Offering the Qurbani or sacrifice of livestock during Eid al-Adha

haj (22) 37.png

When the Day of Arafat is completed, and Allah has liberated His believing servants from Hell, all of the Muslims then celebrate a holiday. Then there is a common rite that they all undertake (the pilgrims and those back home) to draw near to Allah, slaughtering the hadiy (sacrificial animal).

The qurbani, also known as udh’hiya, as referred to in Shari’ah, is the sacrifice of a livestock animal during Eid ul Adha. It commemorates the supreme sacrifice offered by Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, to show his total submission and gratitude towards Allah. The Holy Quran informs us that in a vision, Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, saw that he offered his son Isma’eel, peace be upon him, in sacrifice to Allah. When he shared this vision with his son, Isma’eel said: “O my father! Do as you are commanded: you will find me, if Allah so wills, one practicing patience and constancy.” However, when Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, carried out the commandment, Allah replaced him with a ram. In the Holy Quran, Allah mentions the firm faith and obedience of both father and son as follows: “You have already fulfilled the vision – thus indeed do We reward those who do right.”  (As-Saffat 37:105)

Once our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said, “It is the sunnah of your father Ibrahim. For every hair of the Qurbani, you will receive a reward from Allah and for every hair in the wool you will receive a reward.” (Related Ibn Majah & Tirimidhi).

It is obligatory upon every sane adult who is not a traveller/pilgrim and can afford it (wealth equal to or more than nisab — the minimum amount for a Muslim net worth to be obligated to give zakat). Normally every person in the household, who are eligible to pay Zakat have to give a Qurbani. It is performed on the days of sacrifice, which is the 10th, 11th, or 12th of Dhul Hijjah. The first day is better than the second, and the second better than the last.

One may sacrifice a thousand animals on days other than these, but it will never be regarded or considered as udhhiya. Therefore, the qurbani is a sacred act which can only be done during the three days of Dhul Hijjah as specified.

Zaid bin Arkam reports that the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) asked him: “O Messenger of Allah, what is this sacrifice?” He said: “It is the way of your forefather Ibrahim.” They asked: what (reward) is for us therein?” He replied: “There is a reward for every hair (i.e. the reward for meat and useful parts of the animal’s body will be very lofty in merit, but there will also be a great reward for the parts which are useless and thrown away such as the hair).” They asked: “For the wool, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied: “There is one reward for every strand of wool.” [Ahmad; Ibn Majah]

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said: The son of Adam does not do any action on the day of sacrifice which is more pleasing to Allah than the sacrifice of animals; the animal will come on the Day of Resurrection with its hair, horns, and hooves (for reward). The blood certainly reaches Allah before it falls to the ground. So make yourselves purified therewith. [Tirmidhi and Sunan ibn Majah]

Regarding the qurbani, Allah says is the Qur’an: “Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you.”  [Al-Haj 22:37]

Qurbani animals are goats, sheep, cow, and camels. It is necessary that the goat is one (full) year old, whether male or female. A cow, ox, bull, or buffalo will have to be two years old, and a camel five years. Animals that are younger are not suitable for Qurbani. A sheep (of any kind) not less than six months old, so strong and fat that it appears to be one year old will suffice for Qurbani, otherwise it will have to be one (full) year old. If an animal seller says that the animal has reached the required age, and outwardly there is no sign to disprove it, then it is permissible to rely on his statement. No other types of animals are allowed for Qurbani. The animal must be killed according to the prohibitions of halal sacrifice. In addition, the animals should be in good health.

While most of us are blessed with food and take our next meal for granted, spare a thought for the many children and families across the world whose lives are blighted by poverty and for whom basic food is a scarcity and meat a luxury.

It is recommended that the meat of the Qurbani sacrifice is shared equally in three parts between (1) the family members of the person performing Qurbani, (2) his/her relatives and friends, and (3) poor people. In developed countries, it is very difficult to perform Qurbani. Hence, it is permitted to arrange for Qurbani in a different country on one’s behalf. In this case, the whole Qurbani is distributed among the poor people.

