Here in South Africa, on Eidul Adha it is exciting to visit the farms and purchase our Qurbani animals. The enthusiasm to do Qurbani is beautiful and commendable. Our akaabireen would buy animals one year in advance. They would keep it and then do Qurbani the next year.
However, for the Sahaaba رضي الله عنهم they would always have animals with them grazing in their yard. Whenever they needed meat, they would simply sacrifice an animal and eat. It was normal.
Therefore, when Qurbani became waajib, they asked Nabi ﷺ, “What is Qurbani?” In other words, what makes it different to a normal sacrifice? Nabi ﷺ responded that it is the Sunnah of your father Ibrahim عليه السلام. Adam عليه السلام also did Qurbani but Ulama explained that the sacrifice of Ibrahim عليه السلام was specified due to the magnitude of His submission to Allah. He was willing to sacrifice his own son, that is not a small matter.
This shows that whilst we should get into the spirit of Qurbani, we must not overlook the purpose of it all. The purpose is to please Allah by sacrificing with taqwa. Allah himself says that the meat will not reach Him, only the taqwa in our hearts will. It is this taqwa that will lead to acceptance. Taqwa means to fear Allah and to follow His commands as a result of it. Below are five ways that we can ensure our actual Qurbani is done with Taqwa:
- Protect the gaze: In Qurbani it is makrooh for us to allow one animal to see another animal getting slaughtered. Many people are cautious of this, ensuring that the animals are kept separate. Yet we allow our inner animal to see our sister in laws, the neighbour’s daughter and other women. If we allow a sheep to see another it is makrooh, but if we look at another strange woman it is haram. The sheep will not get a sin but we will so be careful in this regard.
- Backbiting: This is common on Eid day, people backbite about the way someone does Qurbani. Remember we all have our own techniques. It is fine to disagree on a matter but there is no need to overstep the line and backbite.
- Boasting and drawing comparisons: People boast about how much they spend on their Qurbani animal, comparing it with others. Your wealth does not reach Allah, so why boast? Furthermore, wealth is merely a gift from Allah and He will give and take as He pleases. So what is there to boast about?
- Photography and videoing: Some people follow a fatwa that photography is permissible. Despite this, it makes absolutely no sense to video yourself slaughtering. Allah has allowed for us to take the life of an animal to fulfil our waajib Qurbani and to earn in the process. Why do we turn it into a movie, making videos and sharing it on Facebook, boasting about our knives and slaughtering techniques? Think about it, ask yourself the reason as to why you are recording. It is done to show off and showing off reduces our hard earned rewards.
- Salaah: Many people miss Salah on Eid day. Some present the excuse that blood fell on my shirt making it dirty.Thus I was unable to attend Jamat. However, we know that our clothes will get dirty in the process. Brother, what else were you expecting, a bunch of flowers? Obviously, when you slaughter blood will be all over the place. Therefore, carry a clean set of clothing, change and then attend the masjid. Do not miss Salah, that excuse is not valid in the sight of Allah.
- Anger: Many people fall prey to anger and even become vulgar while carrying out our Qurbani thus reducing our reward and adding to our sins. We should be wary not to fall prey to anger.
May Allah enable us to act with taqwa and may He accept our sacrifices as a result of it, Aameen.
— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله
(Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 29/08/17 in Masjide Ayesha, Marburg. To listen to the full talk, please click here.)