Qurbani or sacrifice is a better form of worship in Islam. Qurbani is the act of sacrificing a livestock animal.
It takes place after Eid-ul-Azha prayers. Millions of Muslims around the world commemorate the tradition of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) by sacrificing an animal and then distributing the meat accordingly. The Holy Qur’an mentioned the obligation of Qurbani. Allah says: “So pray to your Lord and sacrifice (to Him alone).” (Sura Kawthar: 2). Whoever will commemorate Ibrahim’s Qurbani, Allah will give him an extraordinary reward. Zaid Ibn Arkam (Ra.) reported that the Companions of the Prophet (Pbuh) asked him: “O Prophet of Allah, what is this Qurbani?” He said: “It is the way (Sunnah) of your forefather Ibrahim (AS).” They asked again: “What (reward) is for us therein?” He replied: “There is a reward for every hair (of the sacrificed animal).” They asked: “For the wool, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied: “There is one reward for every strand of wool.” (Ibn Majah). The prophet (Pbuh) warned for people who ignore the Qurbani despite having the ability. He prohibited that person from performing Eid prayer behind him. Hazrat Abu Hurayra (Ra) reports that The messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said, “He who has the means of performing Qurbani but does not do so should not come close to our Musallah (place where Eid Salah is performed). (Ibn Majah).
Qurbani teaches us the importance of remembering other Muslim brothers and sisters who are living in harsh times and not so fortunate to enjoy Eid like they are. It is a great opportunity to achieve the blessing of Allah by helping each other particularly those who are in need of assistance. Whoever wants to distribute the meat from Qurbani accordingly, he should divide the meats from Qurbani into three parts – one is for his own family, one for the neighbours and one for the poor.
Millions of people of our country have been affected by the floods. The victims of flood in our country have lost everything, their homes and the shelter above their heads, their entire belongings and their livelihoods. In this situation, we should not preserve our Qurbani meat but we have to distribute it among flood affected people. It is a great teaching of our prophet (Pbuh) to distribute all the meat when the people are affected by famine or flood. Mother of believers Ayeesha (Ra) reported that the Messenger of Allah said, ‘Some poor families among the people of the desert come to Medinah on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha. The messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said “Keep with you meat sufficient for three days, and whatever is left, give in charity” on the next year the companions of the Prophet asked about Qurbani meat. The Prophet (Pbuh) replied, “I forbade you to do that because of the people who came, but now eat some and preserve some and give some in charity” (Sahih Muslim).
It is the Islamic duty of every Muslim to look out for their neighbours; to make sure they are in good health and spirits and to help them in their time of need. Allah says: “Worship Allah, and do not associate any partners with Him. And do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (that you meet)... For Allah does not love the arrogant, the boastful” (Sura Nisa:36). Our beloved Prophet (Pbuh) also ordered us to look out of our neighbours and to share foods with them. Abu Dharr (Ra.) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said: “Whenever you prepare a broth, make a good amount by adding plenty of liquid, and give some to your neighbours.” (Sahih Muslim).This is why one of the three portions of the Qurbani meat has been designated to the neighbours by Islam.
Qurbani teaches us the importance of looking after our neighbours as they too have rights. If a neighbour is Kafir (non-Muslim), it is permissible to give him meat from Qurbani as a way of showing kindness to them and fulfilling our Islamic duty as neighbours. Giving him some meat from the Qurbani comes under the heading of dealing justly and kindly with them, which Allah has permitted to us. It was narrated from Mujaahid that a sheep was slaughtered for ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr by a member of his family, and when he came, he said: Did you give some to our Jewish neighbour, for I heard the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) say: “Jibreel kept urging me to treat neighbours kindly until I thought that he would make neighbours heirs.” (Jame Tirmiji).
Although it is permissible for a person to keep all the meat for himself and to feed his own family, but it is completely opposing of the teaching of Qurbani because our neighbours also deserve a share in the Qurbani meat. They are hungry. According to a narration, whoever fulfils his/her stomach and doesn’t look his neighbours he is not a Muslim. Ibn Abbas (Ra.) told: “I heard the Prophet (Pbuh) saying, ‘A man is not a believer who fills his stomach while his neighbour is hungry.’” (Sahih Bukahri). We should remember that in ancient time, the ordained procedure of Allah was that a fire would descend from the heavens and consume the accepted sacrifice. They can’t eat the meat from Qurbani. If this system was being continued till now we have to leave all meat for Allah.
The writer is the Khatib of Baitush Shafiq Mosque (near NU), Gazipur