When a pilgrim slaughters his/her animal in the place of sacrifice in Mina, he/she has followed the Sunnah. However, it is permissible for him/her to slaughter in any other part of Mina or Mecca (Makkah) as the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “I have slaughtered here and all of Mina is a place for slaughtering, and all of the mountain pass approaches, so slaughter on your place of stopping.”

When slaughtering the animal, it is Sunnah to do the dhabh (slaughter by a horizontal cut through the throat) or Nahr (slaughter by a vertical movement of the spear to the lower part of the throat) with own hand if possible, and if not, then to depute someone else to do it.

The animal should be facing the Qiblah during the process, making it lie down on its left side and putting his right foot upon its right side. If the animal being sacrificed is a camel, then it should be slaughtered by means of Nahr while the animal is on a standing position, having its left leg tied, standing on its others with its face towards the Qiblah.

Before slitting the animal’s throat, the slaughterer should say: Bismillahi Wallahu Akbar Al-Lahumma Inna Hadha Minka Wa Laka Al Lahumma Taqabbal Minni (In the name of Allah and Allah is greater. O Allah, this is from You and for You. O Allah, accept it from me.)

The Sunnah is to slaughter the sacrifice on the day of Eid, which is the tenth of Dhu’l-Hijjah.

It was narrated from Saalim ibn ‘Abd-Allaah that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: “During his last Pilgrimage, the Messenger of Allaah (ﷺ) performed ‘Umrah and then Hajj. He drove a hadiy (sacrificial animal) along with him… then he went to Safa and Marwa and ran between them seven times and did not do any deed forbidden because ofIhraam, until he finished his Hajj and sacrificed his hadiy on the day of Nahr (the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah). He then hastened onwards (to Makkah) and performed Tawaaf of the Ka’bah, and then everything that was forbidden because of Ihraam became permissible.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1606, Muslim, 1227)

Then, the slaughterer may eat from the meat of his sacrificial animal and take some back with him to his land as the Prophet did. And he should give some it to feed the poor and the needy.

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The Danger of Approaching a Fortune Teller

 

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The Prophet Muhammad laid down principles which clearly forbade any form of visitation of fortune tellers. Safiyyah related from some of the Prophet’s wives that he said: “The Salah (Prayer) of whoever approaches a fortuneteller and asks him (the fotuneteller)  anything, will not be accepted for 40 days and nights.” [1]

The punishment in this hadith is for simply approaching a fortuneteller and asking him questions out of curiosity. This prohibition is is further supported by Mu’awiyah ibn al-Hakam as-Salami’s hadith, in which he said: “O Messenger of Allah, verily there are some people among us who visit oracles.” The Prophet replied, “Do not go to them.” [2]

A variation in narration was:

Mu’awiya b. al-Hakam as-Sulami reported: I said: “Messenger of Allah, there were things we used to do in the pre-Islamic days. We used to visit Kahins,” whereupon he said: “Don’t visit Kahins.” I said: “We used to take omens.” He said: “That is a sort of personal whim of yours, so let it not prevent you (from doing a thing).”

Such a severe punishment has been assigned for only visitation because it is the first step to belief in fortunetelling. If one went there doubtful about its reality, and some of the fortuneteller’s predictions come true, one will surely become a true devotee of the fotuneteller and an ardent believer in fortunetelling.

The individual who approaches a fortuneteller is still obliged to perform his compulsory prayers throughout the 40 day period, even though he gets no reward from it.  If he abandons his salah all together, he has committed another major sin. [3]

Believing in fortunetellers and believing that they have knowledge of the future or unseen is kufr (disbelief). This is because such a belief assigns to creation some of Allah’s divine attributes with regard to the knowledge of the unseen. Consequently, it destroys Tawhid Al-Asma was-Sifat (the Unification of Allah’s Names and Attributes), and represents a form of Shirk (the gravest of sins), in this aspect of Tawhid.

Abu Hurayrah and Al-Hasan reported from the Prophet that he said, “Whosoever approaches a fortuneteller and believes in what he says, has believed in what was revealed to Muhammad.” [4]

Some activities that have become so common these days that fall under the category of fortunetelling are:

  • reading/watching/listening to fortuneteller predictions
  • buying and reading books on astrology and zodiac signs in magazines
  • fortune cookies
  • palm-reading

For any person to predict anything, as in the case of weather forecasters and doctors of pregnant weomen, they should take care to add the phrase insha’Allah (if Allah so wishes), as their statements of prediction are only estimations based on statistical information.

