjah (upto the time he has performed the sacrifice).


In the first instance, one who proposes to offer sacrifice must make an intention to that effect.

Method of Sacrifice

Animal should be laid on its left side facing Ka’abah 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 in both sides of its neck, and the blood allowed to drain.

Virtues of Sacrifice

Hazrat Jaber (R.A) reports, “We were accustomed not to eat the meat of our sacrificed camels beyond three days.” Then Rasulullah (Sallallaahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) gave us permission (to do so) and asked us to eat and preserve. So we ate and preserved (beyond three days).

It is related by Hazrat Ayesha that Rasulullah said, ‘There is nothing dearer to Allah Ta’ala during the days of sacrifice 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 sawaab). The sacrifice is accepted by Allah Ta’ala before the blood reaches the ground. Therefore sacrifice with an open and happy heart.”

Hazrat Zaid ibn Arqam related that the companions of Rasulullah asked, “O Rasulullah, what is sacrifice?” He replied, “it is the Sunnah of your father Ibrahim”. 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?” They asked. “A reward,” he said, ‘for every strand of the wool.”

Rasulullah has said, “the person who sacrifices with a willing heart and with the niyyat of reward, on the day of judgement, that sacrifice will shield him from the fires of hell.”

Therefore by performing sacrifice every year a Muslim is abundantly rewarded and drawn closer to Allah Ta’ala. Since this sacrificial devotion can be offered on only three days of the year, this opportunity given by Allah Ta’ala must not be missed by any Muslim on whom sacrifice is waajib.

Those more blessed with wealth should make optional (nafl) sacrifice for the sake of reward for Rasulullah, his Ummah, the Ambiyaa and for their own living or deceased parents. Permission for the waajib sacrifice of a living person is necessary. For nafl sacrifice this consent is not required.


The Takbeer Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar. Laa ilaaha illallaahu wallaahu Akbar. Allaahu Akbar walillaahil hamd Translation: “Allah is most great. Allah is most great. There is no Deity besides Allah and Allah is most Great. Allah is most Great and Verily all praises are for Allah.”

It is waajib to recite this Takbeer audibly once after every Fard salaat from the morning of the ninth of Dhul Hijjah (Day of Arafah) till the Asr salaat of the thirteenth of Dhul Hijjah. The Fatwa is that the one that performs salaat with Jamaa’ah, and the one that performs it alone are the same as far as this law is concerned i.e. it is necessary to recite the Takbeer. It is waajib on both male and female. Females should not say the Takbeeraat loudly but softly. (Shami).

It is Mustahab (desirable) for those who read their salaat individually (men or women) and Musafirs (travellers) to recite these Takbeeraat softly.

Note: It is necessary for men to recite these Takbeeraat in a moderately loud voice. Many people are not mindful of this: either they read it softly or do not read it at all. This negligence should be remedied.

The Eid Salat

The following are Masnoon on the day of Eid-ul-Adha.


The Supplication of Sacrifice

Lay down the animal parallel with the direction of the Qibla and utter the following prayer first:

  Sacrifice Dua

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."

Sacrifice Dua

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.


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