Qurbani: More Than Just Tender Meat

Qurbani: More Than Just Tender Meat
10 Days Of Dhul Hijjah

Qurbani: More Than Just Tender Meat

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  • masjidmuhammad
  • Jul 15, 2021

Qurbānī or udḥiyah is the act of sacrificing an animal for
the sake of Allah on the 10th to the 12th of Dhul Ḥijjah, in
accordance with the Sunnah of our beloved Messenger
(s.a.w).

For many of us, this experience is limited to filling out a
donation form or enjoying some lamb biryani. But what
is the purpose of qurbānī? What does Allah want from
us? Why does He ask us to sacrifice an animal on this
day?

The purpose of Qurbani is to attain taqwa.

Allah says: “Never does their meat or their blood reach
Allah, but what does reach Him is your taqwā (piety).”
(22:37)

Allah tells us here that our outwardly acts of worship
must be accompanied by taqwā and sincerity. Taqwā is
often translated as piety, God-consciousness or the fear
of Allah. Taqwā is to protect oneself from the wrath and
punishment of Allah by avoiding His prohibitions and
implementing His commands.

Taqwā resides in our hearts. It’s not enough, therefore,
just to perform deeds outwardly. What Allah wants
from us is our hearts; hearts which fully submit to Him,
which melt out of His love, crumble from His fear, and
give preference to Him over everything and everyone
else. Qurbāni isn’t just about the succulent lamb chops;
its primary purpose is to get us closer to Allah, the All-
Mighty.

Qurbani makes us affirm the Oneness of Allah
(tawhid) and our sincerity to Him.

Qurbānī should not be an ‘empty’ ritual or a cultural act
which we do not give much thought to. Instead we have
to perform it sincerely, for the sake of Allah alone. Allah
instructed the Messenger of Allah  to: ‘Say, ‘My prayers
and sacrifice, my life and death, are all for Allah, Lord
of all the Worlds. He has no partner. This is what I am
commanded, and I shall be the first of those who submit
to Him.” (6:162-3)

The Qur’ān condemned the practice of the polytheists
who would sacrifice for other than Allah. We must steer
away from anything which leads to associating partners
with Him or making anyone or anything equal to Him in
our hearts.

Qurbani is a means to remember and glorify Allah.

Allah  says: “For every Ummah (religious community)
We prescribed the act of sacrifice, so that they may
invoke the name of Allah over the livestock He provided
for them: So, your God is One God, so submit to Him
Alone…” (22:34) Dhikr is the hallmark of the qurbānī and
these blessed days.

Qurbānī should make us glorify Allah for having guided
us to Islam and for giving us the ability to remember Him
and to perform the rites of sacrifice. Allah  says: “He
has subjugated them to you in this way so that you may
glorify Allah for having guided you…” (22:37)

Qurbani gives us an opportunity to thank Allah and
celebrate ʿEid.

Allah  says: “We have made camels part of the symbols
of Allah for you. There is much good in them for you, so
invoke Allah’s name over them as they are lined up for
sacrifice. Then when they have fallen down dead, feed
yourselves and those who do not ask, as well as those
who do. We have subjugated them to you in this way so
that you may be thankful.” (22:36)

Qurbānī is a reminder that Allah has given us this
great gift of being able to rear, slaughter and consume
delicious meat. Although an alien concept to us because
of our excessive consumption of meat, for many around
the world, this is the only time in the year when they can
consume a liberal amount of meat, allowing them to
properly celebrate ʿEīd.

Qurbani is a means to venerate the symbols of Allah.

Showing respect to the outwardly symbols which
represent and remind us of Allah helps us to develop our
taqwā. Allah says: “Whoever honours the symbols
of Allah – indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.” (22:32)
In accordance with this āyah, our predecessors would
carefully rear and choose their best and most valuable
animals to sacrifice.

Qurbani is a means to share your food with the needy.

The Prophet(s.a.w) said: “I used to forbid you to store the
meat of the sacrificed animals for more than three days
so that there would be enough for everyone. But now
Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, has bestowed plenty
upon us, so eat some, give some in charity and store
some. Indeed, these days are the days of eating, drinking
and remembering Allah.” (Nasā’ī) The meat should also
be shared with neighbours and family members to
increase the ties of kinship.

Qurbani is a means to attain great reward.

The Prophet (s.a.w) said: “There is nothing more beloved to
Allah that a slave can do on the day of Naḥr than spill
blood (i.e. qurbānī). On the Day of Judgement, it will be
brought forth with its horns, hair, and hooves. Indeed, the
blood will be accepted by Allah even before it spills on
the ground, so whole-heartedly delight in (performing
the sacrifice).” (Tirmidhī)

Remembering this sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.w) helps us
to increase our love for him.

It is reported in a ḥadīth that of the two animals the
Messenger of Allah slaughtered, one was “on behalf
of his ummah, for whoever testified to the oneness of
Allah and testified that the Messenger of Allah had
conveyed the message.” (Ibn Mājah)
Subḥānallah, Rasūlullāh(s.a.w) sacrificed an animal on our
behalf!

Qurbani commemorates the great sacrifice of Ibrahim
and Ismaʿil 

The sacrifice was a result of their deep conviction in
Allah, their unyielding submission to Him and their
unwavering sincerity. Allah does not ask us to put a
knife to our children’s necks, but He asks us to sacrifice
other things, be it time, money, our desires or even
societal pressure to conform. Ask yourself today: What
am I going to give up for the sake of Allah?

A symbol of complete submission to Allah 

Qurbānī represents the essence of Islām: complete
submission to Allah. In an era where it has become
fashionable to question everything, we should look to
Ibrāhīm  who didn’t ask: ‘Why?’ Instead, he submitted
and fully obeyed Allah – and for that, he was rewarded
handsomely.

Qurbānī isn’t about merely sacrificing an animal; it is a
reminder to fully submit even if we find the command
difficult or fail to perceive the wisdom behind it.

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