And Allah alone knows best.

 


[1] Sahih Muslim (Eng. Trans.), p. 1211, no. 5540

[2] Sahih Muslim (Eng. Trans.), p. 1209, no. 5532

[3] Philips, B. The Fundamentals of Tawheed. p. 102

[4] Collected by Ahmad, Sunan Abu Dawud (Eng. Trans.), vol. 3, p. 1095, no. 3895

Offering the Qurbani

haj (22) 37

When the Day of Arafat is completed, and Allah has liberated His believing servants from Hell, all of the Muslims then celebrate a holiday. Then there is a common rite that they all undertake (the pilgrims and those back home) to draw near to Allah, slaughtering the hadiy (sacrificial animal).

The qurbani, also known as udh’hiya, as referred to in Shari’ah, is the sacrifice of a livestock animal during Eid ul Adha. It commemorates the supreme sacrifice offered by Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, to show his total submission and gratitude towards Allah. The Holy Quran informs us that in a vision, Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, saw that he offered his son Isma’eel, peace be upon him, in sacrifice to Allah. When he shared this vision with his son, Isma’eel said: “O my father! Do as you are commanded: you will find me, if Allah so wills, one practicing patience and constancy.” However, when Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, carried out the commandment, Allah replaced him with a ram. In the Holy Quran, Allah mentions the firm faith and obedience of both father and son as follows: “You have already fulfilled the vision – thus indeed do We reward those who do right.”  (As-Saffat 37:105)

Once our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said, “It is the sunnah of your father Ibrahim. For every hair of the Qurbani, you will receive a reward from Allah and for every hair in the wool you will receive a reward.” (Related Ibn Majah & Tirimidhi).

It is obligatory upon every sane adult who is not a traveller/pilgrim and can afford it (wealth equal to or more than nisab — the minimum amount for a Muslim net worth to be obligated to give zakat). Normally every person in the household, who are eligible to pay Zakat have to give a Qurbani. It is performed on the days of sacrifice, which is the 10th, 11th, or 12th of Dhul Hijjah. The first day is better than the second, and the second better than the last.

One may sacrifice a thousand animals on days other than these, but it will never be regarded or considered as udhhiya. Therefore, the qurbani is a sacred act which can only be done during the three days of Dhul Hijjah as specified.

Zaid bin Arkam reports that the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) asked him: “O Messenger of Allah, what is this sacrifice?” He said: “It is the way of your forefather Ibrahim.” They asked: what (reward) is for us therein?” He replied: “There is a reward for every hair (i.e. the reward for meat and useful parts of the animal’s body will be very lofty in merit, but there will also be a great reward for the parts which are useless and thrown away such as the hair).” They asked: “For the wool, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied: “There is one reward for every strand of wool.” [Ahmad; Ibn Majah]

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) said: The son of Adam does not do any action on the day of sacrifice which is more pleasing to Allah than the sacrifice of animals; the animal will come on the Day of Resurrection with its hair, horns, and hooves (for reward). The blood certainly reaches Allah before it falls to the ground. So make yourselves purified therewith. [Tirmidhi and Sunan ibn Majah]

Regarding the qurbani, Allah says is the Qur’an: “Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you.”  [Al-Haj 22:37]

Qurbani animals are goats, sheep, cow, and camels. It is necessary that the goat is one (full) year old, whether male or female. A cow, ox, bull, or buffalo will have to be two years old, and a camel five years. Animals that are younger are not suitable for Qurbani. A sheep (of any kind) not less than six months old, so strong and fat that it appears to be one year old will suffice for Qurbani, otherwise it will have to be one (full) year old. If an animal seller says that the animal has reached the required age, and outwardly there is no sign to disprove it, then it is permissible to rely on his statement. No other types of animals are allowed for Qurbani. The animal must be killed according to the prohibitions of halal sacrifice. In addition, the animals should be in good health.

While most of us are blessed with food and take our next meal for granted, spare a thought for the many children and families across the world whose lives are blighted by poverty and for whom basic food is a scarcity and meat a luxury.

It is recommended that the meat of the Qurbani sacrifice is shared equally in three parts between (1) the family members of the person performing Qurbani, (2) his/her relatives and friends, and (3) poor people. In developed countries, it is very difficult to perform Qurbani. Hence, it is permitted to arrange for Qurbani in a different country on one’s behalf. In this case, the whole Qurbani is distributed among the poor people.

When a pilgrim slaughters his/her animal in the place of sacrifice in Mina, he/she has followed the Sunnah. However, it is permissible for him/her to slaughter in any other part of Mina or Mecca (Makkah) as the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “I have slaughtered here and all of Mina is a place for slaughtering, and all of the mountain pass approaches, so slaughter on your place of stopping.”

When slaughtering the animal, it is Sunnah to do the dhabh (slaughter by a horizontal cut through the throat) or Nahr (slaughter by a vertical movement of the spear to the lower part of the throat) with own hand if possible, and if not, then to depute someone else to do it.

The animal should be facing the Qiblah during the process, making it lie down on its left side and putting his right foot upon its right side. If the animal being sacrificed is a camel, then it should be slaughtered by means of Nahr while the animal is on a standing position, having its left leg tied, standing on its others with its face towards the Qiblah.

Before slitting the animal’s throat, the slaughterer should say: Bismillahi Wallahu Akbar Al-Lahumma Inna Hadha Minka Wa Laka Al Lahumma Taqabbal Minni (In the name of Allah and Allah is greater. O Allah, this is from You and for You. O Allah, accept it from me.)

The Sunnah is to slaughter the sacrifice on the day of Eid, which is the tenth of Dhu’l-Hijjah.

It was narrated from Saalim ibn ‘Abd-Allaah that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them both) said: “During his last Pilgrimage, the Messenger of Allaah (ﷺ) performed ‘Umrah and then Hajj. He drove a hadiy (sacrificial animal) along with him… then he went to Safa and Marwa and ran between them seven times and did not do any deed forbidden because ofIhraam, until he finished his Hajj and sacrificed his hadiy on the day of Nahr (the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah). He then hastened onwards (to Makkah) and performed Tawaaf of the Ka’bah, and then everything that was forbidden because of Ihraam became permissible.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1606, Muslim, 1227)

Then, the slaughterer may eat from the meat of his sacrificial animal and take some back with him to his land as the Prophet did. And he should give some it to feed the poor and the needy.

Tasting food, the use of siwak, and cooling oneself while fasting

Tasting food while fasting

There is no harm in tasting the food if there is a need for it. This is done by the person [tasked with iftar preparation] placing it on the tip of his tongue so he may know its sweetness and saltiness; however, he should not swallow any of it. Rather, he should spit it out or expel it from his mouth and his fast will not be corrupted by that.

But we should remember that it is disliked to taste food unnecessarily because this carries the risk of the fast being broken. An example of cases where it is necessary to taste food includes a mother chewing food for an infant when she has no other way to feed it.

(Fasting According to the Sunnah, Muhammad Zulfiqar, The Ruling on Tasting Food)


وَبَلَّ ابْنُ عُمَرَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا ثَوْبًا، فَأَلْقَاهُ عَلَيْهِ، وَهُوَ صَائِمٌ. وَدَخَلَ الشَّعْبِيُّ الْحَمَّامَ وَهُوَ صَائِمٌ.
وَقَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ لاَ بَأْسَ أَنْ يَتَطَعَّمَ الْقِدْرَ، أَوِ الشَّيْءَ.
وَقَالَ الْحَسَنُ لاَ بَأْسَ بِالْمَضْمَضَةِ وَالتَّبَرُّدِ لِلصَّائِمِ.
وَقَالَ ابْنُ مَسْعُودٍ إِذَا كَانَ صَوْمُ أَحَدِكُمْ فَلْيُصْبِحْ دَهِينًا مُتَرَجِّلاً.
وَقَالَ أَنَسٌ إِنَّ لِي أَبْزَنَ أَتَقَحَّمُ فِيهِ وَأَنَا صَائِمٌ. وَيُذْكَرُ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ اسْتَاكَ وَهُوَ صَائِمٌ.
وَقَالَ ابْنُ عُمَرَ يَسْتَاكُ أَوَّلَ النَّهَارِ وَآخِرَهُ، وَلاَ يَبْلَعُ رِيقَهُ.
وَقَالَ عَطَاءٌ إِنِ ازْدَرَدَ رِيقَهُ لاَ أَقُولُ يُفْطِرُ.
وَقَالَ ابْنُ سِيرِينَ لاَ بَأْسَ بِالسِّوَاكِ الرَّطْبِ. قِيلَ لَهُ طَعْمٌ. قَالَ وَالْمَاءُ لَهُ طَعْمٌ، وَأَنْتَ تُمَضْمِضُ بِهِ. وَلَمْ يَرَ أَنَسٌ

Ibn ‘Umar moistened a garment and put it on while he was fasting. Ash-Sha’bi went into the hammam (olden days bathroom for shower).

Ibn ‘Abbas said, “There is no harm in tasting the pot or something.”

Al-Hasan said, “There is no harm in someone fasting rinsing out his mouth and cooling himself.”

Ibn Mas`ud said, “When one of you is fasting, morning should find him with his hair oiled and combed.”

Anas said, “I had a (water) tub in which I could sit while I was fasting.”

It is mentioned that the Prophet ﷺ used to clean his teeth [with siwak] while he was fasting.

Ibn ‘Umar said, “He cleaned his teeth at the beginning and end of the day without swallowing his saliva.”

‘Ata’ said, “I do not say that saliva breaks the fast.”

Ibn Sirin said, “There is no harm in using a moist siwak.” He was told that it had a taste and replied, “Water has a taste and yet you rinse your mouth out with it.”

Anas, al-Hasan, and Ibrahim did not see any harm in someone fasting using kohl (a preparation used especially in Arabia and Egypt to darken the edges of the eyelids).

(Saheeh al-Bukhari, Book of Fasting, Chapter 25: Taking a bath by a person observing Saum)

NOTE: This is a Mu’allaq (suspended/hanging) Hadith of Bukhari, but it is connected along with Sahih Ibn Shaiba’ and Bayhaqi and the chain goes on..it makes it Sahih.


Abdullah bin Amir bin Rabi’ah narrated from his father who said: “I saw the Prophet – (a number of times) such that I was not able to count – using the Siwak while he was fasting.”

(Jami at-Tirmidhi, Book on Fasting, Chapter 29)

Imam Ahmad:

“I prefer that he should avoid tasting food, but if he does that it will not affect him and there is nothing wrong with that.” [Ref: Al-Mughni, 4/359]

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah:

“Tasting food is makrooh (i.e., a disliked/offensive act) if there is no need to do that, but it does not break the fast.”
[Ref: al-Fataawa al-Kubra 4/474]

Imam al-Nawawi ash-shaf`i (the teacher of Ibn taymiyyah who died in 728 A.H) answers some questions about fasting:

Question: Does the fast break if one: Tastes the food without swallowing it? Bite bread without swallowing it? Gather saliva in the mouth to swallow it later? Unintentionally open the mouth and a fly flies into it? If one harvest oats or rye and dust falls into the mouth? Water enters the stomach while he gargles or if he blows out water from the nose without exaggeration?

Answer: “None of these acts break the fast.” (Fatâwâ al-Imâm an-Nawawî, p. 55)

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen:

“The fast is not invalidated by tasting food so long as one does not swallow it, but you should not do that unless there is a need for it; in that case if a little of it reaches your stomach by accident your fast is not invalidated.”

(Fataawa al-Siyaam p. 356)

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen:

“It is makrooh to taste food such as dates, bread, and soup, unless there is a need to do that, in which case it is fine. The reason for that is that some of this food may go down into the stomach without a person realizing, so tasting this food exposes him to spoiling the fast. Also he may be desiring the food a great deal, so he tastes it in order to enjoy it, and he may swallow it, then some of it goes down into his stomach. Examples of necessity are when a cook needs to see how salty or sweet the food is, and so on.” 

(al-Sharh al-Mumti’ 3/261)